Though cancan began as a dance for couples in 1830 at the working class dancing gardens, it reached its zenith in the early 1900s in Paris. Initially ... More
Can Can Brasserie
Though cancan began as a dance for couples in 1830 at the working class dancing gardens, it reached its zenith in the early 1900s in Paris. Initially attracting disapproval from 'respectable' society (for a number of reasons, but mostly because it implied a lack of control by those participating - women in particular were not supposed to become hopelessly out of breath, which the dance's energy inevitably produced), the cancan became a device with which to undermine Victorian values, and was part of a growing movement for change. It was with its adaptation from the dance gardens to the professional stages of the Moulin Rouge that the cancan became an aphrodisiac, with its new aspect of flaunting legs and underwear in an erotic manner. Adolphe Willette, the artist who designed the Moulin Rouge, spoke of the dance as "a whirlwind of pleasures and vices." The dance shocked many in its daring challenge to the social, moral, and political conventions of a time when morality had become almost institutionalized. It was was depicted very early in one manuscript as "a total dislocation of the human body, by which the soul expresses an extreme energy of sensation; it is a superhuman language, not of this world, learnt assuredly from angels or from demons." A devoted patron of the Moulin Rouge, the famous painter Toulouse-Lautrec captured it poetically in exclamation: "La vie est belle, voila le quadrille," translated to 'life is beautiful, here comes the cancan.' Though cancan came to be regarded as the epitome of french naughtiness and was continually criticized by moralists as lewd exhibitionism and exploitive, the dance inspired many artists and became the focus of works from Seurat to Picasso, and continues to be reveled today by classical ballet troupes and lavish theatres. Today, it inspires our creation, and with it an effort to hear once again Toulouse-Lautrec's palpable refrain from a chorus of new-century guests.
I love this place! I was very surprised to see negative reviews. I've been there for both lunch and dinner, about ten times overall and the food has always been delicious. I've brought out-of-town guests there, including two that were quite literally, world-travelers, and they loved it too. I have found the staff to be very pleasant and friendly from the bartender to our famous-actor-lookalike waiter. The duck crepe is amazing, as is the french ham and cheese sandwich. We had an amazing goat cheese fondue at dinner one night that I am still dreaming about. I highly recommend this restaurant.
The Can Can is one of the finest French restaurants I have ever had the pleasure to dine in (and with, the staff is terrific). The French Onion soup was excellent. No burned cheese topping and excellent texture. The wines are supurb. The entrees, beef and pork, were done to perfection and served hot. The desserts were really tasty as well. Great value for the experience. About $40/person.
I have to say Cancan is one of Richmond's most over rated next to Mamazu. I went Sunday night and was shocked and bewildered by how rude the host was. When I asked to speak to the manager, he smugly replied he was the only manager on duty.
I hoped the food would be better than the service (or lack of). Unfortunately, Can can simply serves up pretension.
My dining companion ordered the french onion soup, which was as authentic as one would imagine a french onion soup from Mcdonalds to be. There was no crust to the cheese, rather it floated hopelessly in a puddle of grease on top of the onion mass. The butternut squash soup was all cream (a style of cooking I formerly thought was the proprietary domaine of the Olive Garden) and the braised pork was tasteless and fatty. The menu reads well, but the dishes just dont deliver. They are simply struggling to be something they are not.
Save your money and take a trip to Paris. You'd be better off dining at a cheap burger joint; at least you wouldnt deal with the pseudo-french attitude (remember folks, you are in richmond working in a strip mall) and you may get an honest meal.
The food is not that great however, the atmosphere is wonderful! The homemade bread is the the most wonderful part of the meal. The portion size are small for the price and not as tasty as I had anticipated. Overall I would not go again unless I was invited by someone else and not paying for the meal.
Terrible food...not really French. Atmosphere is nice, but not a memorable dining experience. I doubt I will go back. Gazpacho was basically clear with a hint of tomato. The best part was the wine. Skip this one if you like food!
I love the building and what they are trying to do, but the service and food need some work. I would like the waiter to take my order SOMETIME before I am done with my appetizer! And quit focusing so much on the silverware and instead focus on me. The waiters bring new silverware for everything. I would like jumbo shrimp (not Ukrops sized medium) if I am paying $18 for a dozen. I think every menu item is priced at about double of what it should be ie Steak Frites- $20 (you get a really thin ribeye and a mountain of fries). $10 seems fair. An $11 scallop appetizer with 3 scallops- $6.50 seems fair. Just a thought.
It is doubtful that a better brunch spot exists in Richmond. Be sure to make reservations, though. Otherwise, you'll be put in the back with the red-headed step children or you may have to wait awhile for a seat. If possible, ask for a window table for two so you can see and be seen by the passers-by in Carytown. For brunch, the Eggs Oscar is a must-have. Be sure to order a side of seasonal fruit and crispy potatoes, or you might not have enough to eat. For dinner, the dish to experience used to be the pan-seared chicken. The menu does change frequently, but the favorites are usually replaced with new favorites. While service is inconsistent, it's tolerable. They do try. Just don't come when you're dying of hunger. At night, come in for a drink at the bar for lively interplay with a variety of characters.
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