Café Sebastienne has been a perennial favorite since its debut in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 1995. In the original and smaller dining room, colorful oils by Artist Fredrick James Brown cover the walls. Diners can also choose to sit in the enclosed courtyard, with its vast ceilings, bright sunshine and decidedly louder decibel level.
Though I am always drawn to the tomato tart that highlights the summer menu, on a recent visit I decided to try the asparagus salad that my friend always orders. We were there to celebrate her birthday, so we complemented our salads with a glass of wine, a gesture that for me feels decadent and delicious, as I usually only imbibe after five. I enjoyed the NEXT Reisling, which is from the King Estate folks in Oregon, though the grapes are sourced from Washington. It was fruity without being the slightest bit sweet.
Now to the highlight of the meal (other than the wonderful conversation with the birthday girl, of course). The asparagus salad was a winner. Asparagus are grilled and served with baby coins of roasted fingerling potatoes and a poached egg. A warm truffle vinaigrette turns a nice dish into a sensational one. The menu offers it with applewood-smoked bacon, but we opted for the vegetarian version. Runny eggs are a big thing these days, on all sorts of dishes. I’m not a morning egg person–I could go through the rest of my life without another omelette or fried eggs and toast. But this new trend hits the right notes, with the yolk oozing out and mixing with other flavors on the plate.
It’s hard to go wrong with anything on Cafe Sebastienne’s menu. Other long-loved dishes include moist fish tacos with spicy black beans and avocado sauce, ever-changing soups and salads, fist-sized crab cakes and an awesome Reuben sandwich.