A friend wondered whether it would be okay for her to go for an impromptu visit at Liberte in Lafayette after her workout session and wearing her sportsgear. She heard it was a fine cuisine type of restaurant and the chic French ambiance supported this piece of information. Nonetheless, it is still located in a department store, and when we entered the premises in our sweatbands and yoga pants, the bistro tucked in the back of the second floor was filled with post-shopping women and SCBD executives in chic casual attire. We blended in pretty well after adding on a dash of lipgloss and a cardigan.
It goes without saying that if you are craving for delectable noodles, you are in a wrong place. The chef kept the menu characteristically French and simple. No more than 3 types of salads and a handful signature main courses and desserts. The regulars started pouring in and some of them ordered the signature vitamin waters that, at first, looked like leftover water in fancy vases but turns out to be mineral waters with berry or lemon infusions.
We left the fancy vases for what they are and went for a lunch with an entrée and a main course. I opted for an extra boost of protein with Liberte’s grilled chicken salad and I did not expect it to be such a light and pleasant starter. To my pleasant surprise, the leaves and greens with the dressing and pieces of grilled chicken breast were sorted and arranged in such a way that you did not feel like a rabbit munching on a bowl overflowing with the morning harvest from the garden. The portion was chic and small from the outside, yet rich and packed once we finished that outer layer.
My friend chose the house special Escargot Vol au Vent, also a very successful dish, with delicately crusty pastry and creamy escargot enveloped in that pastry. The portion is small but just right for the tastebuds and stomach to welcome the mains.
The chicken roulade came not much later after the entrée and we ordered a side of couscous. Roulades always remind me of Christmas dinners because it is normally big and heavy in taste. The roulade at Liberte however is light and sophisticated in taste, yet familiar enough to call it rustic or homey. Another classic is the steak frites. The slices of tender beef came in a modest amount and with generous flavor. For the really hungry meat eaters there is the pan seared lamb chops and roast chicken. We also noticed the indisputable foie gras pan seared style, but we decided to save that order for another session.
We chose half-baked cheese cake for dessert, purely because we are curious about how half-baked tastes like. A small piece of standard looking, Harvest-like cake appeared and there is no really no big deal about the half-baked element. It could have been a spongy cheese cake from the Harvest at a much lower price (the current price tag is 60K for that tiny slice) and we would not know the difference. The presentation was also very minimal, as in a slice + a plate et c’est tout.
Liberte is a cozy and semi-chic place for French comfort cuisine. If you love simplicity and details of classic French dishes, from the entrees to les plats principaux, you will enjoy your courses at Liberte. It is not a place for binging but perfect for long sessions of Burgundy style eating.
Details we like
- Comfortable for quick coffee & croissant breakfast meetings and suitable for after office aperitifs.
- Subtle background music at a modest volume
Details we don’t like
- It is open at 10AM. A bit late for breakfasts.
- The airconditioning can get a little drafty. Bring a cardigan or pashmina.