Duck a l'Orange at Chez Leon

Canard a l'Orange at Clayton's Chez Leon -- worth a second bite.
Canard a l'Orange at Clayton's Chez Leon -- worth a second bite.

We recently found ourselves supping at Chez Leon, the posh Clayton temple to all things Frenchified. And that, of course, meant chowing down on some duck -- because if there's anything the Frogs know how to cook, it's a nice fat canard.

The presentation on this dish might remind you a bit of Chinese cooking, should you be into Mandarin instead of spicy Szechuan. The duck is served in an orange sauce on a bed of white rice, accompanied by slices of orange and bell pepper. It also comes with asparagus.

We weren't wild about the sauce -- it was a bit too sweet for our tastebuds -- but we had no complaints about our waterfowl. Fat, juicy and oozing flavor, it had been seared to perfection and washed down quite nicely with a glass or two of Pinot Gris. We didn't leave behind a bite.

With its black wallpaper and heavy draperies, Chez Leon can be a bit formal, especially if you're sitting inside. (When we visited, it was cold enough that we had no choice; the patio would have been a better option on a nicer day.)

But our waiter, God bless him, was a doll who had a generous way with a pour. And then, of course, there was that duck breast. We finished the night without complaint: a bit happier, a bit tipsier and probably a bit plumper. Frankly, we still don't understand how French women don't get fat -- but we'll save that worry for another day.

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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