I won't even dance around the topic. French food is far and away my favorite. Nothing else comes close. Unfortunately where I live there isn't much to be found unless one makes it at home.
Joel Brassiere is French but it has influences of other regions like Asia and the Medditeranean. This makes me sad. I absolutely abhor fusion cuisine. Once you start mixing up anything in life it loses the essence of what it was supposed to be. It's not my thing. I am a purist. Do one thing and do it incredibly well. That said I did quite enjoy my experience at Joel.
It's a quite clean and elegant space but not a big restaurant by any means. Warm if not overly eager staff. (I am entirely unclear why the manager would give us his card).
Figs were taking some spotlight on the somewhat limited menu. That's always a good thing. I opted for the seared foie gras with mission figs. Delicious. Perhaps a bit much for a woman to eat all on her own but I enjoyed what I could finish.
For my entree I selected pork osso buco. Never have I seen such a pristine presentation of this dish. Compact tight braised shank over baby smooth potato puree. I do prefer a more rustic mash but this is not rustic food being served. Even the cream cooked grits came out in a copper pot. The concensus is that the grits were the best thing that graced the table. That is no small feat. Every morsel placed in front of us was superb but those grits are something else. One day I shall write and ode to all things creamy. 4 out of 5 forks for Joel.