La Fable Is Tres Francais and Delightfully Delicious
Ever since the restaurant Chez la Mer closed its doors a decade ago (after a grand run of 27 years!) downtown Rehoboth has been lacking for classic French cuisine. With the success of Megan Kee’s La Fable at 26 Baltimore Avenue, the long drought is deliciously over.
In its intimate space, (more about this later) adorned with sparkling European décor and ambiance, La Fable, a lovely brasserie, is a treat for all the senses. From the soft sounds of a Parisian chanteuse to the alluring aromas wafting from the kitchen, the minute you enter the busy restaurant you know you’ll be enjoying a memorable meal.
Our quartet began with Chambord and Champagne at the bar (set up as a true piano bar for keyboard king Matt Kenworthy to entertain Fridays and Saturdays), savoring the sweet taste of a quintessentially bubbly champagne.
Then, seated at our table for four under the window, we dove right in to a French feast. For appetizers we sampled the tender escargot in all it’s buttery, garlicky splendor, as well as an authentic pate fois gras mousse with crispy toast, house jam, and mustard seeds. We also sampled the daily three-cheese platter, and a delightful salad special with pears, and walnuts.
The menu offers seven entrée selections plus a couple of specials, and the fare is classic French, recalling the best of Julia Child or the five-star French eateries of the mid-20th century, with their butter and cream sauces, and recipes highlighting beef, fish, scallops, and duck.
I ordered the trout Amandine, with its pan-seared crispy skinned rainbow trout in beurre blanc, served with haricot verts (green beans) and a delightful confit of almonds—deliciously decadent. Bonnie had the Moules Frites—a heaping bowl of mussels in saffron butter, served with crispy fries. The dish rivaled the exact menu choice we made in St. Malo on the coast of France and stood up to the delicious European version perfectly.
One of our friends sampled the classic Beef Bourguignon and Canard (duck). The Bourguignon featured slow cooked beef au jus, pureed potato, mushroom, and pearl onions, served with charred asparagus, and she proclaimed the traditional hearty dish a great choice.
As for the Confit de Canard, it was a pan seared leg of duck with a delightful savory plum puree and duck liver mousse with a side of arugula greens and croutons. Also a wonderful selection.
From their wide-ranging wine list we chose a full-bodied red, Cotes du Rhone, which complimented the entrees perfectly (even the mussels, which would also be a great match with a Pinot Grigio). Wines are available by the glass or bottle, and are well priced.
After finishing our ample meals, we knew dessert would be superfluous, but our quartet shared one decadent selection with an apple tart, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce for a flavorful finish.
The service at La Fable is friendly without being intrusive. It’s professional and befitting a night out for romance, celebration, or a quiet evening with friends. As for the tab, La Fable is consistent with other high end, area gourmet restaurants, and not at all overpriced for the value and experience.
I’ve been writing about restaurants in our town for many years now, and if you know me, you’ll know I’ve written about this space at 26 Baltimore many, many times—first, in the mid to late 1990s as Dream Café, a marvelous breakfast place. From there, the years tumbled along with Dish!—a contemporary eatery, which morphed into MIXX, one of my favorite Rehoboth restaurant/bars ever. For years and years it was my go-to spot, stomping ground, safe harbor. Bonnie and I celebrated birthdays and hosted visitors there. Our wedding party held forth there in 2012. Then, in 2015 we noisily and joyously celebrated the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality there. I mourned MIXX when it closed.
But the good, no great, news is we enjoyed our special dinner at La Fable with our good friends and the former proprietors of MIXX—Ginger and Courtney.
We had a marvelous time, a fabulous meal, and all proclaimed La Fable to be a fantastic addition to downtown dining, and a worthy successor for the long happy history of 26 Baltimore Avenue.
A worthy and most welcome successor!