Le Languedoc Bistro

We never miss Le Languedoc Bistro when we are on the island. Eating at the downstairs bar is like coming home to friends. Give me steak frites and a good bottle of red and my trip is complete.

There are a number of dining choices here; outside on the terrace, downstairs in the intimate cafe with low ceilings and blue checkered tablecloths, at the downstairs 8 person bar (this is where the locals congregate) and in the upstairs elegant dining rooms where crisp white wood trim and ceilings are offset by gold or burnt rust walls, iron chandeliers and well spaced tables set with dark mission chairs and formal table settings. Where you choose to sit will depend on your mood for the night.

The regular menu has classics like steamed little necks in garlic broth, braised escargot with parsley risotto and a red wine jus, filet of beef, and pan roasted lobster and some interesting choices like venison loin au poivre with seared Chatham scallops and Vermont poussin with a savory bread pudding.

This night however, we opted for the more casual bar menu and sat at the cozy downstairs bar. A chopped salad with Great Hill Blue, buttermilk dressing was fantastic. In the world of great salads, this was right up there. That was followed by steak- frites with a BĂ©arnaise sauce and truffle greens and accompanied by a Chateauneuf Du Pape, 2004 Saint Benoit “Grand Garde”. The steak had great flavor, the frites crisp and tasty and the bernaise, light with a slight edge to it. A chocolate cinnamon torte with cardamom anglaise rounded out a most satisfying meal. Add some pleasant conversation with our bar mates and it was a wonderful evening.

The wine list is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient for many years. There are about 13 wines by the glass priced from $8.00 and 14 half bottle choices priced from $22. The list leans toward France as you might expect, but has some nice representatives from Italy, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Downstairs is fun and lively, the patio can get noisy in season. The charming upstairs is the place for a romantic meal.

“Each morsel is worth savoring at this magnificent French splurge on Nantucket, whether you dine in the casual downstairs bistro (where there’s a small, friendly bar too), the quiet, elegant dining room upstairs (some say it’s a bit stiff) or outdoors (the only way to go on a warm evening); wonderful people graciously serve the fare and lovely wines, but just remember to reserve early if you want to experience them or don’t expect to get a table.” ZAGAT