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My friend Catherine enjoyed a wonderful birthday party organized by her husband Tom at Violette. The restaurant has been in the neighborhood for over 25 years. It serves French classics in an elegant but not overly stuffy atmosphere. Our service was extremely gracious.

Here is the birthday girl with an order of mussels. Catherine showed me the French style of eating them---use the empty half of the shell to scoop out the mussel from the other half, then use it as a spoon to enjoy.

A cheese plate also helped to start things off.

Some of the other gals triedthe tomato soup. I greatly enjoyed my onion soup, one of those things that is hard to find outside of a French restaurant. The broth was very rich but not overly strong, a great way to get the taste buds going.

Catherine and I both ordered the beef bourguignon for our main course. Violette serves the meat pot-roast style rather than cubed. The meat was fork tender and very flavorful. The sauce nicely combined beef and wine flavors. The mashed potatoes were a perfect complement.

Here are some other main courses: chicken with pastry, fish, steak, a chicken cassoulet.

The lovely midnight cake came from Elon's---moist, dense, just the right amount of sweetness.

Bonne anniversaire, Catherine!



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