Still French After All These Years

by Cathy Adams

     Roland Jeannier started working in kitchens almost 50 years ago in France as an apprentice. "Oh my god, an apprentice has to learn everything. They don't make you a cook just like that - they make you work hard." And all these years later Chef Jeannier is still working hard.

     Roland Jeannier opened his own restaurant, Jeannier's, tucked away in the Broadview Apartments on University Parkway 14 years ago, after leaving the Country Fare Inn restaurant group. The food? French, of course.

     Jeannier's a la carte menu, while not extensive, features many of the classic dishes associated with French cuisine. Quenelles de Brochet Nantua is one of Jeannier's signature dishes. Quenelles are a poached mousse made with pike and served with a rich shrimp and lobster sauce. Jeannier says it's probably not his best selling entree, but it is a show-off dish, because it can be tricky to make. If not made properly it can be as heavy as a lead sinker or so light it disintegrates. But inconsistency is not a problem at Jeannier's. "That's why we're still in business, people come in with confidence that they'll be pleased."

     Escargots de l'Abbaye (snails in garlic cream sauce), Terrine de Canard (housemade duck pate), Escallop du Veau Citronelle (veal medallions with a lemony demi-glace) and Tournedos Bearnaise (grilled fillet with a tarragon and shallot infused Hollandaise sauce) are among some of the other classical French dishes on the menu.

     Jeannier's supplements the regular menu with daily seasonal specials. Recent specials included a Maryland-influenced Shad Roe Norfolk (garnished with jumbo lump crab, Smithfield ham and a sherry cream sauce), Potage Cressonierre (watercress soup), Oysters on the half-shell, Rack of Lamb Jardiniere and Rockfish with Curry-Chutney Butter.

     One of the many changes Jeannier has seen during his long career is that dining out is no longer only for special occasions and customers are also interested in lighter eating, so Jeannier's also offers a Cafe menu, with salads, omelets, sandwiches and entrees.

     Not all of the changes that Chef Jeannier has seen in the restaurant business have been in the front of the house. Kitchens and the staff have also modernized. Cooks are required to be more flexible in their skills, since few restaurants can afford to have an extensive French style brigade of sous-chefs, sauciers, garde-mangers, poissioniers and legumiers. And more people are entering the field straight from cooking schools. But Michael (Mickey) Graham, the chef de cuisine, has worked for French chefs for most of his career. He said actually training and working with chefs "was school enough; the best school."

Jeannier's Spinach Fettucini with Smoked Salmon, Scallions and Goat Cheese

    This is a quick and easy dish to serve, since all the ingredients can be put together while the water for the pasta is boiling.

To Serve 2



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta when boiling. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan, add olive oil, garlic and scallions. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add smoked salmon, fresh basil and white wine and continue cooking over low heat.
  3. When pasta is cooked, drain and briefly rinse with cold water (to keep it from further cooking). Toss in the saute pan with the above ingredients and serve on warmed plates.
  4. Garnish with rounds of goat cheese and serve.

Jeannier's at Broadview
105 West 39th Street
Baltimore, MD
(410) 889-3303
Appetizers and Salads: $4.50-9.25
Entrees: $17.95-26.95
(Jeannier's also offers a four course dinner with a choice of two entrees for $28.95-29.95)
Cafe menu: $7.25-11.75

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