Claude’s Le Café de Ville

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From deep forays into Italian cuisine, I ventured into the French arena this time. Too bad though, because I didn’t bring a camera (again!) when I had an intimate dinner with friends and guests at Claude’s Le Café de Ville last Wednesday.

Living in Davao for many, many years now, Monsieur Claude Le Neindre has given Davao one of the city’s best dining places. He has extensive experience in the hotel and restaurant industry, having been the food & beverages manager of the Pearl Farm, and the general manager of the venerable Insular Hotel, among others. Claude’s is in fact the only authentic French restaurant in Davao. They offer a true fine-dining experience, and have been around since the early 1990s.

Aside from the main dining area, Claude’s also has an al fresco (how do you say this in French?) bar, and a private room good for eight people, called the Zebra Room. That’s where I had a sumptuous dinner with colleagues in the I.T. industry and three Japanese nationals. It was an enjoyable and fulfilling encounter for me: I got to practice my Nihongo, amid good company, and nourished with good food!

The Zebra Room, which is behind Claude’s main restaurant, is perfect for a small family gathering — say, a graduation lunch or an anniversary celebration — or for a high-powered business meeting. Need to impress a client? Claude’s, with their elegant ambience and excellent cuisine, would be the logical choice.

My dinner companions had Claude’s awesome steaks, but I wasn’t really hunkering for beef then, so I had pork stew. It was prepared so that the meat was very tender and juicy, and tasted subtly of some spices that I couldn’t identify. The beans were rather dry for my taste, though. But the sauce was heavenly!

Not very French fare, you might say. But I did have crépes topped with French vanilla ice cream for dessert. And, of course, French red wine. Claude’s house red, a Cabernet-Sauvignon from the south of France, is highly recommended. Its mild flavor and aromatic bouquet will go well with most dishes, even with the restaurant’s blue marlin steak, I imagine.

One of the appetizers that I absolutely enjoy at Claude’s is their Paté de Foie Gras. Unfortunately, my guests were not overly eager about having such a rich item before dinner, so I didn’t order it this time. But do try it when you’re there. It tastes ever so perfectly with their caramelized onion jam.

Claude’s Le Café de Ville is located in the Habana Compound, on Rizal St., Davao City. It’s a petite place, so it would be advisable to call ahead and make reservations — dial 222-4287.

8 Responses

  1. jeff 16 December 2007 at 8:11 am #

    didnt know there are a lot of interesting places to eat in Davao.. hhmmm.. looks like a nice destination

  2. wagkamakulit 20 October 2008 at 1:07 am #

    Oh! hahaha…i’ve been trying to look for this page on ur site…hehehe…cge2x i’ll check dis one out and see if the place is alright. thanx a lot.happy

  3. Blogie 20 October 2008 at 1:09 am #

    @wagkamakulit — Hope you like it! Do give me feedback, ok? happy

  4. ljw 10 January 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Claude’s has incredible food. When I visit the Philippines I fly from Manila to Davao just to enjoy Claude’s excellent food. Claude’s is one of the best restaurants I have eaten at in Davao and I have eaten at a lot of them… Every time I have eaten at Claude’s I have been completely satisfied with both the service and the food. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to visit Claude’s since September 2006

  5. Tess Villanueva 2 December 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    I was curious of my husband’s family links, and voila! Claude’s Le Cafe de Ville is there. We appreciate the generous comments. And we will not be a “petite place” very soon Watch for our big move to a perfect home for Claude’s, to the Oboza Ancestral House built 1929, just across our present site. Big garden, more than enough exclusive parking spaces, trees. The house restoration (not renovation)currently on-going, with some introduction of our own interpretation of details respecting the original architectural design, aesthetics,details like woodworks, etc. No trees shall be cut, those w/c are on way, we ball them and transplant. The kalachuchi (frangipani) planted by Mrs. Inigo in 1929 still stands w/ her cattleyas on it. This house has charm, character and history. The late Engr. Alfonso Oboza who at first was sent from Zamboanga to Davao as Provincial or municipal engineer (? to be validated ) was the first “cabeza” (mayor) of the Municiplality of Davao during the commonwealth appointed by Pres. Quezon (I have a copy of an old photo where MLQ was in the house w/ Engr Oboza & his wife F. Inigo, also I still have to get a copy of Pres. Roxas who was there at the house), We look forward for it to be declared as a Davao Heritage House. If the house could talk, many important historic and social events happened in it. The late Mrs Oboza was a lady who does’nt just sit but was a very involved in charitable, civic, and social women’s group. We’re all excited and inspired working on it, the Oboza family made us proud to be the one to restore their ancestral house.

    • Blogie 2 December 2010 at 11:58 pm #

      Hello Tess! I look forward to the transfer to Claude’s new place! Haven’t been back to the resto in a long while… but I’ll be back soon enough. happy

  6. Micole 8 December 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi do you have any idea when the Claude’s new place will be opening??? happy

    • Blogie 8 December 2010 at 9:50 pm #

      Me, no idea, but as soon as it happens, I will blog about it. For sure! wink

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