Charming French Cuisine at Tablespoon Café in Cranford

French food lovers will find classic French and New American dishes at this winning bistro.

While Tablespoon Café advertises itself as serving New American cuisine, lovers of French food will find some classic dishes on the menu, such as escargots in parsley garlic-butter over puff pastry; seared foie gras; a fish and shellfish stew with a saffron fumet broth; bistro steak and frites; profiteroles: and apple tarte tatin.

We opted to start with an arugula salad that was elevated to a new level with the addition of crunchy caramelized brie and a balsamic vinaigrette. While the salad was served on a cold plate the soup of the day, a lobster bisque, was served in a hot bowl; nice touches. The soup was fabulous with chunks of lobster sitting on a raft of bread surrounded by a rich creamy bisque. A Magret duck breast was tender and served medium rare with a luscious truffle-potato puree and asparagus. Cod with a saffron, white wine sauce was complemented by steamed spinach and white rice. I was sorry I offered to share dessert with Lowell, as the profiteroles filled with creamy vanilla ice cream topped with dark-chocolate sauce were delicious.

Does the name Walaa El-Sawi sound familiar to you? He was the opening chef, along with his brother Sami, of Le Rendez-vous, Kenilworth in October, 1996. We were frequent customers and fans of the restaurant, which was eventually sold to their sous-chef. Walaa eventually opened other restaurants including La Petite France in Red Bank and is now the chef/owner of Tablespoon Café.

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 PM.

Tablespoon Café
21 N Union Avenue

Rosie Tablespoon Cafe
Lobster bisque

Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

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