I met Chef Jean-Pierre at a wine event is Los Angeles a while back, when I knew I would be visiting Riverside I contacted him and was delighted that he remembered me and wanted me to join him for a lavish food tasting. After decades of successfully running “Le Rendez-Vous” in the city of San Bernardino, owners Jean-Piere and Isabel Serre decided to open “Le Chat-Noir” in downtown Riverside to pamper their connoisseur clients in this area of the Inland Empire. Le Chat Noir totally reminded me of my time in Paris with my Dad. Tasting all, of this lush wonderful cuisine brought me back to my days in France. There is nothing like French food and done right it is the Mother of all delectable gastronomic food. I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner and would come back here anytime to relish in this fancy cuisine again.
This whole area was really a surprise to me. I had seen many stories about The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, but never came down here to see it for myself; all I can say is wow.
Here’s What I Tried:
Les Hors D’oeuvres:
Champignons farcis aux Escargots de Roquefort, Mushrooms stuffed with escargots and a Roquefort sauce. What a creative idea, usually these little darlings are served in ceramic shells, or actual shell, but instead served inside of a plump mushroom. So much rich buttery garlic flavor, this dish delivers great traditional French flavors, a true winner.
Les Crevettes a la Moutarde, Shrimps sautéed in Dijon mustard sauce. The Dijon mustard comes through in every bite, and the shrimps are butterflied to perfection.
Soupe a L’Oignon Gratinée au Gruyère, Onion soup with melted Gruyère cheese. You get a very herbed filled flavor, more then onions, which makes for one interesting onion soup, very different from what I have ever tasted, but truly unique and delicious.
Vol au Vent au ris de Veau Xeres, Sweetbreads in a puff pastry served with a sherry sauce with Crimini mushrooms. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. I never detected a puff pastry, but the sweetbreads were succulent, tender, and utterly out of this world.
La Noisette D’Agneau du Chat Noir, Lamb loin in a lingonberry and gorgonzola sauce. My sever Arturo recommended this dish and wow was he right. The sweetness of the ligonberry, with the tangy Gorgonzola sauce is the perfect combination.
Les Tournedos de Boeuf, Blanc et Noir, Filet mignon in a white and red wine sauce. This steak is cooked to perfection and the sauce just makes it so fragrant and flavorful. My gorgeous plate came with carrot, asparagus and mash potatoes. Jean-Pierre did a mix of all of these dishes on one plate; it was truly the best combination of entrees.
La Crème Brulée D’ Alexandra, French vanilla crème brulée. This is a great brulee, with all of the bells and whistles.
Aviary Red Bland, Napa. This wine added a lot of depth to my main entrees, with the steak and the lamb, it worked perfectly.
They play French pop music, and opera. Their interiors feature red table clothes with wood floors. French style craftsman chairs, and triangular chandeliers. The overall theme includes, French motif, and Industrial metal wainscoting, with a redwood wall. Their elegant interiors and outdoor patio is just the perfect casual or romantic atmosphere for a flight to France.
The crowd included families, dates, and elders on dates. Everyone was enjoying his or her special night out. Le Char Noir opened 7 years ago on March 17th St Patty’s day. It has had much success including going through the Pandemic and staying open.
During Covid they were allowed to expand their existing patio close to the curb, but with a barrier. City officials dine here so they really wanted to help them.
My server Arturo Solis is from Mexico City, before this he was employed with The Mission Inn. Jean-Pierre’s son, Emannuel worked at The Mission with him and offered him the job. Arturo is extremely hard working; having lots of mouths to feed, with 5 kids and a wife.
My dinner was elegant and I felt very pampered, what an exquisite experience.
Open for Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday:
5.00 pm – 10.00 pm.
Le Chat Noir
3790 9th Street
Riverside, CA 92501