Café C, Frech Comfort Food in El Dorado Hills
Pan-seared Mahi Mahi over Green Gazpacho - Photography by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group
French cuisine is celebrated worldwide, but it can often be a little intimidating with its hard-to-pronounce dishes, unusual meats, overwhelming wine lists and “delicacies” like snails. If you’ve ever felt anxious about trying la cuisine française, you’re not alone. Luckily, Café C in El Dorado Hills offers fare that’s approachable and will delight both the discerning connoisseur and the French food neophyte.
The café is tucked back in a cozy corner beneath the behemoth movie theater at the end of Vine Street in Town Center. Stepping inside is akin to stepping inside a quaint café in southern France, except that Café C includes a full bar as well as a separate private dining space. The ambiance is exceptional, and the front patio is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy their awesome Monday and Tuesday night $5 wine specials.
During my last visit, I started with an endive salad that was drizzled with vinaigrette and sprinkled with walnuts. The buttery walnuts balanced well with the tang of the vinaigrette and mild bitterness of the endive, resulting in a healthy and tasty starter. I was tempted to try the escargot, but decided to save it for next time.
One of the chef’s specials that night was impossible to pass up—grilled yellowtail with a tomato-vegetable white wine reduction. The filet was plentiful and grilled to perfection, with just a slight crisp on the outer edges and flaky, moist interior. The briny flavor harmonized well with the colorful and full-flavored sauce, while roasted red potatoes rounded out the dish.
I’d be remiss to not mention my delight in trying the heartwarming petit cassoulet, a white bean stew that featured chunks of succulent pork and Andouille sausage. The meat must have been stewed lovingly because it was incredibly tender and flavorful—French comfort food at its finest.
A decadent dish of vanilla custard and caramel sauce was out-of-this-world creamy, velvety and rich—the ideal, and obvious, way to conclude such a skillfully prepared meal.
—Jeremy B. Neely
Editor’s Note: The aforementioned yellowtail was not available on the date of photo shoot.
Café C, 2085 Vine Street, Suite 101, El Dorado Hills, 916-934-0734.