La Foule – who would have guessed???

Camouflaged by an ugly carpark on the opposite side of the street,  french restaurant La Foule (translation:  the crowd)  is a hidden gem.  Located at de Haasstraat 14, 2011 DW Haarlem, this french bistro style restaurant offers both terrace and inside sitting options. If catching some sunlight is not your top priority, sit inside, immerse yourself in the charm and music indicative of this delightful restaurant.    We visited La Foule as a party of four on 17 May 2014 enjoying an IENS restaurant week deal – or a  3-course meal for €30 per person.  All items on the menu were available without restrictions or supplementary payments for coupon holders.

ENVIRONMENT

Disregarding the unfortunate view of the car park, the interior of the restaurant is decorated with large old mirrors, old posters, dark wood and lead light glass.  The effect is Parisian art deco. Tables are adequate spaced so that noise is not a problem.  Table decorations are simple, yet elegant.  Lighting is conducive to the setting, but bright enough to examine the food being served.

FOOD

Entrées:

Pate de fois with toasted brioche – house made and delicious.

Bouillabaisse- great taste and plenty of seafood.

Coquille St Jacques au gratin:  the definite winner!  Beautifully presented and perfectly cooked.

Mains:

Gigot d’agneau:  roasted succulent lamb.

Homard rotie avec sauce béarnaise:  half a lobster served with baby potatoes, spinach and béarnaise sauce.  Always difficult to eat, and this half was a little too small to make the effort worthwhile.

Desserts:

Crème Brulee:  perhaps the best cream brulee ever, and this is a longtime favourite!

Crepe Suzette:  classic style, smooth blend of flavors, great presentation

Plateau de Fromage:  some new and classic choices.  Good portions and matching accompaniments.

Wine:

Les Palisses Blanc – the house white.  22.75euro per liter carafe.

Service:  Professional, polite, knowledgeable and warm.

Overall:  Fantastic dining experience.  Delicious food, beautifully presented by skilled staff in an delightful environment (inside at least!) Main meals average around €18.  Excellent value, even without a coupon.  La Foule is open for lunch thurs-sat, and dinner wed-sun.

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