Au Cheval is a diner-style bar and medium-sized restaurant serving traditional diner fare. The full bar has strong cocktails and a variety of draught and canned beers. They take no reservations and are quite popular so be prepared to wait or come early. They did have a few outdoor tables as well as seats along the long bar. Loud vintage music is in the background, walls are dark wood and the lights are lowered with the row of windows to the outside being heavily tinted to keep lighting low. There are a few tables but mostly it’s large leather booths that line the length of the place. Behind the zinc-wrapped bar is the open kitchen. Service was friendly, helpful and quick. We were there many years ago and couldn’t quite get why it was so popular, but we went for their signature burger. While I saw the majority of lunch tables have one or more I found the other menu items much more creative and tasty. They stood out much more than the burger to me.
Chopped chicken liver was seared, chilled and chopped and then served with salted butter and toast. Some cornichons were also on the plate. The Texas toast was perfectly toasted and didn’t need more butter but it did give extra richness to the large dice chicken liver spread. It was not at all dry and the liver taste was pretty mild. It was good but not the best version I’ve had.
The fried house-made bologna sandwich comes with cheese and sauce on a hamburger bun. It is really tall and easily can be split for 2. The bologna had been fried enough to bring out the flavor and with lots of melted cheese and mayo-like sauce it was terrific. It was packed with meat on that lovely soft but toasted bun. Total winner here.
General Jane’s honey-fried chicken was also topped with chili, sesame seeds and cilantro. It comes with moist hand towels because it gets your hands messy. The plate had 2 wings, 2 thighs and 2 legs – all perfectly cooked with a fine crisp coating. The honey is all around the sweet coating for a delicious flavor. It definitely has an Asian influence as opposed to a ‘hot-wing’ thing. It’s terrific.
The Mille-feuille was made with light puff pastry, whipped vanilla cream and chocolate sauce. There were 3 layers of fairly browned puff pastry with 2 layers of custard in between. The chocolate sauce is poured on at the table and the server cut it in half without making a mess. Lots of crispy layers were fun but they were a tad overdone in my book. It was a huge dessert and very good but I’d cook the pastry less so the butter flavor comes out more.