Intimate French restaurant in Kansas
Le Fou Frog was reported to me as one of the better options to try in Kansas when I was visiting on business. It is an intimate French-styled restaurant with pleasant service and a cosy interior with paper table covers and wooden furniture giving it a Parisian bistro feel. The three course menu that I had at dinner with glass of wine came to $111 which, for what was had was actually a poor equation. Had the food been an inherently better standard I would have been ok with this, but sadly it was not and therefore it was essentially an anti-clmax. Details of the meal are at the expansion button as usual, but if you in the city of Kansas and feeling nostalgic to France, it is there if needed.
A small snack of chicken liver foie gras mousseline with pork was given whilst waiting to order. It was hard to trace the foie gras and the bite was more akin to a mousseline pâté overall but was pleasant none the less and the tiny slice of pickle on top gave the lift from fat that went well.
Baguette bread was warm and pleasant but the butter was straight from an icebox and virtually a breeze block in hardness which is one of my pet hates. It is such a simple thing to get right by taking butter out of the fridge earlier and is disastrous when not done. However, it was a nice touch for the napkin to keep the bread warm (believe it or not, many Michelin starred restaurants do not do this simple touch.
Lobster bisque came as a huge portion and was customarily creamy but lacked the pure lobster flavour that I have enjoyed at say Wiltons where the stock is significantly better. This was course in comparison and actually a disappointment.
On the wines front, there was only one burgundy, one Patrimonio and two Bordeaux’s for red by the glass which, for the type of establishment is not a not huge selection but then again, it may be intentional rather than lack of resources. Either way, it made the hype more evident.
The wagyu (from Kansas) was the bit I was most looking forward to and I would like to write something good about it, but it was actually completely bland. To the dish’s credit, it was livened up by the foie gras, bread and vinaigrette rocket salad. Dauphinoise potato balls proved to be pleasant but didn’t need to be such a big portions and sadly the beef and foie gras were both slightly undercooked with the truffle not having a real trace of the distinctive truffle flavour. Actually the bit that I was worried about (the layers of bread in between the slabs of meat) turned out to be brioche with beef juices and was actually one of the better parts of the dish.
Desserts brought me back to the reality of being in a Parisian back street bistro with some simple options. As with French classic cooking the options were heavy on the dairy and so I opted for the classic crème brulee. This was nice, but the caramel was slightly too hard and bitter with inconsistent temperatures. The sugar top was solid rock and very hot with the underneath stone-cold meaning it was most probably taken straight from the fridge and too much sugar placed on top to be torched. However, the egg base was creamy and pleasant and portion size was not as terrifying as I thought it might be.
Through the lens of top dining this is not in the same league, even if the points noted were enhanced. However, through the lens of having nothing but a conveyer belt of ribs, sugar and fat in the surrounding options of Kansas, this was a nice break from the norm as a little bit of Paris in Kansas. Perhaps this is the main reason for its niche seemingly doing well and being so popular. I’m afraid this one’s probably best kept for the locals.
Food Grade: 58%
Location (Click google logo for directions)