Sage French American Café ***

General manager and partner, Pierre Berube and chef and owner Laurent Tasic with the "Shellfish Tower" in their restaraunt, Sage, in Hollywood on June 12th, 2009.Photo: Joe Rimkus Jr.

The new Sage French American Café in Hollywood is a sassier version of its Fort Lauderdale sibling. Owner Laurent Tasic’s popular menu does reappear, rich with Francophile favorites like escargot, French onion soup and coq au van along with an oyster bar and new specials.

Ambiance
The setting — a long narrow storefront with Art Deco-style lighting, a stone facade and a Chihuly chandelier — is hip and contemporary. After work, it’s downright boisterous.

 

 

What Worked

  • An assortment of plump, meaty Connecticut Blue Point and Massachusetts Island Creek mollusks plus buttery Kumamotos, saltier Fanny Bays and smaller, sweeter ones from British Colombia, all flown in daily. They’re scrumptious, served with Tabasco and three sauces — zesty cocktail, horseradish and my favorite, mignonette (red wine vinegar with shallots)
  • Cream of mushroom soup has lots of sliced mushrooms in a light, pleasant broth with just a touch of cream
  • Baked brie, served with a sweet raspberry sauce and apple chutney
  • Roasted half duck – Sage’s biggest seller (the Fort Lauderdale location sells 12,800 plates a year). We loved the crispy skin and the dark juiciness of the tender meat, complemented by a honey raspberry sauce
  • Gratinée de la mer is like baked macaroni and cheese made with penne, jack and Parmesan cheeses and lots of perfectly cooked shrimp, scallops and mussels, served with a green salad

 

What Didn’t Work

  • Coquilles St. Jacques was not the creamy classic with a puff pastry but simply pan-seared (albeit good) scallops with shredded fennel, sautéed spinach and red potatoes with vanilla-rum butter sauce
  • Crepe suzanne was our least interesting entree — chicken accented with tarragon but otherwise not much flavor

 

Desserts
Decadent bananas Foster crepe; scrumptious French bread pudding with chocolate chips, bananas, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, or crème brûlée

Sage French American Café, 2000 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954-391-9466; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Prices: Appetizers $6-$14, starters $6-$12, crepes $11-$13, entrees $17-$24, sides $3.50-$6, desserts $7-$9, kids menu $8-$9, Sunday brunch $7.50-$16.

FYI: full bar; corkage $15. Reservations suggested. Vegetarian dishes available by
request. AX, MC, VS.

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