He who desires but does not act breeds pestilence, which in turn is the source of most failed movie remakes. Act on your French desires with today's Groupon: for $35, you get $70 worth of fine French fare and drinks at Gemmell's in Dana Point.
Chef Byron Gemmell's fine-tuned bill of creative French fare is seasoned with traditional techniques and classic recipes and stirred up with fresh artistry, innovation, and a heat-resistant spoon. Gemmell's lunch menu is lusciously laden with appetite appeasers such as the cassolette of escargot (farm-raised helix snails sauteed with garlic, shallots, mushrooms, and ham in a burgundy sauce, $8.95) and pate de canard (the chef's mousse blend of duck liver and cognac, $8.95), as well as tempting luncheon specials and entrees, including chicken and mushroom crepes ($13.95) and Gemmell's bistro burger ($13.95). When the evening bell rings, which is only audible to hungry humans and sleeping dogs, dinner emerges from its daily slumber. Feast upon exquisite dishes (and the cuisine upon them) such as scallops au confit of garlic (giant eastern sea scallops in a garlic-champagne butter sauce, $29.95) or roasted duck (bathed and slow roasted in dark rum and banana liquor, topped with caramelized bananas and served with fresh veggies and roasted potatoes, $24.95), among many others.
Properly complement the evening with an elegant glass from Gemmell's awe-inspiring wine list and top off your taste buds with a decadent French dessert. Gemmell's suggests pairing an apple-tart tatin a la mode ($7.95) with a glass of tawny port or a decadent flourless chacolat ($7.95) with a chilled glass of 2% milk, ideally sipped through a curly straw. Reservations are needed, so call ahead before heading in.
Gayot reviewed Gemmell's, and the OC Weekly recommends it. Twenty-one Yelpers give the restaurant an average rating of 3.5 stars, and 14 TripAdvisors give it an average rating of four owl eyes. OpenTable reviewers give it an average rating of 4.2 stars.
-   - The appetizers are memorablea feuillette, puff pastry with shrimp in the middle, placed in an herb-butter sauce with shallots and parsley; and a mousse of duck liver surrounded by minced aspic and sprinkled with cognacbut even better are the main courses: buttery Dover sole, New York steak bathed in a creamy beige sauce of brandy and peppercorns, smooth French onion soup. Salivating yet? OC Weekly
-   - The restaurant reminded me of a 40's style ambience, with a warm,romantic atmosphere. The food and service were top notch. OpenTable Diner, 2/15/2011
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