Despite COVID and the ongoing construction in Chester, it’s got this advantage: a river runs through it. And Hot French Chix is the second restaurant to benefit from the balmy riverside. Head through the courtyard, and you’ll come upon a bar, twinkly lights, and tents set with bright red cafe tables (spaced well apart) AND a verdant river view. A welcome sight on a steamy evening!
The talented couple behind the scenes, Everett & Linda Reid’s original restaurant, L&E at 59 Main Street, was an updated French Bistro. This incarnation is more casual, highlighted by a global menu of riffs on fried chicken.
We started with a summery chopped salad of watermelon, cucumber, avocados, and feta tossed in a mint vinaigrette; a combo I could happily eat every single day. Who can resist a bit of paté with a glass of rosé? Not us, and we spread thick house-made slabs on crisp French bread. Next, we dove into plates of perfectly fried chicken on a mound of pimento Mac and Cheese. Those who like to feel the burn can ramp up the heat, but I chose not-too-spicy. An enormous portion of General Tsao’s chicken with Thai Chili Rice had just the right amount of spice to sweet, and we all had plenty to take home for lunch the next day.
Ever famous for their burgers, fans will be pleased to see a few versions (including spiced lamb merguez) on the menu, accompanied by a cone of perfectly bronzed, salty fries. We hear the crispy chicken Bahn Mi is a don’t-miss, too.
Nothing except Steak Frites is over $20, and the French-accented menu has something to please every diner. A fun cocktail card, thoughtful wines by the glass, and luscious sounding desserts (chocolate pot de creme, strawberry rhubarb crisp, lavender ice cream) will have to wait ’til next time.
Open Thursday thru Sunday for take-out and riverside dining.
Call for reservations: 860-322-4102
You may also like “Where We’re Eating Outdoors”: https://the-e-list.com/2020/07/where-were-eating-outdoors/