The Left Bank is tucked away within the Sofitel complex but accessed externally near the Duke St stairs. Once you find it, walking inside is a bit of a revelation, with its rustic wooden and cast iron fittings, brightly coloured posters and seats. The maitre-d speaks with a thick French accent and the overriding atmosphere is delightful and like being transported into another world - a piece of France even.
The only negative was the lack of people. When we arrived shortly after 12 for lunch we were the only ones there for some time.
Classic Caesar salad ($23), though with no mention of anchovies it was never going to feature on my radar.
Instead I went for the creamy seafood chowder ($28). It was described as arriving with French baguette, lemon confit and herb butter. The menu didn’t mention the prawns, chunk of fish, layers of shell fish and the cream... it was truly magnificent.
The accompanying baguette was so fresh as to be bordering on divine. My only complaint would be that a finger bowl would have been useful.
Niki ordered the grilled chicken burger with brioche, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado puree and chipotle ($20) and requested a side of bacon. She had a choice of mixed greens and French fries as a side and chose the fries - which were a thicker, kiwi version. She also could have used a finger bowl!