Bonne Soirée, Chapel Hill

I keep a list of restaurants that I want to try.  One of those in the ‘for a special occasion’ category was Bonne Soirée.  When I heard that they were planning to close at the end of April, we made my birthday the special occasion to try it.  It is located in the Courtyard Complex onWest Franklinwhich seems to be a bit of a revolving door for businesses.  There is no marking or name on the door, just a beautiful, hand-written menu on a stand in the window.  The dining room is elegant with light blue walls, wainscoting, dark grey ceilings, hardwood floors, and simple gold framed artwork on the wall.

We were seated and within a few minutes we were brought our hand-written menus.  It was such a treat to have such a beautiful menu.  Though, we were a bit confused by the fact that they didn’t have a wine menu but rather would help us select a wine based on our preferences.  I wasn’t sure if that was because they weren’t restocking their wine since they are closing soon.  We opted to do a wine pairing with our meal for $35 each.  It was a nice way not to have to decide or think too much about it.  We were each brought a different rosé to start.

I started with the fettuccine appetizer which was served with chanterelles and a light cream sauce.  It was lovely.  G had the pied du cochon which was a special that evening and was described as “NC barbeque meets French elegance”, which it was!  It was delicate pulled pork served with nice rich mustard.  For the main course, I had the tuna entrée which was served over a bed of sautéed greens and shitake mushrooms.  The tuna was perfectly seared and nicely sliced.  G had the lamb dish which was a lamb chop and a round of braised leg of lamb. The lamb was delicious and tender.  Finally, for desert I had the Elizabeth Taylor which was a rich, decadent chocolate ganache based dessert.  G had the chocolate pot de crème which was a fantastic elegant version of this traditional French dessert.  All of the food was fantastic and very nicely prepared.  We were, however, disappointed in the wine pairings.  None of the wines selected were to our tasting; all the selections felt quite thin and didn’t particularly complement the food.  Again, I am not sure if that is because they are getting to the end of the wine cellar before they close.  But, we wished we had just selected a bottle ourselves.

The service was impeccable without being pretentious.  There was a lot of wait staff ensuring all details were attended to.  I am glad that we were able to try Bonne Soirée before they closed.  It was definitely a special occasion type of a meal.  From what I have seen of restaurants in this area, Bonne Soirée is certainly in a class of its own.  Unfortunately, it seems like there isn’t enough of a market for this type of an establishment here in the Triangle.

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