Bruneau is an elegant restaurant spread over several rooms. There are private party rooms as well as a lovely patio with sculpture and trees. The room is nicely lit with soft lighting and candles which gives a lovely warmth to the beautiful wood work that is the lower part of the room. Soft music is in the background, tables are large and widely spaced and each table is equipped with salt and pepper grinders. They’ve been here since 1975 with the same chef and it feels like a throw back to another time (the ladies menus having no prices) and yet it is very comfortable. The friendly service may be a part of that and chef Bruneau coming out to visit with his guests at the end of the meal. They offer 4 and 5 course tastings as well as a la carte and we were up for a red wine and meat meal. We came to the right place.
We were greeted with a hot ham and cheese waffle with smoked parmesan – really tasty. There was a good selection of breads, white, wheat and grains. Served with a nice butter they were just right to pick up whatever remained on your plate.
The amuse was a plate of several things: a mousse of wild duck was very pleasant; a mosaic of smoked fish was different and full of smoke flavor with a lovely texture; a creme brulee of morel actually had the crystallized topping of sugar and that really brought out the flavor of the morels – a yum here; and a cod fritter with mayo was quite nice. A successful sampling of things to whet your appetite.
The asparagus velouté was made with white asparagus. It had a great texture, full of tender bits of Mechelen white asparagus in the light broth. It had a good clean flavor – delightful.
The gooseliver foie was topped with green apple that had been caramelized with port. The liver was creamy and rich and blended perfectly with the apple. Served with a toasted piece of brioche, it was a decadently wonderful.
The Nebraska beef steak was brought to the table before being taken back to the kitchen to be carved and plated. It brought an amazing aroma to the table with it. When plated, the perfectly rare slices were piled and accompanied by potatoes with black truffles, fresh spinach and sauteed morels. The meat was topped with several ultra thin onion rings which had an amazing amount of flavor. They also brought 2 sauces, one red wine reduction and the other was pan juices with browned butter. I asked and they were willing to leave them both on the table but the latter one was definitely my favorite – yum x3. It really brought out the great flavor of the beef. It was a total winner of a plate.
To finish the meal we had some Belgian pear brandy (served cold) that was very good and a Croustillant au Café, which was a number of ultra thin layers of warm pastry filled with coffee custard. It has been a specialty of the restaurant for 40 years and I could see why. This was lick the plate good! Yum x3! We ordered one to split and they were nice enough to cut it in half and put on 2 plates.
To make sure the meal was just perfect they brought out a plate of extra treats, that were all real tasty, before chef took us on a tour of the restaurant.