Irinis 11, 25212333, LEMESOS (LIMASSOL)
Food: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Service: [rating:4] 4/5
Ambiance: [rating:3] 3/5
I think French is a “difficult” cuisine to get right. You need very high quality ingredients, very good chefs, and guests that can pay for it. I was quite happy to hear that a proper French restaurant arrived in Limassol, firstly because there aren’t any proper French restaurants around and secondly, because I heard Le Frenchie was good. The first chance I got Mr Proud Cypriot and I paid it a visit. I was neither impressed, nor disappointed. If I had to take a stance I would say I am somewhere in the middle.
It is situated behind the castle square on a small alley. Being in an old building around an ancient castle I thought was a positive thing for a classic and refined restaurant. The inside space was small and despite having beautiful high ceilings I thought there was something missing. I wasn’t sure if it was too classic for my taste, if the lighting was too bright or if it was too noisy but I found the place to be a bit “cold” in terms of ambiance. Mr Proud Cypriot disagreed and said its because it was French…whatever that means!
The menu was tempting with a few French and international starters and main. Foie gras, escargots in garlic butter, French oysters and French onion soup were of course, present and so was the duck leg “confit de canard”, pepper steak and a crusty rack of lamb. We tried a bit of everything.
The onion soup, a typical French dish was quite good. The bread with melted cheese covered the whole pot, and although the bread was not quite crispy it was still worth it. The artichoke hearts with mozzarella di buffalla was flavoursome with a generous piece of mozzarella and artichoke hearts, but perhaps it wasn’t as different and special as I expected. Finally the third starter we shared, the garlic calamari “bomba di castro” (-not sure what that meant), was the best one of all with a light garlic favour and very tasty calamari.As a main course, I had the rib eye steak and Mr Proud Cypriot chose the lamb cutlets. The lamb cutlets were delicious, medium cooked and very tender served with a savoury crust and very well cooked potatoes and vegetables. My rib eye was well season and flavoursome but a bit too chewey. In fact when I mentioned this to the polite waiter he probably thought I never had a rib eye before since rib eye steaks are supposed to have extra marbling (yes, we know).
The crème brûlée at the end was the classic, French dessert, exactly as it should be.
All in all I think it was good but not extraordinary. Thinking back perhaps I should have ordered escargot and the “pate de campagne” to get a better feel of the proper French dishes. There was nothing bad about the menu or the food and everything was well cooked and quite tasty but it wasn’t the type of restaurant that made me talk about it for a week.The prices of the starters were quite low with everything between 6-8€ (except the escargot, the Foie Gras and the oysters). Main courses were from 12-38€. We paid 100€ for two people with a bottle of Rioja.