Bastille – Approaching Fabulous

1201 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA

March 2014

Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 

 

“Since 2006, Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux’s award winning intimate bistro and wine bar located in Old Town Alexandria, offers guests a contemporary spin on classic French fare at approachable prices, all set in a warm and upscale environment”

 

Main Dining Area - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Main Dining Area – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

The above quote is taken directly from Bastille’s website. What does “approachable” mean when it comes to prices? Do you ever get there or just a perpetual state of approaching? Warm, I’ll agree with that and even romantic but “upscale” depends on the person. The building is odd. Somewhat of a hodgepodge of structures. Its connected to some type of store and a barn like structure in back that also sells items of some sort. When I approached I wasn’t sure which entrance to use.  The dining area is pretty small, I think this is known as ‘intimate’ or ‘charming’. There was a curtain partition between the entrance and main dining area. (very upscale)

Main Entrance to Dining Area - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Main Entrance to Dining Area – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 

VH1 blessed me with an invite to celebrate the day of her birth and chose Bastille (she’s a huge wine lover). I brought my appetite and sense of adventure as I was not really familiar with Bastille. Since there is no metro nearby and it was raining, I had to fire up the chariot to get there but the drive was not very far from SW DC. About a 20 minute drive over the bridge pass the airport.

The Poteaux’s creations are sparked by the use of seasonal, locally sourced and farm fresh ingredients.

Again the above quote is taken directly from the Bastille website and again I am somewhat confused. Can someone explain what is meant when a dish get’s “sparked”. Whatever, don’t you just love the French?

Let me refresh that I’ve been to France, several times to several areas. We are actually  planning a return trip this year, so my point is I am somewhat familiar with french food and wine. But now I can official say that I am now a bona fide sparked food foodie because everything was superb.

 

Main Dinning Area - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Main Dinning Area – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

VH1 chose a special night to visit this French award winner. So special in fact that we were placed on a waiting list. What a nail biter. Since I didn’t know if we’d make the cut I didn’t know how much to nosh during the day. I mean, I didn’t want to over do it and ruin my buds right? Then finally the word came down from the French Gods that we were in! This was the Stephan von Neipperg Wine Dinner and it was sold out!

So this was a five-course tasking menu with wines. The price with wines was $129 and without was $59. I recently decided to cut way back on my drinking (starting to show my city miles). I committed to one glass and chose ½ glass of the Chateau d’Aiguihe, Cotes de Castillon 2005 and the Clos L’Oratoire, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2005. These were  paired with the third and fourth courses, beef and lamb. Both were outstanding but I preferred the latter. VH1 did have all 5 parings.

When we arrived they started us off with a Lillet Spritzer. It was very refreshing and a great start.

 

Wine Glasses for Tasting Menu - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Wine Glasses for Tasting Menu – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Once everyone was seated, the Sommelier, Mark Slater, made his introduction and opening remarks. He provided details on the courses and especially the wines. The first course started at about 7pm and everything was finished by about 9:30pm.

 

First Course

Sea Scallop & Bouillabaisse Jus - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Sea Scallop & Bouillabaisse Jus – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 

Second Course

Moullard Duck Charcuterie - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Moullard Duck Charcuterie – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 

Third Course

Grass fed Angus Strip Loin "au poivre" - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Grass fed Angus Strip Loin “au poivre” – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 

Fourth Course

Roasted Merino Lamb / White Bean Puree / Roasted Sunchokes - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Roasted Merino Lamb / White Bean Puree / Roasted Sunchokes – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

 Although everything was outstanding, this course was my favorite. The meats were so well prepared, juicy and flavorful.

Final Course

Honey Bavarois, Stewed Apricots and Pistachio Sable - Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

Honey Bavarois, Stewed Apricots and Pistachio Sable – Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar

  This dessert was a lot better than my photo. That’s a pistachio cookie on top and the apricots very fresh.

The dining room team was very good. Even though we had 5 courses you hardly knew they were there. It felt like a family run business. The team seemed engaged and genuine in their interactions with everyone.

This tasting menu was a treat and a must for wine lovers!