Sunday, July 15, 2007

Le Quatorze Juillet 2007

A combo under a tent. Picnic tables. Cool drinks on a warm evening. Yesterday was the birthday of the French Republic and of me. As a guest of Suzanne Kingsbury, it was a evening to be savored.

Franco-American Reflection

The difficult selection from which to choose included Vichysoisse Cressonaire, Salade Lyonnaise (frisée, lardon, poached egg), Salade Niçoise (house cured sardines, olives, green beans, potatoes, hard boiled egg).

Our selection:

--Escargot gratinée: garlicky, herbal, buttery

--Pâté selection: (from left) pickled ramps, grained mustard, rabbit rillette (with duck fat, tarragon), chicken gallatine, cornichon, capers, crostini

Chicken Gallatine and friends

With ham and black truffles

Main course
Similarly, the special dinners were intriguing. They included Olive Oil Poached Salmon, Bouillabaisse Marseilles, Hanger Steak Frites, Half Chicken in Cream, Duckling Breast.

Our selections:

--Trout souffle with baby greens and black pepper cracker
--Lamb sweetbreads with lavender and honey in a port wine reduction, braised romaine radishes, tied greens

The recommended wine, a spicy and deep cabernet sauvingon, was a perfect match for the sweetbreads.

For dessert, we chose these treasures:
--Mille-Feuille. This interpretation consisted of layers of crisp dark chocolate, sliced fresh plums dressed with port wine reduction, and a pastry cream of vanilla, lavender, and honey.
--Steamed milk seasoned with local honey
--Dark chocolate truffles infused with cassis

A feature of the meal was the Rabbit Rillette. Deeply flavored and soft in the mouth to the point of disappearing, it was simultaneously rich and light. The sweetbreads and perfectly-paired wine were the stand-out food features of the evening.

Another winning dinner at Burdick's, this one on a theme of strong flavors. Lavender and port wine reduction in their several dishes were prominent and used with restraint and wisdom.

Happy Birthday Boy

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