the mister and i don't go out to breakfast that often, maybe once a month or every other month, but when we do it is usually to cafe coda or (occasionally) morning thunder cafe when we want some diner food. we used to frequent leon bistro for breakfast and dinner, but then they stopped offering breakfast (that was a sad, sad day for us). they just recently re-opened on sunday mornings, offering brunch from 10-3, and that was a happy, happy day for us.
chef ann leon graduated at the head of her class from the california culinary academy in san francisco and then moved on to work at chez panisse in berkeley. chez panisse is the place where food lovers go to die a slow, happy death, leisurely stuffing themselves with roasted locally raised chicken rubbed with nettle and herb butter, rhubarb galette and pea and lettuce soup with house-smoked bacon.
uh, yes, please.
i think that chico is fortunate that ann leon decided to open up shop here in our little town. she is a chef that focuses on forging relationships with her farmers, uses locally and organically grown produce, and sources natural and organic meat and poultry from local farms.
but the real test, as always, is in the food, no?
we have always been pleased with the delights we order there and today was no exception. the croque madame was a special they had today and the mister could not pass that up. i was reeled in by the charleston benedict (chicken-fried chicken, caramelized ham, swiss cheese, red-eye gravy).
the fried chicken was perfectly done, juicy and crispy, and as always, the hollandaise sauce was rich and buttery with just a hint of lemon. the red eye gravy was thin, savory and bacony (hooray!) and was a lovely contrast to the thick hollandaise.
the real star of the morning was that croque madame. the croque madame was an ooh-la-la tres fancy grilled ham and gruyere sandwich served with 2 fried eggs on top and with a cheesy, rich fonduta, which the mister ordered on the side. why, oh why, he didn't want it doused over the top of that goodness, i will never know.
i had a bloody mary and the mister had a cup of coffee, the grand bill with tip was just shy of $50.oo, which may seem a bit steep for breakfast for two, but we thought it was worth every penny.
leon bistro serves up local, innovative, delicious brunch and is definitely worth a sunday visit.