I visited Fenouil in the Pearl recently.
We shared several appetizers:
The lobster beignets are as delicious as they sound; little fried lobster chunks with an anise-flavored aioli for dipping.
The steak tartare, with kobe beef and a quail egg on top, was mildy flavored and pleasant. My only point of comparison is a venison tartare I had in Montreal a couple years ago, which had a texture reminiscent of raw ahi and a stronger, more capery flavor.
For the main course I had the paella, which was fantastic. Prawns, halibut, chicken, clams, mussels, and chorizo! Try it.
We shared several bottles of a good Pinot Noir from Alloro Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. 2005 I think?
In lieu of dessert I ordered a flight of Calvados, which we passed around the table. My favorite was the Boulard, but the table’s consensus favorite was one that was 20 years old. Alas, I don’t remember the name . . .
The food is excellent, but in general not on par with Higgins (my Portland gold standard) and a bit more expensive. The service was great. I would definitely go back with a party again (especially if someone else is picking up the tab!); I’d like to try the frog legs and escargot; two classic dishes I have yet to try.
The bistrot menu (pdf) is Higgins-esque, and they have a happy hour, so I intend to check it out. There was no crowd at all in the bistrot around 6pm.