We were fortunate to be invited to a media dinner for the new La Ferme restaurant in Yamato Village Center. It’s a reopening of the former Bistro Gastronomie in the same plaza as Doris Market. Bistro Gastronomie struggled but the new owners (pictured above) are optimistic they can make the concept work. The Shapiros have extensive experience running restaurants. They’ve learned from their successes and more from the few that didn’t go well.
The new chef, John Belleme (pronounced like Bellamy), put together an excellent meal for all of us. He came out and explained the finer points of the meal in far more depth than this author is capable of understanding, to the delight of the more experienced food writers. Their press release described the cuisine as Meditteranean but we’d call it French.
We started with a series of appetizers. First up was the “gougeres”, bread puffs filled with gruyere cheese. The bread was light and airy and the cheese was soft inside – nearly liquid – even after they had cooled off a bit.
Served at the same time was steak tartare, which was my favorite item of the night. The meat blended with dijon, capers and other ingredients for a hint of spice and smooth feel in the mouth.
Oysters are not something I would typically order, but I did like these.
They came out along with “Clams 2 Ways.” One of the ways included bacon, which was excellent.
During the meal Mr. Shapiro introduced Kahl Wilfert, who coordinated the artwork inside the restaurant.
There is a variety of art, though Kahl mentioned something being a precursor to the pop art movement.
Next came two different salads. One was a beet salad. That’s something I usually like and this was no exception:
There was also a “farm salad.” This was the one item that really didn’t click for me. There was something bitter in it that overpowered the rest of the ingredients, though others at the table did like it.
We were then served two kinds of mussels. The Thai version was my favorite of the two.
I had the chance to try three of the four entrees that were served. A guest of mine showed up late and had the salmon. We both thought it was very good.
I had the scallops with risotto. Of the entrees this was my favorite. My guest particularly liked the risotto.
I also had a chance to try the porchetta, made from pork belly.
The meal closed with two desserts, an apple turnover that was spectacular, and a chocolate torte that would definitely appeal to chocoholics.
We have not seen a menu yet but expect La Ferme to be pricey. The Shapiros tell us it will not be as expensive as Bistro Gastronomie was. We hope to get there again in the next month or so for a regular meal.
Yamato Village Center is on the north side of Yamato halfway between 441 and Lyons at Lakeridge.
The website, LaFerme.kitchen, is still under construction.