(Originally posted 4/22/07)
While staying in Connecticut, we dined at a French restaurant in Danbury called Ondine. This is a quaint place, looking out on the water, that looks like it might have been a home sometime in the past. Though it was 7:00p.m. on a Friday night, the restaurant was fairly quiet, with only two other couples visible. Even by the time we left, only a few other couples had arrived. I think this might have been due to it being more offseason than anything else.
The wine list was diverse and they had a reasonable range of prices. There were a fair number of wines that were under $35, though they had others over $300. I chose a Louis Jadot Volnay Burgundy ($56) which was excellent.
The menu was also diverse, with many French dishes. They had a Prix Fixe menu for $55. For the Prix Fixe, you got an appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert. And maybe 3/4 of the menu was available as part of the Prix Fixe. And there were only a couple dishes that added any supplement to the $55. Thus, the Prix Fixe was a good deal so we both ordered it.
For appetizers, we had a roast quail, stuffed with wild rice and prosciutto, topped with a tamarind berry glaze. This was a whole quail, and it was tasty, though the quail was a bit dry. We also had the duck foie gras with a rhubarb and fig compote. The foie was superb, very tender, and smooth as butter. The compote complemented the foie well. For soup, we had a cream of celery and apple, with crisp capers which was smooth, creamy and delicious. We also had a mushroom consomme which was also very good. The salad course consisted of mixed greens with a tasty vinegarette.
For entrees, we had the veal tenderloin medallions, topped with crab meat, asparagus and cream, black trumpets and a truffled Maderia sauce. I received two thick veal medallions that were incredibly tender and flavorful. There was an ample portion of sweet crabmeat as well. The sauce was quite intruiging and complemented the veal well. The dish also came with thin sliced potatoes, a Yukon gold gratin. The other entree was a filet mignom, with a marrow flan, Bearnaise and Bordelaise sauce, as well as the Yukon gold gratin. The filet was so tender that you only needed a butter knife to cut it. They did not even provide a steak knife. But then it was not needed. It was a superb cut of beef. The marrow flan was certainly different and quite tasty. Overall, both entrees were exceptional.
For dessert, we had a crossisant bread pudding with a pecan topping and whipped cream. This was excellent, and one of the best bread puddings I have ever had. We also had a Gran Marnier souffle. This was a perfectly made souffle though it it was strong with Gran Marnier, almost like having an after dinner drink.
Service was excellent. They seated everyone in the restaurant a fair distance from each other to give each couple more privacy. I should note that jackets are required for men. It is intended to be a more formal restaurant, though far from stuffy. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in that part of Connecticut, especially if you are looking for a higher end French dinner. It would be a nice place to impress a date or business associate.
69 Pembroke Road
Phone: (203) 746-4900