Restaurant Review: Mes Reves

by Elizabeth Palmer Starnes in

Step off of busy Broad Street in Bloomfield and into Mes Reves, and feel immediately transported to an elegant, softly lit restaurant, which would fit seamlessly in both New York City and Paris.

Mes Reves means my dream in French, and that’s just what this place embodies. Everything, from the décor to the menu to the food is flawlessly executed, and will leave you wondering how this place has managed to stay relatively under the radar since it’s opening this past February.

Quang Tran, the executive chef and co-owner of Mes Reves with his wife, was born in Vietnam but moved to the U.S. at a young age. He then attended the

French Culinary Institute in Soho. As a current student at the French Culinary Institute, I can personally attest to the high standards it upholds. Such a level of precision and perfection has been quite a shock to this formerly cocky home cook! Tran is the perfect testament to this high culinary standard- and his food speaks for itself. Everything is served perfectly cooked, balanced, and sauced, nothing heavy-handed or overly complicated in sight.

When we arrived, our waitress brought warm bread and homemade honey mint butter to the table, an interesting change from the usual. We then started with the mushroom tart, which included a perfectly puffed square of golden buttery puff pastry topped with hearty wild mushrooms in a rich demi sauce- a brilliant balance of crisp and creamy. We also shared the Mesclun Salad, with field greens topped with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons, walnuts, and a shallot vinaigrette. Without gobs of dressing, all the flavor components of the salad pop, making it really memorable.

For an entrée, I ordered the steak frites, composed of a 12oz NY strip steak topped with a garlic herb compound butter and served with truffle fries hot out of the oil. The steak was perfectly cooked and very flavorful, and the fries didn’t last long on the plate, they were so delicious. It also came with a green salad, nicely rounding out the plate.

My dining companion ordered the pan seared salmon, served with roasted potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, and asparagus. And as a BYOB, Mes Reves allows you to bring your favorite wine and keep the bill reasonable.

We took home half of our entrées to save some room for dessert, and I’m so glad we did. The chocolate almond pistachio crème brulèe comprised so many interesting flavors, with the crunchy burnt sugar crust covering the creamy almond pistachio cream, covering the rich chocolate cream base. It was the perfect end to a dreamy meal- and I can’t wait to go back to sample the upcoming seasonal dishes Tran has in the works, including Coq a Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon.

Be sure to head to Mes Reves next Thursday (November 17th) for a special wine event and tasting. Hosted by Oui Oui, Je Speak Franglais, the free event will include a sampling of Beaujolais Nouveau.