Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, Monday through Friday; dinner from 5:30 to midnight, Monday through Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Price range: Entrees can go as high as $18.95 at dinner, but between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., and again after 10:30 p.m., you can order a complete meal from a special menu for $8.95.
Atmosphere: An elegant but informal bistro with fine French cooking and service to match.
Credit cards: American Express, Master Charge, VISA, Diner's.
Special facilities: Valet parking; outdoor cafe now open; staircase to restaurant but staff will assist persons in wheelchairs; no highchairs or booster seats.
Having arrived downtown in a monsoon at the peak of the rush hour, we gave Dominique's high marks just for providing a parking attendant on whom we could unload the car and dash undampened into the restaurant.
Dominique's definitely has class. And a little of that never hurt anyone, especially children, whose manners somehow improve when confronted by fresh flowers and pristine linens on the table and a courtly waiter schooled in French service. Or perhaps they are merely intimidated by the choice between forks.
In any case, for family accustomed to the pizzeria circuit, Dominique's, from its Persian rugs to its elegant menu, is indeed a treat.
By now you are thinking, Dominque's is fine if your family name happens to be Getty or Hunt. And it's true that Dominique's prices, like those of many "little French restaurants," can rise to lyrical heights.
But Dominique's does offer a deal for the budget-minded. Every day, from 5:30 to 6:30, you can order from a special menu and get appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee for $8.95.
Dominique's most exotic dishes don't appear on this menu, but not many children anyway are going to consume Canadian bear with veal, smoked buffalo meat or Maiko shark with sorrel sauce. Still, the special menu offers a good variety, even for sopisticated palates.
You can begin your meal with marinated mushrooms, a light homemade vegetable soup, a fragrant onion soup crusted with cheese, or celeri remoulade, slivers of celery root tossed in an herbal dressing.
Our youngest daughter, on the eve of her 11th birthday, chose pork for her entree; two thick chops cooked with a delicate tomato sauce and onions, and served with sliced seasoned potatoes.
Our 13-year-old's chicken tarragon was wonderful but not as interesting as the country sausage, made with chicken and veal. This was served in a kicky white wine sauce, an unusual and appealing combination.
My husband ignored all the protests about eating an innocent bunny and thoroughly enjoyed rabbit served in a red wine sauce.
Other choices included fresh fish provencale, cold marinated trout or an omelet with spinach or mushrooms or both.
The girls were bug-eyed at the choice of desserts: a rich mousse with chocolate shavings, strawberry shortcake, a velvety Black Forest cake, rum cake, creme caramel or cheesecake with a strawberry sauce, among others.
The nicest part was that they were offered seconds which even they, the dessert champions, had to turn down.
The bill for our meal came to $55.57. This included a bottle of wine, soft drinks and a healthy tip for some of the most courteous and pleasant service in town. Throughout dinner, we were waited on by a platoon of people who were always attentive but unobtrusive. They even made the kids feel special.
Now that's class.