March 29, 2011

A Little Taste of France

A picture of Chef Phillippe Ducrot and Linda.

A banner that Cher Durcrot with a bottom text that says delight your palette...Nourish your Soul!

When Chef Philippe Ducrot stopped by Clarke, he was preparing for a cooking demonstration at RoomScapes Design Center in Rockland, MA. RoomScapes is home to Kitchen Concepts, a long-time friend of Clarke and a South Shore resource for great design and Clarke appliances. We had a great tour and answered his questions about cooking on Wolf. At the close of our time together, he handed me his wife’s business card. It read, “Linda Ducrot, Director of Ambiance.”

What a great card, I thought. I’d love to have that title! He went on to say his wife handles everything at their business including Bistro Ducrot, which is located in their home in Plymouth. It sounded wonderful and my husband and I decided to reserve a dinner for four at Bistro Ducrot as a Christmas gift for our good friends. With schedules what they are, it took us until last week to actually “give the gift.”

What a delightful evening! It was everything I imagined and more. You literally have dinner in Philippe and Linda’s home on a residential side street in Plymouth, MA. You’d hardly know they are there except for a little tiny sign. They only have a permit from the town to serve dinner on Friday and Saturday nights by reservation. We entered their home and found 12 other people at tables in the small rooms. We were seated at a table for four in what was probably a parlor at one time. The home is simple, warm and inviting. You get the feeling you are in a real French country home.

Linda greeted us with “Welcome to our Home. Let me tell you about our menu this evening.” She went on to say that Phillipe would prepare our meal to order. He shops in the morning for the ingredients. She asked if anyone had any allergies or food preferences. Our friend was not fond of beef, so Phillipe created his meal with duck instead. She invited us to wander around and explore the house and told us to stop by the kitchen to visit with Philippe. She passed through to put wood on the fire and stopped to tell us about the French figurines that were on the mantle piece. The whole experience was enchanting. Linda explained that many people who discover their Bistro end up being personal friends, because they do take entertaining in their home very personally and love meeting the people who come. She said that “dining is all about breaking bread with friends” and they consider their guests to be their friends.

A picture of Chef Phillippe Ducrot and Linda.For dinner, we were treated to an appetizer of prosciutto wrapped asparagus, a salad with crab cake, filet with a phenomenal sauce and a creme brulee like none I have ever tasted. The food was absolutely wonderful. We selected wine off a wonderful wine list. During the evening, when he wasn’t cooking, Philippe came out and sat with guests to talk at their tables. He and Linda shared that they host small groups of eight adults on trips to France during the year. They offer them insider information about what to wear to be comfortable and take them to small out-of-the-way places in France to eat and enjoy. They also host New Year’s Eve at Bistro Ducrot and recommend a Bed & Breakfast down the street where guests can walk back to their room after ringing in the New Year with the Ducrots. I can only imagine New Year’s Eve with this lovely people…the warmest experience you’d ever want to have.

During our time chatting over dinner, we were talking with our friends about PB Boulangerie in Wellfleet, where the pastries are incredible. During a recent trip down Route 6, we stopped by the bakery and the smells were permeating the parking lot at 7:30 am. Heaven even in the off season! As we talked, Philippe actually ran out of the kitchen and excitedly told us that the bakery was owned by friends of theirs. It was this kind of interchange that made this evening so special.

Everyone I’ve told about this asks me, “But how much did it cost?” The entire meal was $65 per person plus tax, service charge and beverages. It was worth all that and more. I highly recommend Bistro Ducrot, which you can find on their website: While you might find an empty table sooner, it’s best to plan your evening in this Plymouth Bistro a few months in advance. Once you go, you’ll understand how special it is. It’s not every day you can travel to France by just going to the South Shore of Boston!