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Le Tire Bouchon - Closed

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I was surprised that there wasn’t already a thread on this, but after our meal Friday night, there certainly deserves to be one. Le Tire Bouchon is a tiny little French restaurant located in the heart of Old Town Fairfax. Chef Tony Spagnoli (aka “chef4cook”) is turning out some really good food in an area that is lacking quality upscale dining.

When we arrived the hostess had no record of our reservation, even though we made it the day before. Fortunately, there were enough empty tables that we could be seated right away. The dining room is very cozy, and there are some very nice works of art on the walls. The menu can be eclectic, but leans heavily towards traditional French cuisine. Every menu item suffered from excessive in its use of quotation marks (“Escarcot” in Garlic Butter, Pan-Seared “Foie Gras”, “Chef Tony’s” Crabcakes), which was kind of amusing.

I started with the Tuna Tartar, which was served with capers, black olives, red onions, and lemon oil. The capers and black olives provided the right amount of salt to compliment the tuna. Paula’s salad “Le Tire Bouchon” with mixed greens, avocado, red onion, and tomato was a light, refreshing start to the meal.

My entrée was the slow-roasted “Moularde” duck breast with potato gratin, and sour cherry sauce. The duck was nicely seared on the outside, and medium-rare in the center. The cherry sauce was not overly sour, nor was it overly sweet, which was good as it did not mask the flavor of the duck. Leftover sauce was not wasted and was discreetly mopped up my remaining dinner roll. Paula enjoyed the Jumbo Lump Crabcakes, which were served with crispy fried potatoes and sugar snap peas. The crabcakes tasted of pure crab with a minimum amount of binder holding it together.

A glass of port and the Apple Tart for me, and the “Dolce della Mama” for Paula were the perfect end to the meal.

Service was terrific throughout our meal. We never felt rushed and our waiter was friendly and helpful. I only wish the by-the-glass wine selection was a little better, as there was no champagne/sparkling wine, and only 3 whites and 3 reds available. I will leave any comments about the rest of the wine list to the experts.

This is not the place to go if you want to be trendy. However, this is a terrific choice for excellent cooking in an elegant and intimate environment.

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