The French mafia continues to establish its stronghold on San Francisco, what with multiple Chez Papas and Mamans, La Boulanges (which recently got snapped up by Starbucks) and so on opening up in the city by the bay. I think the Chez Papa Bistrot in Potrero Hill is the original in the "chez" group and though I've dined at all the others, I'd never had a chance to try the original. Until now.
Remembering that mussels were Chez Papa's specialty, JP and I started out with a heaping bowl of 'em Basquaise style. The bivalves had been simmered in white wine spiked with roasted bell pepper, parsley and spicy Spanish chorizo. We plowed through the entire bowl along with the accompanying pile of crispy fries.
For my main, I chose a quintessential Provencal dish, the bouillabaisse or fish stew, which came with a ton of lovely goodies including black cod, clams, mussels, prawns, bay scallops, fingerling potatoes, plus some crusty bread with rouille (basically, mayo flavored with garlic, cayenne, saffron, olive and pepper). Which reminds me, I've got a slammin' recipe for bouillabaisse that I need to dust off and bring back into my repertoire ...
Meanwhile, JP went for the braised beef short rib sitting atop mashed potato and a red wine demi-glace, accompanied by a bit of veg and a tangle of watercress. Not enough vegetables, was JP's complaint, though the moules frites app had filled him up so much, he left his plate unfinished.
No matter. We took the tender short rib home and made a hearty meat sauce to go with our pasta the next day. Yay for good leftovers.