after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Bistrot La Minette

Bistrot La Minette – not bad, not great

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t says:  Right before our recent trip (i.e. those pics from Vienna), g and I realized that we had no food in the house.  Consequently, we just had to go out for dinner.  We decided to go to Bistrot La Minette, as we had never been before …

June 2011, Weekday Dinner, Party of 2.  g and I met the host, who showed us to our table.  Right before parting, he said, “and I hope you enjoy your meal”  – but he said it with such finality that g responded [to me, quietly], “I guess we’re not going to be seeing that guy again.”  Lo and behold … we didn’t.

We were seated right next to the bread-cutting-table.  Thankfully, we were not hit with any errant pieces of crusty bread.  The bread was actually quite delicious, with a nice crispy crust, but a soft, forgiving interior.  And they served it in a mini-bucket!

Bread bucket.

Easily some of the best baguette I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  I was psyched!

My next course was the escargot, which was presented in individual little “pots”.

9 individual snails, waiting to be eaten.

The escargots were pretty good.  Great texture and made in such a way to show off the flavors of the snails, themselves (and garlic …).  Personally, I prefer Bibou’s, which impart a bit more flavor due to the surrounding jus, but that’s just me.  Purists may prefer it this way.  So this was tasty, but not quite a home-run.

For our mains, I believe g had rabbit and pasta.  It was only “ok” for her, as the rabbit (which they serve a large portion of), while being cooked well, didn’t have a lot of flavor, which was sad (she said it was, “like chicken”).  And then the sauce, itself, didn’t really do much to help the situation in that it really didn’t complement the flavors/textures of rabbit – it was more like a thick, creamy, way-too-heavy sauce that made the dish seem far heartier than it should have.  I had the lamb “stew”, which was more like an entree of lamb cooked two ways (some of it was sous vide I believe) accompanied by some veggies.  Once again, the sous vide lamb, itself, was a beautiful texture, but there was no flavor that blew me away.  The veggies were fine (peas were a little too al dente for me – call me a pea wuss) but a bit underwhelming in flavor – but nonetheless served a purpose in that they broke the monotony of the lamb.  Actually, I almost feel like there needed to be either more accompaniment or less lamb so that I wouldn’t get too “tired” with the dish.

And for dessert, g and I ventured the strawberry cafloutie which was a pretty sad dessert.  The strawberry tasted weak, the dough bordered on rubbery/insipid, and the ice cream was forgettable (I actually forget what flavor it was).  Bummer.

So, in the end, Bistro La Minette didn’t quite do it for us.  Maybe it was because we were just coming off of a dinner at Bibou.  Maybe they were having a bad night (some sort of graduation party was going on the back).  Maybe it was because my primitive tastebuds can’t appreciate the subtleties in their cooking.  Unfortunately, this puts Bistro La Minette in the category of restaurants that we’ll be happy to go to with friends, but not likely returning on our own accord.  It’s a bummer because the chef, from what we gather, is a really nice guy.  Sorry chef.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

3 July 2011 at 3:24pm

Cochon: The Pizza that Ruined Pizza for g

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t says: Ok, yes, we’ve already been to Cochon for brunch multiple times (1 and 2). You’re tired of reading about it. I’m tired of writing about it. But this time was different. Every time we go, we tend to eat breakfast-y things. This time we went for lunch. It was a miserable Sunday, looking like it was going to rain at any moment, and g and I forgot to go grocery shopping, so there was no food in the house. We needed some … comfort … we needed some … pig.

4/2010, Sunday 2:30pm, Party of 2. Once again – no line. We made the opentable reservation only for the dining points – but we didn’t need it. The hostess/waitress recognized us. Might we be almost-regulars? We sat down, ordered some tea, and pondered the menu. I actually originally wanted pancakes, but decided, for the good of the blog, to try something new one last time. g was also game for this idea. We decided to try one pizza and one sandwich. Pulled pork shoulder sandwich, of course – why try anything else? Plus, we’ve been dying to try Percy Street BBQ, so this would give me a measuring stick when we go. For the pizza, g suggested tomato pie, but I vetoed it … unless she let me order a side of bacon. We compromised and got the “Flammenkuche”, a pizza featuring gruyere, carmelized onions, bacon, creme fraiche, and some kind of orange (in color, not flavor) sauce. What does “flammenkuche” mean? That waitress didn’t know, but suspects that the chef may have made it up. While I’m not sure I believe her, as Bistrot La Minette recently offered a dish by the same name, I totally dig her honesty. You know – I really hoped that the chef did just make it up.

The pulled pork sandwich was accompanied by a fennel slaw, pickled tomato, and french fries (with a few splatterings of hot sauce). The large mound of pork was nestled between two slices of brioche. Aha! The brioche! The object of much criticism from our last visit! And now I’d get the chance to taste it! The meat was fantastic. It was tender and juicy and shredded perfectly (the pieces weren’t too tiny, but they weren’t too big, either). The brioche bread was … interesting. You know – I can see why some people might not like it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t think it was bad – at least – not for this sandwich. The bread is kind of dry and crumbly. It does soak up the flavor (and grease) from the pork, which I like. And when I bit into it, the bread’s texture rapidly disintegrates into crumbs which mixes evenly with the pork. I thought it was a very unique sandwich experience. BUT, as the main bread for a dish like Eggs Cochon, I can see how this could be a turn-off. I suspect in the sandwich, the brioche wasn’t a horrible mis-step, but definitely could be improved upon. Fortunately, it took a back seat to the pork, so all was well. The fennel slaw and pickle brought a nice lightness (some acid and some anise-flavor) to cut through the heavier, greasier pork. And the french fries were wonderful. I would have liked a slightly crispier fry, but g said those were among her most favorite fries, ever. I think she was just full of superlatives today …

g says: Oh hush, you know they were delish! Just because I like my fries different than you like yours doesn’t mean anything. Although, I may just have better taste… (haha!)

Now … the pizza …

g says: It was the best pizza ever.

t says: So, why don’t you write about how good it was?

g says: I did. “It was the best pizza ever.”

t says: Ok, so maybe g just doesn’t have the words to describe the pizza, but the woman knows what she loves. I liked it as well, but I’m not sure it’s the best pizza ever; I feel like it falls into the same category as Pepe’s Pizza – it was a super-delicious pizza-like “thing”. The crust hit just the right thickness between too-thin and too-thick. It also wasn’t too floppy/rubbery, either. The onions were sweet, and the cheese and bacon played so nicely with one another. I’m not sure what that orange sauce had in it, but it brightened up the pizza, giving it just a dash of whimsy for what would otherwise be a very “heavy” dish. But ultimately, it does lack tomato sauce or tomatoes, so it’s disqualified from the “best pizza” competition on a technicality in my book (g’s book is written differently). Ultimately, it makes me really want to try more of their breakfast pizzas.

g says: It’s true – that particular dish was balanced so delicately with salty, sweet, and smoky flavors (or flavours, as t would say). For this reason, and because the culinary stars aligned at that exact moment to give me the best pizza tasting experience possible, I decided right at that table something very important: pizza would be ruined for me. I just can’t look at it the same anymore – pizza is so pedestrian, so just pizza, now that I have tasted the glory of the flammenkuche. I fear that whenever I have a pie now, I will only be thinking of what it could be if it were made at Cochon with their bacon. ::looks in the air dreamily:: Sigh. (dramatic enough for you? I hear some of our readers really like drama…)

t says: Once again, we paid as much (g: actually, less I think) as we would have for one person during restaurant week. We were full for 8 hours. We’ll go back again and again.

cm says: Flammenkuche is not just at cochon, it is an option we saw at dock street brewery (great pizza there, i would recommend trying it, even k liked it
and she is not a pizza fan).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

11 May 2010 at 10:23am