C'est La Vie is the sort of casual, comfortable bistro that "may be an eye-opener" for people with a preset notion of the "proper" French restaurant, writes Ian McNulty in this week's Gambit. Chef Sebastian Baudin, who McNulty notes is a native of Annecy, France and a veteran of several area French restaurants, opened C'est La Vie on Magazine Street in December:
This addition is not easy to notice between its higher-profile neighbors. Located in a lightly renovated storefront, the atmosphere isn't very alluring, with neither the romantic charm nor the bustling vibe you might expect from a bistro outing. You may have to generate your own conviviality around the table, but with its food, the kitchen really steps up.Noting that "[t]here is not a trace of trendiness on the menu," McNulty offers up praise for just about everything. The biggest (and borderline sexy) praise, however, is reserved for Baudin's mussels à l'Auvergnate: "Set in rich, tangy, blue cheese sauce dashed with the sweet mussel liquor, the dish causes table manners to fall to the wayside, invites slurping spoons to dive deep and makes elbows collide."
In this week's CityBusiness, Tom Fitzmorris, ever with his finger on the pulse of the latest trends, reviews the French Quarter hotspot Sylvain (subscription required). Observing that "Sylvain unambiguously targets youthful tastes," The Fitz says that he would have eaten there every night if it had been open "when most of my writer and artist friends and I lived in the French Quarter." That is, when he had youthful tastes. He later posits that "the appetizer selection is much stronger than the main course options," so diners should "treat it like a tapas bar" for the best results.
And in the blogs: Elizabeth Julien at Yeah Ya Right went to Blue Dot Donuts, writing that "when a person is craving a donut, specifically a cake donut, there is only one option as far as I'm concerned." Rene Louapre at Blackened Out writes that Tony Angello's Restaurant is "definitely" worth it. And Emily Smith at Fleurdelicious went meatless at Mondo, writing that "there really is something to please everyone's palates."