Page 19 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 19

  Chicken Cordon Bleu is a specialty of the house at Maurice Restaurant. Boneless chicken breast is stuffed with ham, and topped with a rich sauce of blended cheeses and seasonings. Blue ribbon indeed!
for forty-two years. Starting as an assistant chef, then becoming Executive Chef in 1996, and finally purchasing the restaurant in 2000, he carries on its venerable traditions to this day. Even though he is increasingly adding American influences to cater to a new generation of diners, stalwarts of the original vision remain. As he pointed out to me on my recent visit, “you would need to travel fifty miles to find some of the things we have here.” He then headed back to the kitchen, and sent out a series of dishes that proved his point.
Chef Corey started me off with Maurice’s signature Escargot, each tiny snail in its own cup, smothered in garlic butter with a hint of white wine, and topped with a miniature puff pastry. The waitress explained that the best way to enjoy was to simply spear through the whole package with the tiny fork. She was right! It really was the perfect bite, exploding with flavor and texture. I can see why it has remained on the menu for half a century! Four more of those, and a glass of the house Sauvignon Blanc, and we were off to a great start. Corey followed the snails with a rich French Onion Soup, thick with onions in a tarragon and basil-infused beef and wine broth over bread,
and smothered in melted cheese. Paired with a glass of the house Cabernet, this will take the chill off the
coldest of winter days. Deeply satiated, I could have stopped there to make room for one of their house- made deserts, but as any dedicated food writer would, I continued on, eager to see what Chef had to offer.
We decided on the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu, which was juicy, tender, and generously dressed with
a deliciously complex sauce of various cheeses and seasonings. Reveling in the moment, but realizing I was reaching my upper level, I saved an ample portion for the next day’s lunch, and settled in for dessert.
By this time the house was filling up with locals and visitors, some of whom I was told have been regulars for those four decades, and others who were just discovering this unique and surprisingly affordable fine dining venue. A few casual conversations and
a look around the dining room revealed that the restaurant has become as known for its “filet cut” steaks, as it is for its French cuisine. A glance through the menu revealed multiple options for steak toppings, including a classic Béarnaise or brandy sauce, or new American options like Blackened with Bleu Cheese, or topped with shitake mushrooms, scallions and garlic butter. Maybe next time! I also couldn’t help noticing that the vibe at Maurice has shifted distinctly since my first visit there, to a more casual, relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Not a necktie in sight! 19

   17   18   19   20   21