It is with great sadness that I can no longer recommend Bistro Jeanty. We have been going for years and it was the perfect spot to have a light lunch before our French Laundry extravaganza. Usually, Bistro Jeanty has a line out the door by 12:30 – it was virtually empty at 12:30. We were the first ones in the restaurant at 11:30 and were completely ignored for 15 minutes. It seemed like everyone was moving in slow motion. We didn’t get bread until course 2 and that was achieved by a lot of hand waving and asking can we have bread?
The Blackboard menu
Deep-fried smelts with spicy aioli – For some reason the coating kept falling off .
Smelts from an earlier visit
Grilled Sardine with “pickeled” (sic) onion, fennel and parsley salad – This was good, but the sardine hadn’t been completely deboned and my husband had a bone stick in his teeth.
A beautiful sardine from Pilar. Unfortunately, Pilar is no longer in existence.
Homemade rabbit pate with a Celery Root Apple salad and Mustard Dressing
This was initially served without cornichons. Our server insisted that it was never served with cornichons. We asked for some cornichons; we plated the cornichons ourselves. The pate disintegrated into chunks when you ate it – it just wouldn’t hold together. The celery salad was just a shadow of what it once was – sloppy.
The rabbit pate from Jeanty from a visit last year.
Rabbit pate from another visit.
What a shame.
We have been going to Bistro Jeanty ever since it opened. Now that Phillipe has closed both his inn and his other restaurant in Yountville, we have noticed a much more extended menu – i.e. a lot more blackboard specials plus an increased care with execution.
Roger is our favorite waiter.
The room hasn’t changed much in all the years that Jeanty has been opened. The room hadn’t filled up yet as we got there just as they opened. Also, a lot of the early birds tend to prefer the patio.
Now a blackboard is brought to each table listing the specials for the day. If we didn’t have a big dinner planned for that night, I was very tempted to order the roasted bone marrow, the grilled sardines and the pasta with braised rabbit and feta cheese.
All dishes were ordered as splits – one for two.
House smoked salmon, carpaccio style with parmesan and capers – delicious
Fried Smelts with spicy aoli – these smelts tasted as if they had just been plucked from the water.
Lamb Merquez sausage served on a baguette with frites – The lamb sausage is from Richard Caggiano in Petaluma.
Photo taken to show the sausage – hope the photo does this dish justice.
We usually go to Jeanty for lunch and try to keep it light before a big deal dinner. But the food quality and new extensive menu definitely deserves to be tried at dinner.
Bistro Jeanty is a safe bet for good, classical bistro food. There are no bells and whistles. We also tend to stay with our tried and true favorites for the couple of times we have strayed i.e. cassoulet, we have been disappointed.
The menu remains virtually unchanged since they opened, although there are a couple of blackboard specials changed daily.
We split all orders – one for two.
Duck Foie Gras Pate on Croutons
Smelts – these are still the best – crunchy, just fried, not greasy with a spicy aioli on the side.
Homemade Rabbit Pate with a celery Root Applke salad and Mustard Dressing
“Steak Tartare, ground to order, with Pommes Frites. The Tartare is made the traditional way with capers, parsley, onions and cornichons. It is served with a raw egg on top to be mixed in by the diner.
The frites were superb arriving lightly sprinkled with salt and parsley.
Bistro Jeanty is a safe, classical bistro with delicious food and excellent service.