Delight in French Dinners

Good Bite

Pictured: Sample the charcuterie board at Cest La Vie before dinner. Photo Courtesy of Cest La Vie.

C’est La Vie, with its cozy, inviting atmosphere, is one of Sarasota’s favorite French restaurants. Owners Christophe and Geraldine Coutelle founded C’est La Vie in 1997, bringing delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options to the community. While many patrons frequent the establishment for morning and mid-day eats, Christophe encourages everyone to sample its dinner offerings.

“We started having dinner during season in 2002. Some years we did dinner, and some we didn’t. We tried different versions,” Christophe says. “Since last year, we started doing a serious dinner five nights a week, from Wednesday through Sunday nights.” The dinner menu changes based on the season, but C’est La Vie features certain staple dishes year round, like the lamb tajine with prune and apricot. “Tajine is a traditional North African dish,” he adds. The name tajine refers to the clay pot used to cook and serve the meal which features a lamb stew with honey sauce, apricot and prune served with couscous. In order to prepare large portions of the tajine, C’est La Vie uses larger vessels, but still serves the dish to customers in the special clay pot for an authentic touch. Other classic dishes include the sole, a mild, flounder-like fish accompanied by roasted vegetables and a lemon sauce. “Sole isn’t a strong-tasting fish. The meat is very tender and soft, and I think that’s what makes it popular here in America because some people don’t really like fishy fish,” Christophe says. “Sometimes when we try fish that are really strong in taste, they don’t sell well.”

He also recommends several appitizers, like the French onion soup, escargots, fois gras and a watermelon and feta salad with scallions and mint. The warm brie, which is melted on toasted bread with honey, tomato confit, rosemary and walnut is also a good option, as is the charcuterie board. If guests have room for dessert, Christophe suggests they try the crepe suzette, profiteroles or creme brulee. To complement the staple menu items, C’est La Vie will unveil new, seasonal dishes, like stews, in December, just in time for the winter months. With iconic favorites and exciting offerings to come, this French restaurant has something tasty for everyone.

C’est La Vie, 1553 Main St., Sarasota, 941-906-9575, cestlaviesarasota.com.

Pictured: Sample the charcuterie board at Cest La Vie before dinner. Photo Courtesy of Cest La Vie.

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