Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lunch at L'Arpege

There was one meal I was really excited for. It's a 3 star Michelin restaurant in Paris called L'Arpege. The chef of this restaurant has a few organic farms outside of Paris just to supply his restaurant. The produce is delivered daily to the restaurant and whatever is not used up gets sent back to the farm for compost....incredible.

There was a lot riding on this lunch, it was my only Michelin starred meal, it was a Birthday present, it was my last meal in Paris, and my last meal of the whole trip! I really hoped not to be disappointed and disappointed I definitely was not!

I ordered the lunch menu that consisted of mostly vegetables, except for one fish dish. I was relieved that there were other single diners. I enjoy dining my own, but I've never gone to a fine dining place by myself. It wasn't an intimidating place so I felt very comfortable.

This was my first setting when I was seated:
The amuse- bouche: Potato crisp, with carrot, and sweet and sour sauce.
More amuse...
Bread and Brittany butter......OH!!!! the BUTTER!!!! THE BUTTTEEEERRR!!!!!!!
Veggie Sushi.....LOVED it. It was a perfect dish.
OOohhh the BUTTTTEERRR!!!!
Table side service:
From the table side service: Tomato gazpacho and mustard ice cream.
Carmelized onions with fresh greens:
Squash veloute with smoked bacon was so enjoyable
Risotto with vegetables like you've never had:
Couscous with vegetables you've never had:
My fish with green tea sauce. I was worried I really wouldn't like this dish when I smelled it, but it was very fresh! :)
The cheese cart, mix of cow and goat milk cheeses:
My cheese plate:
My dessert!!! It was a chocolate mille feiulle.....delectable! Before it was cut, the server presented it to every table and told them it was their dessert. The pastry was so delicate, crisp, thin, and very flaky. It was so easy to cut through.
Macaroons with vegetable fillings....interesting.
It was a really tasty meal. I was hoping that after the meal I would be inspired to cook again, but I was more inspired to start my own organic vegetable farm.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

European Pastries

Here are some of the best pastries I've had throughout my trip:

Chocolate Croissants :)

Cheese Pie!

Apple Strudel!

Truffle Heaven

Truffles were always something I wanted to eat at in abundance and untouched. I’ve had them before in oil form, or preserved in a bottle, or diced extremely small with ostrich egg, but never have I had a fresh whole slice. I finally got to experience it in Gardone, Italy.

My first dish was baked egg, tomino cheese (a local cheese) and truffles. It was interestingly presented; the server cut open the plastic in front of me and cheese and truffle just suddenly jumps out. The look of the final dish doesn't look too appetizing, but it was very delicious.

When I got my spaghetti, it was truffle heaven! It hasn’t even reached my table and I could smell the fragrance of the truffles, but the taste was much milder than it smelled. It was a rare experience I was delighted to have.