When it comes to food, some places transport you, transcending the expected.
Le Mazet, with its unique offerings, is one such spot that promises a mix of tradition and innovation.
Styling itself as a French country cabin, this restaurant focuses more on countryside food rather than a Parisian bistro.
Diverging from the traditional, the bread at Le Mazet leans more towards a crepe.
Flat and chewy, you rip it apart with your fingers.
The bread is covered with seeds before baking, that toast up in the oven.
Paired with an intriguing herbed and spiced butter that somehow tastes of fresh cheese.
It is an odd, yet charming combo.
The Rating: Bread Service
The cheese board at Le Mazet offers a wonderful mix of flavors.
With three different cheese from Arethusa, it is a nice spread.
The cheese portion of the board is a little light, but the overall portion, even for a single person, easily feeds 2-3 people as an appetizer.
The pickled pears are the stars, with their refreshing taste.
The honeycomb adds a sweet contrast, while the pickled veggies provide a tangy counterpart.
The only thing that didn’t work well here is the pickled padron peppers. Otherwise, everything is good.
The Rating: Cheese Board
A pulled duck sandwich.
Understandably greasy (given the meat), but packed with flavors.
The cherry jam offers a sweet counterpart, making the meat pop.
Although the cheese tends to get overshadowed, the overall flavor remains impressive.
The Rating: Canard Sandwich
What sort of French countryside restaurant would be complete without a Beef Bourguignon?
The individual-sized version is huge, served in a personal crock with a dedicated ladle.
The thick sauce, rich with black butter and beef fat, swallows the tender beef.
Interestingly, the onion straws make an appearance on top, adding a crispy counterpart to the succulent beef.
The flavors are good, the only down side is there is relatively little beef compared to sauce.
The Rating: Beef Bourguignon
“Do You Have Room for S’mores?”
That is the name of the dish.
It is a take on smores (not really what I would consider French countryside dining, but who cares).
This is a chocolate flourless tart forms the base (very dense), accompanied by homemade granola and toasted fluff.
The best part is the chocolate sauce at the bottom.
The granola and fluff aren’t really doing it here.
It is also huge.
If they cut it in half and just did the cake with sauce, maybe with a small berry something or other, it’d be wonderful.
As is, it is a bit much.
The Rating: “Do You Have Room for S’mores?”
I guess, what was best, came at the beginning, not at the end.
The steak tartare.
It is served on these long fried chickpea ‘toasts’ (panisse).
It is probably the richest dish of everything we tried.
The beef is raw, mixed with a mayonnaise sauce that sticks everything together.
Then it is topped with a raw quail egg.
Every bite is insanely rick, almost too much.
But then the microgreens underneath give this pop of freshness that is needed, and it all works.
The crunchy onion straws on top add some needed crunch.
It really is just solid all around.
The Rating: Steak Tartare
I’m not sure who this restaurant is for. The food is expensive but nice. Nothing was incredible, but nothing was bad. At the moment, I don’t see myself coming back here. Maybe trying to get a light lunch, maybe one of the chicken dishes, but even then, there was nothing pulling me back. The steak tartare was the best of what we tried, maybe something else is waiting. But no matter what, everything was good.
Address: 975 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107
Hours: Sunday 11am to 8:30pm
Tuesday to Thursday 11am to 9:30pm
Friday and Saturday 11am to 10:30pm