In Bankers HIll, Hexagone French Cuisine now occupies the corner of Fifth and Laurel in the old Gemelli spot.  Hexagone is the newest addition to French Market Grille up in Rancho Bernardo.  The new place  features everything from salad niçoise ($13.75) and onion soup grantinée ($6.50) to traditional coq au vin ($17.50) and sea bass with corn risotto and fennel-vanilla sauce ($22.50).  I haven’t eaten at either spot yet.  And if you’re wondering (as I did) what a hexagon has to do with French cuisine, it’s the term the French use  when talking about the shape of their country.  Hexagone French Cuisine, 495 Laurel Street, Bankers Hill, 619-236-0467.  Open daily from 11am.

For fabulous and very French desserts and chocolates,  Mille Feuille is your place at the corner of University and Fifth.   Executive pastry chef Thomas Gèrard,  comes from  La Valencia in La Jolla, and being French knows his pastries.  I’ve tasted a few:  Opera (light coffee sponge cake, chocolate ganache and coffee butter cream, $6.50), apricot summer (coconut-pineapple and carrot sponge cake layered with orange-apricot cream cheese filling, $5.50) and lots more including a caramelized onion and cheese quiche ($5.50) and  macaroons almost as ethereal as those found in Pierre Hermé’s Paris shop.  For lunch there are sandwiches and from 2 pm to 4pm there’s high tea for $20.  Mille Feuille, 3896 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619-295-5232.

Barely two years old, Rannoosh the Middle Eastern restaurant next door to Mille Feuille, is closed.

5 thoughts on “Bits and Bites: Open and Closed in Hillcrest and Bankers Hill

  1. I popped my head into Hexagone the other night and asked to see the wine list. The bartender told me that it was in his head.

    What’s wrong with this picture? 1) Unprofessional–if you are open for business and have been for days can’t you as an owner or manager muster up enough gumption to hit the print icon, 2) Unimpressive–if the bartender has the wine list memorized it can’t be very extensive, 3) Unprofitable–we left.

    What’s right with this picture? In spite of being left poorly equipt for the job the bartender seemed genuinely knowlegable and enthusiastic. However, I do not want to listen to anyone recite a wine list or a menu to me, however large or small.

    I’ll try again later.

    Reply
  2. I had dessert at Mille Feuille yesterday afternoon. As I had watched the finishing touches as a passer-by I felt it seemed a bit too–I don’t know–precious for Hillcrest?!?

    What a moron I am. The place is charming with a capitol fabulous. The desserts were fun and interesting and yes–fancy. The au lait was delicious, the teas were served up in charming cups with ceramic strainers that my guests wanted to give as Christmas presents. Fresh flowers and Sambonet sugar caddies–sweet!

    And best of all, our server was a lovely girl who had a warm personality who was extremely helpful in helping us to navigate our virgin voyage. I am pretty sure she only said “like” when she was telling us that we would like something.

    Two guys who seemed like managers and/or owners also were friendly and engaging at the table. Nicely done Mille Feuille.

    One suggestion. Since no one knows how to pronounce the name how about have your staff all get on the same page and come up with a proper and unpretentious way to not let people get away with calling it Milli Vanilli.

    Reply
  3. We went to the Hexagone just after it opened. The food was fantastic and the service supberb! Roller Girl missed a good meal just because she couldn’t see the wine list.

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  4. I ate at Hexagone in Banker’s Hill recently, and it was wonderful. I do believe they need to make the entrance and lighting more appealing. They also have a good selection of French wines btg (by the glass).

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  5. In response to Linda, I wasn’t going in for dinner, I am a bar fly and I wanted a glass of wine at the bar–which is how I test drive every new spot. They did not deliver a favorable experience for me. I will not write it off as I have heard good things but restaurant owners and managers need to understand that the devil is in the detail and that a printed wine list is a basic necessity. Unless of course your choices are red, white and what tragically passes as rose. Apparently that is not the case per Robin’s comment.

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