Bistro Chez Sophie

August2

Chez Sophie is a surprising find in the heart of old St. Boniface on Avenue Cathedrale.  The building is fairly non-descript from the outside except for the paint colour, which is a vivid blue, but the quaint interior is immediately appealing and inviting.  There are boudoir lamps perched on every windowsill and chandeliers and dried hydrangea adorning the walls.

On this day, my friend and I arrived at just about the same time as a very large group of French Immersion students from St. Boniface College.  They did an excellent job of practicing their second language because sometimes we had a challenge hearing our own conversation over the din.  But this did not dissuade us from enjoying a delightful lunch.

As soon as we sat down a beautiful frosty bottle of water was placed in front of us.  When that was emptied, it was replaced with another, without having to ask.  This was very welcome as it was a hot and muggy day and there is apparently no air conditioning in the bistro.  We were also automatically served two petit pains, hot from the open hearth.

I spotted the “Salade Noir” as I was doing some pre-research for our visit and kept thinking about it until it was time for my very first taste.  Delicate greens are tossed with salty Parmesan, balsamic dressing and shaved dark chocolate!  Oh my, if only it hadn’t been 11:30 in the morning, we would have enhanced it with a glass of French red wine.

We split this and then went on to choose an entrée to share.  I was tempted to order the white sauced Alsatian pizza which I have yet to sample, but look amazingly good when they were whisked by us to other tables.  But, we got totally side tracked by the extensive crepe and quiche specials and opted for the smoked salmon and camembert quiche.

 

The quiche was cheerfully split into two portions without being requested, which was very much appreciated and a favour that not all restaurants are inclined to do, without adding a charge.  All of the lunch specials are served with a bowl of homemade soup.  When we inquired how the tomato soup that day was fashioned, the response from the Chef was:  “with tomatoes, balsamic and lots of love”.   The special also came with more tossed greens and red onion in a Dijon dressing.  The additional greens were welcome, as even a shared quiche slice was very rich.  But one of the many delightful aspects of French cooking is that you only need to savour one or two satisfying bites to feel well fed.

I attempted to chat with Chef Stephane as I was departing that day.  Our server had to act as an interpreter for us because my French is so poor.  I found this language challenge absolutely delightful in the heart of my home city.

Chez Sophie Bistro & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Kaths quote:  “The only thing I can’t resist is temptation.” Oscar Wilde

Love-that is all.


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