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:
- 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
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
It 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.