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New Fall Menu at The Hall at Palihouse

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With all the buzz surrounding restaurant newcomers Anisette and Comme Ca, another elegant French bistro has quietly slipped under the foodie radar: The Hall at Palihouse. This serene, casual, but sophisticated space within the "extended-stay" hotel has recently changed chefs: Anisette's former chef de cuisine, Brendan Collins, has taken over from Stephanie O'Mary, and in doing so has invigorated the traditional French bistro menu with more exotic Mediterranean influences.

The updated fall menu features classics like boeuf bourguigon, steak frites, and roast chicken, but adventurous palates are advised to try out the pied de cochon -- pig's foot, wrapped around veal sweetbreads and glazed with a savory mushroom gravy. It's a rich dish, to be sure, but Collins tempers the unctuousness of the jelly-like pig with the firm, mildly flavored sweetbreads. The lobster gnocchi with braised veal is another highlight -- it's not on the regular menu, but ask for it anyway. The flavors of the greater Mediterranean infuse many of the dishes, like the arctic char with grilled eggplant, and the lip-smacking lamb loin, which is paired with a spicy, delectable lamb sausage and a couscous-stuffed lipstick pepper. (Review continued below photo gallery)