Josephine Baker was an American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. Josephine Baker passed away April 12, 1975 in Paris, France. Years later, as a tribute to his late mother, Jean-Claude Baker opened Chez Josephine in 1986.
As you enter Chez Josephine, you are immediately transformed into a romantic Parisian setting. The décor reminds you of the bohemian era in Paris. There are reminiscing images of the Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker, on the walls throughout the venue. The seating is quite intimate with chandeliers, candlelight and a live pianist. If you love French Jazz, then you are going to love Chez Josephine.
As one can imagine, I was quite seduced by the ambiance, but the food carried my soul away. I can be a bit of a picky eater. Though I am French, I have avoided eating many of our delicacies; Primarily escargot and caviar. The staff were amazingly patient with me as I reviewed the menu. I eventually decided that I was going to be adventurous and take the plunge.
The appetizers were caviar covered tuna tartar, garlic smothered escargot and jumbo shrimp. I'd eaten shrimp many times before, but the others...never. The texture was something unique for me. The Caviar had a salted flavor, but the Escargot carried the texture of a softly cooked squid. I was pleasantly surprised, though I think it is still quite an acquired taste; one I do not possess.
For the main course I tried their salmon and lamb shank. Both were cooked to perfection. Nice and juicy, yet tender while everlasting flavors danced across my tongue. The lamb was the perfect companion for the wine of my evening, A 2010 Château Brillette of the Bordeaux region of France.
As for dessert, I skipped the creme Brulee and settled for a mango sorbet because… mango.
I could have stayed there forever and I almost did, being the last person to leave. I had an amazing time and it helped a bit of my home-sick-blues. Over all, my time at Chez Josephine was a great experience that I'd be willing to repeat.
Tl;dr : Appetizers: Plate 1: Tuna Tartare Ginger, Sesame Oil, Avocado Salad with Caviar and creme
Plate 2: Garlic and basil-herb smothered escargot.
Plate 3: Jumbo Shrimp Slivered Lemon, Horseradish Cocktail Sauce
Plate 1: Grilled Atlantic salmon on a bed of Wilted Baby Kale, Tomato Coulis
Plate 2: Lamb Shank on a bed of risotto and asparagus.
mango and passion fruit sorbet.
2010 Château Brillette