Nestled deep in a residential area of The Mission, a new French-Tunisian bistro recently opened in early September. Going by the name of Bistro L’Aviateur (French for The Aviator Bistro), the restaurant is a family endeavor with Maha Laforge and her son manning the kitchen and husband Vincent Laforge overseeing the initial buildout and now managing many aspects of the business. We recently headed over to the Laforge’s restaurant to checkout their French inspired menu. Below is a summary of our experience.
Exterior And Interior
Dashing from kitchen to the tables and cash register, Vincent seemed slightly overwhelmed serving a full house of patrons. A lack of rhythm is understandable with a restaurant opened only six weeks ago and we did see delays getting our drink and check. But overall, other areas of service were prompt including initial seating and serving of dishes.
Leek And Fennel Soup – 8
Lamb Tajine – 19
Rougaille Creole Stew – 17
Lebanese Flan – 4 / Mango Lassi -4.5
Bistro L’Aviateur doesn’t have the expensive decor, big name chefs, or owners with Michelin star pasts. What it does have, that those restaurants sometimes lack, is a warm environment serving hearty meals at reasonable prices. The foods we were served represented a home cooked philosophy that skips the pretense and focuses on freshness, ingredient quality, and passion. Using Creole (representing people of French Carribbean and Lousiana) in the name of an entree, Chef Maha doesn’t seem to be bound by French Tunisian meals as the food represented more of a French diaspora cuisine. There were flaws, however, such as the slow service and a sour mango dessert, but these issues were considered minor relative to our overall dining experience. We’ll check out the place a couple more times to see whether they are consistent but based on our first experience the restaurant shows promise.