Follow by Email

Monday, July 31, 2017

An experience that goes far beyond the plate: Debut at Pardon My French

Pardon My French Bar and Kitchen

3797 Park Blvd, North Park, San Diego, CA, 92103

645pm, Tuesday, July 25th

One cuisine I had neglected since my moving to San Diego back in March 2014 has been that of the French domain. Not that I did not want to look for it, try and review it, but rather because I did not really know of or hear about many places I had to go check out. As one who cannot do dairy and avoids flour as much as possible, it never appealed as a primary cuisine to look into. My myopic view of what French dining can be quickly shattered as you will see below.

As fate would have it I got wind of PMF (Pardon My French) from a French-Canadian member of the US consulate at the 4th of July USA vs Canada Rugby match of all places. A name was dropped, business cards swapped and the rest is what brought me to the doors of PMF for this debut visit of not only the venue but also French dining of any kind during my tenure in San Diego so far. Let me show you how spectacular this experience was for me and how it can (and should be) one for you as well.

Eric Fillion, co-owner with wife Lindsey have been in business for 16 months now but you would think far longer given how smoothly this place hums along and how rich the vibe is between patrons and staff. It's like they been here for decades with regulars that go way back when. Eric has done a magnificent job of creating a culture all its own at PMF. Its seen and felt, heard and tasted in the food, the decor, the ambiance and the flavors/presentation of the food. It feels part fine dining, slightly high end, but has no vibe of ostentation or pretentiousness. The food, decor, and service, provide that authenticly by itself.

Co-owner Eric Fillion and I posing for a shot after my amazing meal.

Eric seems to know every single person who walks in the door as he greets them, speaks to them and hugs them all on departure. They approach him to converse in native tongues as close friends and family at one another's home would do. An owner who regularly has this kind of face time and interaction with his customers is something I have not seen very often but can appreciate as one who seeks more than just a good plate of food when I dine out. I want an experience, a unique one of a kind experience along with some great food. That is just what I got here and then some.

Even my server "Goose" was an extension of what Eric and the venue strive for with their welcoming family feel of belonging, being cared for, treated as an equal even if the cuisine/menu is new and foreign (as it was to me). His knowledge of the menu and wine list down to the details was stellar. We spoke a bit directly about his role at PMF and he made it clear he feels a part of a team, a family, filling a purpose to please and exceed the customers experience every single time and not just through food but through service and experiences. 

These types of values are what I shoot to capture in my blog posts. I can post images and pictures of great food all day long but that's what Instagram is for (and I do use the hell out of it as well so go add me @NavyFitCVN) but to capture the rest of what a dining experience is, takes more than just great tasting and delicious looking foods. A story, purpose, and a mission that takes places well beyond the plate is what makes things fun, fascinating and insightful for me as a food blogger and hopefully for you as a reader as well.

Outdoor side patio area with fire pits and romantic lighting. THE place to be for Sunday brunch I am told!

Bottom line, Eric, his wife, his team and Chef Dariusz in the kitchen, are doing amazing things, whipping up amazing food and drinks that allow you to escape the daily hustle and bustle so "Pardon my French" but, slow the f%ck down and savor a meal, relish in an experience, bond with your fellow diners. Todays fast paced world of dine & dash has become all too common. Places like this need be known by all so that the essence of dining out as an experience vice consumption alone can be revived. And in the process, you may even learn some French along the way! Bring a date, bring the office, bring the kids, bring the darn dog! "This is your dining room away from home and everyone is always welcome here" as Eric so simply put it.

One thing the French have always done right, decor and wine! 

My only regret is not trying more foods, some of the more traditional items like French onion soup (my personal favorite), roasted duck, grilled lamb chops, tart flambee, fois gras, the charcuterie, and fromages board to name just a few. Dessert options all by itself deserve a visit based on what I saw coming from the kitchen all night! However, to keep within the new theme of "ABetterBite" I bypassed those items (but certainly will return for them) to show that even when eating for health and wellness, you do not have to sacrifice flavor one degree! The pictures below should make clear that I was not missing out on a thing with my selections. Until next time blog readers, bonne nourriture! 

Street side front patio area on Park Blvd.

One last note I felt I had to make here in that I hate to see food waste of any kind is the system put in place at PMF. The system allows for almost 95% of their food product to be utilized in production, donation or consumption in some way. They even make dog treats for fido on select days of the week to assure almost nothing is wasted. How cool is that!? 

Au Revoir! 

Pan Roasted Salmon, charred fennel, green beans, sauce vierge

Mixed Vegetables dressed in herb butter (best roasted carrots I have ever had)

Charred Broccolini with shaved Almonds

Spinach and Arugula Salad with Smoked Salmon, grapefruit & lemon dressing, pomegranate seeds, cucumber, radish.