Napa & Sonoma Reviews
Bay Area Reviews
Summary: A cold steak and less than stellar service ruined what could have been a nice meal.
Bistro de Copains is Occidental's best and perhaps newest restaurant. It's a friendly place, and was quite busy the Saturday evening (July 2008) that we visited. I was glad I'd made a reservation. As with most places in the wine country, it's pretty casual (i.e. you don't need to dress up), but also pretty nice - with a wrap around bar and a semi-open kitchen. It's pretty small too.
Bistro de Copains serves Provenšal cuisine, though, but for one or two dishes, its menu is pretty representative of wine country cuisine as well. Then again, I've never seen much of a difference between the food served at Americanized French restaurants and at those featuring California cuisine per se. Appetizers are mostly in the low teens while entrees are in the low twenties - quite reasonable for the area.
Mike and I weren't particularly hungry so we decided to forgo appetizers and go directly to the main dishes. Repeating myself, I ordered the Hanger steak with red wine shallot sauce and fries ($21), while Mike decided to have the burger and fries ($14).
My steak was very tender (the most tender hanger steak I've ever had - I didn't know hanger steak could be so tender) and very flavorful. The red wine shallot sauce was served on the side in a little jar, it was very liquid and it didn't really add much to the meat - I thought it was better without it. The real problem with the steak was that it was served cold. It had clearly been out of the oven for quite a while before it was served to me - something which neither the waitress or the kitchen were willing to acknowledge. The waitress did offer to bring me another one, but that would have made Mike and I have to eat at different times, so I ate it as it was. The portion was also on the small side; this is also a place where you need to order appetizers (even if you are not very hungry).
Mike really enjoyed his burger; he thought it was juicy and very flavorful. Neither of us were crazy about the *huge* serving of fries we were given, however. The fries were well seasoned and had a nice flavorful, but they were very dry in the absence of anything to dip them in. I was not impressed.
Desserts (all $8) consisted of American bistro classics such as chocolate pot de cremes and a chocolate hazelnut tort. There was nothing that tempted me - so we decided to get some Ben & Jerry's at the store instead.
Service was adequate, though not stellar. At least once we had to stop the waitress to ask her for something - she didn't check on us until the end of our meal. The owner (I presume) did stop by to thank us for having come, which was very nice.
In all, I'd probably go back to Bistro de Copains if I was in Occidental, but mostly for the lack of better alternatives. I would not, however, order the steak.
Bistro de Copains
3782 Bohemian Highway