Four Things to Eat: La Folie French Fare at O’Donnell Square

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Change can be rough. Especially when it’s in our own neighborhood, on O’Donnell Square, at a restaurant we used to count on for great happy hours. But sometimes, just sometimes, if you look at change as a positive thing (beyond what unnamed neighborhood Facebook groups tend to conjure up) you might just find a little French gem in your backyard.

Stroll in to the place formerly known as Tavern on the Square, now La Folie (“the madness” in French), and you’ll leave anything but mad, full of French Bistro fare with an American twist. The new restaurant opens to the public this Wednesday, June 29. While it’s not exactly like taking a seat at a bistro table in Paris, La Folie’s vibrant and approachable (in price and flavor) concept left us hungry for more (and taking doggy bags home).

Because we know it is hard to invite in change, we thought we’d whet your appetites with a play on our typical introduction to new classes and businesses; here are four things to eat (likely devour) at the new La Folie:

  1. Mussels Provencal


Mussels are everywhere in Canton and Baltimore — and we’re not talking about the kind bros who forgot their shirts sport to local bars. It’s hard to steam a mussel concoction with enough tang to the broth to impress mussel lovers. La Folie, with its take on Mussels Provencal — which includes delicate lamb sausage — has somehow done it. These Prince Edward Island mussels are perfectly perfumed with onions, fennel, capers, tomatoes, and lemon in addition to the glorious sausage. Grab a half pot for $12 or a full pot (definitely to share) for $18.

2. Frites… with a burger

Steak frites is a favorite bistro fare past-time of the French, and frankly anyone who has enjoyed crunchy, salty, shoestring-style fries with a hunk of well-cut beef. La Folie took note and delivered on the fries, but chose to also serve this meal in a way that is typically devoured by a Canton crowd: a premium burger, stacked with one patty, or two. La Folie tells us they chose to cook 4 ounce patties and stack them on each other if needed because smaller patties are better for locking in the juices from their prime beef and turkey mix. We couldn’t agree more on the juiciness factor. The petite (one patty for $8) and grande folie (two patties for $12) are topped with caramelized onions, and cheese.

3. Meyer lemon crusted salmon

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Salmon is also a cliche menu item when you make the Canton menu rounds. But with this salmon, typical looks can be deceiving. La Folie found a magical way to make a perfectly glistening, sweet and tart crust to top this “salmon frites” meal. You can choose from steak, portobello, chicken and salmon frites served with  salade maison and velvety summer squash soup. The salmon frites sparkles with its Meyer lemon butter overlay and perfectly medium rare temperature. For $24 (includes soup and salad) it makes for a light, but filling meal.

4. French macarons

IMG_2028It wouldn’t be French-inspired unless it had French macarons on demand: those perfect, almondy wafers smushed like a hamburger around buttercream. Imagine our relief when we were served two to top off our meal. Our eyes widened when we were told we could order a plate of six to finish the meal and share with friends. Delectable and fancy while also approachable, the French macaron was the perfect prediction of what is to come of La Folie.

Not seeing something you like on this list? Check out their complete menus below.

Brunch:

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And dinner:IMG_2005See you Wednesday?

2 Comment

  1. GaryC says:

    I brought my best friend here for her birthday on a Wednesday night. I love the design of the restaurant and the atmosphere. Very open and Frenchy. (Ha) We were greeted by the host, a male dressed in shorts and a polo shirt. First glance I thought he was a guest of the restaurant. He was very polite as he guided us to our table. Our waitress, Lisa, greeted us by saying “Hello” and asked if we had dine here before. My guest and I said “no”. We thought she was going to tell us about the restaurant and the meals offered. No. Lisa took our alcoholic drink order and returned to tell me that my drink of choice was not in stock. I made a second choice and Lisa returned with our drinks, promptly. Lisa never introduced herself to us. She took our meal orders and placed them with the cooks. Lisa went on to wait other diners at their tables. We going down hill. There was no water glasses on our table but we noticed there were water glasses on other tables. Lisa greeted the diners next to us and gave her name and offered water right away. This was something she did not do with my friend and I. I learned her name because she stated it to the guest next to us. Lisa realized at this moment, my friend and I did get water offered to us. Lisa immediately asked us if we wanted water after I had finished my drink of choice and had eaten half way through my meal. Lisa brought a café of water and two glasses. She blamed the missing water glasses on other wait staff members whom she shared with us that she lit into him. We know she didn’t because the busboys failed to provided two other newly cleaned tables with water glasses. Lisa did not inquire if we were enjoying our meal or if she could bring us anything else. I had to ask one of the wait staff for ketchup for my fries. I think she felt guilty for the POOR manner in which she served us, she told us the salad was on the house. REALLY!. When we inquire about her apology, she shared she was making up for the lack of water on the table. I think a good wait staff would have realized items missing from the table. I felt she treated us differently from other diners almost to the point of patronizing us. I would never go back to this restaurant because I would not want to encounter Lisa again. She should learn to treat ALL diners as though they were guests in her home. However, despite Lisa’s differential treatment of my friend and I, we enjoyed the food. Too bad I won’t be tasting it again thanks to Lisa. I have shared my experience with my friends as we all love to dine out. They will not be dining here either.

    1. stephgro says:

      Hi Gary-

      I am really sorry to hear that. Have you emailed the manager? I’m sure he’d want to hear your feedback. I can’t find their email on the website, but I would try messaging their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/bistrolafolie/?fref=ts

      Thanks,
      Steph

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