Monday, December 14, 2009


Something this city needs is more French bistros. I really crave a croque monsieur on a regular basis and don't have many places to go to get one. That's why this weekend Stella and I were looking for someplace new to try and we decided on Aixois, a place we'd meant to go for years now.

Aixois is a nice looking place on Brookside Blvd. in the Crestwood Shops that always looks inviting as you are being as white as you can be driving from the Plaza to Brookside. It's quite charming inside the long dining room and we were seated along the back wall in the booth and chair type table (one side has the booth seating and the other has a lone chair, it's important to picture this for the rest of the story). Stella sat in the booth seat and I sat in the chair with my back exposed to the rest of the restaurant (which I hate). Luckily a the back wall is a mirror so I could see everything behind me so there wasn't much of a possibility I would get shivved from behind without me seeing the assailant coming.

I had kinda assumed I was going to get the croque monsieur but as I looked at the menu the moules et frites looked the most appetizing. I was still a little full from the 10 oz. prime rib at Hereford House from the night before and a ham sandwich just wasn't the most appealing thing to me. But I really wanted some pommes frites and mussels always sound good to me. Stella decided on one of the daily specials, a seafood crepe with shrimp and a cup of french onion soup along with a Diet Coke.

The Diet Coke came out in one of those little 8 oz. bottles. To me, this is ridiculous. They have a full service bar at Aixois with, I'm assuming, has a Coke and Diet Coke shooter in it. It annoys me to no end that restaurants serve those little bottles instead of giving you your soda off the tap. It is acceptable in older buildings with no space, but Aixois wasn't really limited in space for a soda fountain. It just seems pretentious with no cause to serve those little bottles and charge $2 for them and then not give refills.

As we were waiting for our order to arrive a middle aged couple was seated next to us. Instead of doing the traditional one in the booth the other in the chair, they decided to turn the 36 in. X 38 in. (I don't know the exact measurements but the table was very close to a square, but was a rectangle) table around so the widest part was in front of them as they were seated together on the booth side. Keep in mind that this means they are sitting right next to Stella because the seating was arranged for 1 person to sit there. So instead of having room next to her, she had a little bit of space and then an extremely arrogant, annoying, loud male type figure next to her. The couple then proceeded to order rosé wine. The lady of the couple was perfectly lovely, but the guy was just a giant jackass. I thought that he might have been coked up to his gills. He complained about their winter home, cheap $200 watches that he had to replace every 2 years (he had had enough and they were going to go to Tivol to get an acceptable one after lunch) and their daughter's choice of classes at the university. We assumed that their daughter was going to school on one of the coasts so as to get as far from her douche dad as possible.

Finally our food arrived after about a 20 minute wait. I was quite impressed with the mussels as the meat was quite plentiful in each one, about the size of a quarter. They were served in a shallot, herb and wine broth that, frankly, smelled horrid. But each mussel was perfectly cooked and flavorful. The pommes frites were a little thicker than I thought they should be and just a little moist. But, they were well seasoned and wonderfully tasty. Stella raved about her crepe but thought the french onion soup was just okay which was a disappointment.

Aixois seems to be real popular with people out to celebrate something. At a table in the corner a guy was celebrating his 65th birthday with his family. At a table behind us a woman was receiving gifts from her girlfriends. Another table had a family celebrating someone's birthday. The place was full on a Saturday at 12:30 but there was no wait for a table so it is perfect for a spur of the moment lunch. Our total with tip was near $30 so it's not inexpensive but good for a splurgy type of lunch. I liked my meal and Stella liked hers, but it wasn't world changing. I'd call the whole meal an average lunch. The Frenchness of Aixois gives it some caché and class, but it's price and quality doesn't distinguish it. I'd love for KC to have more places like Aixois though, simply to make the French bistro a little more accessible for those of us who aren't going to go to Tivol after lunch.


PFL0W said...

It is one of the best places in town for looks, inside and out. the place looks terrific. You want to be there. If you aren't there, you want to be. It's a terrific setting. All places should be this lucky when it comes to architecture and ambience.

Mo Rage

m.v. said...

I ate there once,same impressions,food was average and overpriced.

Tad Allagash said...

I assume your reluctance to sit with your back to the dining area was formed from your experiences in our high school lunchroom. I never once ate there for that same reason (or perhaps it was the food.)

Too bad your table neighbor had learned the same lesson, otherwise you may have been able to stick him with one of those Laguiole cheese knives!

And who wears watches anymore?

Bull E. Vard said...

I don't think I ever ate in our school's lunchroom. We mostly ate at Big Cheese and Tico. But, I did get stun gunned in the balls at Big Cheese one time.

Tad Allagash said...

Come to think of it, I never ate in the lunchroom either. Wait, did we even have a lunchroom?

If you're feeling nostalgic there's still a Big Cheese out in Andover.

JJSKCK said...

Big Cheese Pizza still exists?

My experience with Aixois was mostly positive. We sat on the patio two summers ago for dinner, and the food was quite good, the prices about what we expected, and our waiter did a good job.

One of the other servers who was helping the table next to us was a total 'bag, though. He would have been the recipient of a crap tip and possibly a note explaining why. Just an insufferable attitude.

And the clientele...well, let's just say my upbringing was a bit less genteel than that of some of these bastards. I'd guess I liked less than 25% of the clientele.

But on the patio there may or may not have been attractive women jogging on the Trolley Trail. I can't quite remember.