By George Humphries
The Eiffel Tower Café has its contradictory aspects, but excellence in food and service are not among them. First, it is hardly a “café,” in the traditional sense. The Eiffel Tower is a full-scale French restaurant in the best sense. Second, Sosnitsky (owner Madeleine) and Canizzaro (Chef Gregory) are hardly French surnames. But regardless of those seeming non-French hints, take it from someone who has lived and traveled throughout France, it is authentically French if a little adapted to American expectations. And after all, the restaurant fare throughout France itself varies widely: Normandy is not Provence is not Alsace is not Cannes is not Orleans, and none are Parisian.
So rejoice and enjoy food prepared with French attention to ingredients, preparation, and presentation. In these French attributes, the Eiffel Tower exemplifies and excels.
Some of the outstanding features of the luncheon menu include Fricasse d’Escargots, House Pate with Cornichon, Salad Nicoise, a Wild Mushroom Salad with Goat Cheese, Tarragon Chicken on Croissant, and Grilled Trout. All are reasonably priced, most around the $10-12 range with only Lamb Chops with Olive Oil Roasted Tomatoes at $16.95.
We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner with friends at the Eiffel Tower. The menu featured Roasted Pork Tenderloin wrapped with bacon, apples confit, and port wine sauce. It was tender and juicy and there were so many slices that it provided another meal for two at home. Roasted Duck Breast with plums and pears was also pronounced excellent, and accompanied with a serving of tasty red cabbage. A salmon steak was lightly seasoned and the sauce was served on the side as requested by a diner with health concerns.
The non-holiday menu also features entrees with shrimp and pasta, chicken, and lamb shanks. Dinner prices range from just under $20 to just over $30.
The holiday dessert was a Buche de Noel, or Christmas log, a concoction of cake rolled with lavish layers of chocolate and finished with a loglike pattern in the frosting. The regular menu features typical French desserts and cheeses.
All told, the claim of “a taste of France” is accurate. The price of a meal is miniscule compared to airfare, and a delicious authentic bargain.
George Humphries is a retired Navy aviator who began cooking at the age of 10 and has managed several large restaurants. He has lived in Loudoun Country since 1984.