In "TravelValue: Restaurants Across The U.S." ... CombatCritic reviews your favorite U.S. restaurants ... NO MREs HERE FOLKS!
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With two medium size rooms and drop ceilings in the corner of a strip mall in Western Omaha, Le Voltaire does not exactly ooze sophistication. What it lacks in charm is compensated for by the friendly service, quality food, and fair prices. Our server never told us her name, but she was very nice and attentive considering it was a Friday night and the place was fully-booked, always a good sign.
It took our server 10-15 minutes to tell me she could not find our first choice of wine, a French Syrah, so I had to make another choice. With bottles of wine starting at $26, I found an excellent value in the Château Sainte Eulalie, Plaisir d'Eulalie, Minervois 2014 at just $27. It was a deep, medium-bodied red (40% Carignan, 35% Syrah, 25% Grenache) with hints of dark berries and spices that complimented my beef main course very nicely.
For our appetizers we had the Brie Josette ($8.95), baked brie served on toast with an apricot-cranberry chutney, and the gratin aux fruits de mer (seafood gratin - $10.95), bay scallops, shrimp and mussels in a béchamel sauce covered with cheese and broiled. The baked brie and chutney came on six small slices of their toasted baguette and while not the greatest appetizer I have ever had, it was an interesting and tasty balance between sweet and savory. My seafood gratin was a tad on the small side, but creamy and delicious with small chunks of seafood that balanced well with the more savory baked cheese topping.
Our main courses consisted of moules frites façon Jacques Brel ($17.95), 20 ounces of fresh mussels in a Lucky Bucket beer and bacon broth served with French fries, and boeuf Bourguignon ($18.95), a beef stew simmered in red (Burgundy, hence the name) wine, with carrots, mushrooms and onions accompanied by whipped potatoes. The mussels were plentiful and yummy, balanced well by the big chunks of bacon in a beer broth. My beef stew was a bit light on beef, but what was there was tender and delicious. The burgundy-based sauce was very well done and the whipped potatoes creamy just like they should be.
The only things that detracted from the experience (and my rating) were small details, but important ones. First, in a restaurant where you drop $100+ for a meal for two, there should be tablecloths. There were none. Second, when I made our reservation (for my wife's birthday) through OpenTable, I specifically requested a "special dessert", but her special day was never even acknowledged. We left without a formal celebration or a sweet ending to our meal.
The atmosphere adequate, the service friendly and efficient, the food tasty, and the prices fair, Le Voltaire is an excellent choice if you are craving French cuisine and an exceptional value and a pleasant surprise in the Midwest where quality, gourmet cuisine is a rarity.
CombatCritic Gives LeVoltaire 7 out of 10 Bombs ... More Bombs Are Better!