A special anniversary? An important business dinner? A fat tax refund? These are the reasons you book a table at Jardinière. The restaurant takes its name from chef-owner Traci Des Jardins, and the sophisticated interior, with its eye-catching oval atrium and curving staircase, fills nightly with locals and out-of-towners alike. An equally sophisticated French-Californian dining room menu, served upstairs in the atrium, changes daily, but regularly includes such high-priced
adornments as caviar and truffles. (The tasting menu is available for $140.) Downstairs, the lounge menu, with smaller plates and smaller prices ($8 to $18), is ideal for when you want to eat light while visiting with friends or tame your hunger before or after the nearby opera or symphony. Cheese lovers will appreciate the wide variety of choices—both Old World and New—housed in the glassed-in cheese-aging chamber in the rear of the restaurant. The choice wine selection is worthy of celebration in and of itself.
Jul 22, 2008
I made a reservation at Jardiniere after finding more highly recommended and rated restaurants already booked. We had a couple cocktails at the bar, which were pretty good (and pretty expensive). We ordered a salad, which was pretty good, and a couple of glasses of wine which were great. My wife ordered the duck breast for her main entree and I ordered the Wagyu steak. The duck breast was really good. Wonderful glaze and sauce. The steak was a huge
disappointment. As the most expensive entree on the menu ($60), I was anticipating a perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth meal. Instead, I got a overly-charred (I ordered medium-rare), hard to cut piece of bland meat. The tastiest part was the garlic and spinach garnish. I have had much better steaks at a neighborhood chain restaurant. All-in-all, the experience was not worth the money. Great staff, good atmosphere, but very inconsistent food. At the prices they charge, I would expect nothing less than great across the board.
Jul 30, 2007
I loved the food (oysters and halibut are divine) and the service was first rate but the vibe of the place feels a bit dated. Thankfully, the restaurant notices this too and is getting a much needed makeover in late August. Can't wait to see the end result.