Classic French cuisine finds a home in the heart of PlymouthBy Jacquelyn Mysliwiec
From its short but sweet (and savory) menu filled with classic French-inspired cuisine to the tiny shavings of chocolate that garnish a pot de crème dessert, chef Andrew Cole is all about delivering simple, elegant and refined touches at his new restaurant, Court Street Bistro, in downtown Plymouth.
After investing in one of Plymouth’s 1800s-era buildings last December, Cole spent several months renovating the space, transforming it to suit the charm of the historic building. Once home to the upscale Spanish-influenced restaurant Sabor, the cozy hole-in-the-wall establishment now looks and feels reminiscent of a bistro you might stumble upon in France. Seven small tables are dressed with fine linen and fresh flowers, while refinished antique wooden floors add a rustic charm. More flowers and climbing vines fill window boxes at the front window.
Most eye-catching, though, is the variety of vibrant dishes placed in front of diners. Roasted red and gold beets rest on greens that are mixed with fresh Chèvre cheese and topped with house-made spicy pickled onions. The chef’s favorite dish, steak frites, features an individually cooked-to-perfection (using a sous-vide machine) piece of flank steak topped with a classic au poivre sauce and served with hand-cut French fries.
When I think “bistro,” I think steak frites,” says Cole, whose twist on the dish was inspired by a classic steak au poivre that he enjoyed making while in culinary school in Vancouver, Canada. After graduating, Cole worked as a banquet chef in Attleboro at a large catering company for five years before deciding it was time to start his own venture.
The house is full with just 26 diners, but the intimacy of the restaurant is something Cole is excited about. In contrast to his role as a catering chef, where he made sure hundreds of meals were well executed and ready to serve all at once, he now has the opportunity to slow down and make each dish exquisite, while offering a quiet and relaxed dining atmosphere away from the Court Street foot traffic.
House-made gnocchi, Shiitake mushroom and asparagus risotto, buttermilk-fried chicken and jalapeño waffles served with crushed red pepper simple syrup are a few of the flavorful creations guests can expect to see on the menu. A crowd favorite is the Moroccan spiced lamb chop that is served with seasoned lentils and roasted cauliflower. This dish was inspired by a traditional Moroccan stew, but Cole decided to deconstruct the dish and give it a French flair. Whether the diner knows it or not, from technique to flavor profile, each dish has a classic French influence. This summer, folks can look forward to an upscale Sunday brunch with freshly made pastries and weekly specials.
Since his soft opening in mid-May, followed by a grand opening in July, Cole has tweaked the menu multiple times to create the perfect balance of offerings to suit many palates. As he continues to make mindful adjustments, like offering a small sweet bite for dessert (most of the time this is all you have room for) at an affordable price (priciest dessert is $6), local diners are in for a real treat through all four seasons.