The Sage French Cafe: Aging Like Fine Wine
The Sage French Cafe is one of the most renowned French restaurants in Broward County. It has withstood the hands of time and continues to be a great success in the Fort Lauderdale area for over two decades! Like aging wine, it continues to not only get better, but reinvent itself to appeal to a larger audience. Throughout the last few years the restaurant has gone through some drastic changes. Sage has doubled its size, added an extended bar, and even opened a more casual restaurant next door called the Q Bar Blues and Burgers.
Last week, my friend and I decided to have a girls' night out. Our husbands were at home and the worries of the week were behind us, so we were ready to have a great time. I opened my "GoApp" to see where we could save a few dollars. The "GoApp " is a cool new app that allows you to check all the deals in your area or any zip code that you like, to see which discounts are currently being offered. The app stated that Sage was offering a free glass of wine with each entree, and we were sold! We both hadn't eaten at Sage in years and we were thrilled to head east to try it out again.
When we walked in we were surprised by how much the restaurant changed. The common staples like the black grand piano, red, black, and white motif, and intimate setting remained in place. However, the extension of the restaurant made it seem even more inviting than before. We quickly found a table against the far wall so that we could catch up with each other. Of course, we started our meal with wine. The wine list was extensive, but we decided upon the Cabernet Savignon (California). I’m not a dignified wine connoisseur, but I can appreciate a nice glass of red wine.
Chef Laurent Tasic, the owner and inspiration behind Sage, stopped by our table. Chef Laurent is a distinguished man with a French accent that makes everything sound even better than it would sound if I said it. Chef Laurent has a remarkable culinary history. He worked in several different restaurants in France before pursuing a degree from Cordon Bleu in six months (which normally takes about three years). Chef Laurent has consulted for restaurants all around the world, and has left a significant trail in the European scene in Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
Chef Laurent looked at me, and said “You should try the cheese platter,” but his sophisticated French accent made it sound like he was reciting a French poem or ballad that he once heard. For those of you that don’t know me very well, I am a cheese lover. I love cheese more than I love a few of my friends (j/k wink, wink). At this point, I wasn’t sure if Chef Laurent was a mind reader (or a palate reader in this case). However, I quickly agreed to his suggestion and waited for my platter in anticipation.
When the cheese platter arrived, I was blown away. This was not your traditional cheese tray that you find at a wine and cheese party. This appetizer was thoughtfully prepared, could easily serve 4-6 people, and looked like a work of art! It came with an assortment of cheeses from all over the world, fruit, and a delicate portion of chicken liver. Despite all the flavors, textures, and colors on the platter, my absolute favorite was the gorgonzola drizzled with honey and the apple chutney! I honestly could of went home at this point because I was completely satisfied.
For my main entrée, I could of chose some of the most traditional French cuisines on the menu such as their renowned duck dishes or filet mignon . However, I felt like the seafood entrees were calling my name and highlighted itself on the menu every time I skimmed over it. So, I ordered the scallops and mashed potatoes. If I was playing baseball, I would almost be at home plate because I was at 3 for 3 with all of my choices so far. The scallops were grilled perfectly and placed in a bed of creamy French sauce. At the center of my dish was a scoop of mashed potatoes to meet my carb fix, and caramelized onions placed on top of my mash potatoes like icing on a birthday cake. My friend ordered the “Steak Minute” and she was just as satisfied. Of course, I took a bite of her steak and immediately closed my eyes because it was done to perfection.
Now, for the home run! I ordered the “Chocolate Volcano.” This dessert was so incredible that it may need a moment of silence to give it the respect that it deserves….
No, not yet….it needs more time…
Now, we can proceed…
The “chocolate volcano” is a warm chocolate cake covered with a scoop of solid vanilla ice cream. As the vanilla ice cream melted, the chocolate in the bowl and the melted ice cream created a resemblance to an actual river of lava in the bowl. It tasted even better than it looked.
By this point, my friend and I knew that we made the right choice of going to Sage French Café. We were taken on a European culinary voyage of exquisite French food. Now, to top off the night, we slid into a seat along the bar next door at the Q Bar Blues & Burgers for some great music. It was Sunday night, so the bar hosted their usual reggae band. They played reggae tunes that brought me back to my Jamaican roots.
Needless to say, our ladies’ night out was a success.
Sage French Cafe: http://www.sagecafe.net/
The GoApp: http://www.thegoapp.com/