Ending 2013 with a Bang, starting at Les Zygomates

I know, I know, you’re thinking WHERE have you been? Posts of song lyrics/music videos/etc is just lame – so let’s speak FOOD….!!! That’s what you guys come here for, right? I hope you still do.  I’ve been super busy with, LIFE.  And happiness and just living the dream.

It was super last minute and the day before but we, B & I settled on commiting to Les Zygomates.  So after getting dolled up listening to some good music and drinking some bubbles we headed out into the freezing night for a good time.  Dinner at Les Zygomates + Estate.

It was pretty funny because I asked them if we could order off the regular menu and they said NO, if we sat at a table we HAD to get the Prix Fixe and we could only order off the regular menu if we sat at the bar.

And yes I made that face.
I think I made that noise too….

Their New Year’s Eve Menu

First Course (choice of one)

Lobster Bisque, Puff Pastry, Oloroso Sherry

Endive & Chicory Salad Cider Vinaigrette, Roquefort Cheese, Spiced Filberts, Shaved Heirloom Apple

Onion Soup Gratinee

Torchon of Foie Gras, Chocolate Brioche, Dried Figs & Port ($12 supplement)

Second Course (choice of one)

Thatch Island Oysters, Mignonette

Seared Pork Belly, Lentils de Puy, Sherry-Honey Emulsion

Escargot, Braised Black Garlic, Fresh Fettuccine, Roasted Tomato & Thyme, Cumin Scented Marcona Almonds

Tuna Tartar, Sesame Soy Vinaigrette, Hearts of Palm, Winter Melon, Cucumber & Lotus Root

Third Course (choice of one)

Pan Roasted Giannone Chicken Breast, Braised Escarole, Lardons, Sweet & Sour Cherry Gastrique

Grilled Painted Hills Sirloin, Kennebec Potato Gratin, Maitake Mushrooms, Green-Peppercorn Red Wine Sauce

Seared Diver Sea Scallops, Black Truffle-Parsnip Puree, Chestnut Veloute, Fried Kale

Lightly Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop, Roasted Butternut Squash, Braised Apples, Calvados Glazed Onions

Grilled Faroe Island Salmon, Whole Grain Mustard Whipped Potatoes, Braised Lentils, Brussels Sprout Leaves

Dessert (choice of one)

Creme Brulee Tartlett

L’opera Cake  with Pistachio and Pomegranate

Assorted Ice Cream & Sorbet

Ok so knowing me, you guys should know what I wanna do with this. B was a true sport and we picked the dishes out together.  He actually pointed out today how funny and ‘food critic’ of me that I made the comment “Nothing in the third course really pops out at me… can I just order one of each second course?” We got a decent bottle of Rosé….  and then later on each had a different glass of wine… I liked B’s better so he switched with me :] HEE HEE HEE

Yes I have issues, you have to ask B why he puts up with it :] Rawr rawr rawr purr purr purr…..

First Course
Torchon of Foie Gras
Chocolate Brioche, Dried Figs & Port

This was DIVINE.. of course, a huge delicious piece of foie perfectly cooked and amaaaaazing with the slightly re-hydrated dried figs.  The chocolate brioche wasn’t sweet but had a nice bitter chocolate, very mellow, taste, that had a perfect fit to the fatty foie.

Endive & Chicory Salad
Cider Vinaigrette, Roquefort Cheese, Spiced Filberts, Shaved Heirloom Apple

This wasn’t bad but it wasn’t super amazing – I think it was overdressed and just so-so.  I mean a simple salad is a simple salad. Yeah we didn’t finish this, BUT it was refreshing after DEVOURING the foie.  Definitely a good palate cleanser…[esp from the cider vinaigrette]

Second Course
Thatch Island Oysters
Mignonette

We were actually gonna just order like a half dozen oysters but they were on the menu, so WHY NOT?! They were huge briney and delicious. So just to let you know, Thatch Island Oysters are from Branstable Harbor, Cape Cod so they’re pretty local, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE and PREFER East Coast to West Coast Oysters, so YAYYYY.. happy little me.

Seared Pork Belly
Lentils de Puy, Sherry-Honey Emulsion

Not gonna lie, Pork Belly is never bad, but the lentils to pork belly is kinda like… UHHHHH…. yeah. It was nothing special though.. I guess there’s only so much people do with pork belly now? Yay for Asians who are more creative…. but overall a solid dish, I kinda wish we went for escargot…. I was thinking of it but I always figured Oysters CHECK, Pork Belly CHECK – Maybe I went wrong this time?!

Third Course
Pan Roasted Giannone Chicken Breast
Braised Escarole, Lardons, Sweet & Sour Cherry Gastrique

Ok I blame myself for ordering this, but it was the most interesting on the list [other than scallops, which we also ordered] While the lardons and the flavoring was great the chicken was sooooo dryyyyyy I kinda was dying….

Seared Diver Sea Scallops
Black Truffle-Parsnip Puree, Chestnut Veloute, Fried Kale

These were absolutely amazing and totally B’s call.  In fact, since I didn’t like the chicken he was so sweet to trade with me and actually eat a lot of the chicken. HOW IS B NOT THE BEST THING EVER? He let me eat the scallops <3

Dessert
They had four different ice creams, all of them were the usual except for this one, it was like some boozy  kind of a sort.

But the reason why he’s THAT awesome is that he ordered espresso to pour over the ice cream and made it into an affogato – yeah I think he knows the way to my heart.

Creme Brulee Tartlett

This was good, but no ice cream with espresso.. hahaha, my bad. By this time I was just happy and my tummy was happy and I was just loving the  affogato – so NO, this dessert did not fail… I was just distracted by my talented partner in crime’s idea :]

SO Happy New Years from US TWO… May everyone have the most amazing 2014… cuz I just ended 2013 in a FUCKING AWESOME WAY and it’s definitely off to a darn good start with this guy around ;]

Best. New Years. EVER.

Sel de la Terre: Wine Tuesday “South America”

I haven’t been to one in ages.  Or maybe it was with Kelly? I keep wanting to but end up being busy or away.  They still know me tho.. so this Tuesday I had my usual corner table waiting for me.

South America, a favorite of mine for wines… MMMMM Argentinian and Chilean wines!!!

Amuse Bouche
Smoked Salmon Crostini with Chive Creme Fraiche

Delicious bite.  I ate this in a few bites so I wished that the smoked salmon was in smaller pieces so I didn’t have to use my finger to help bite off bits of it.  It could’ve used a bit of caper and onion tho. :]  I’m OG like that.

There were only two other tables and our wine pourer remembered me so we got BIG BIG pours :D

First Course
ASF Vegetables, Jonah Crab, Citrus Vinaigrette
Paired with 2010 Torrentes, Crios de Susana Balbo, Salta, Argentina

This was delightful.  I tend to get dressings on the side so my salad doesn’t wilt or is overly dressed and soggy but this was fantastical.  A nice slightly ocean-y crab taste on top of  a nice variety of fresh greens, tomato and thin radish. YUM

Second Course
Roasted Garlic and Herb Sole, ASF Heirloom Tomatoes, Braised ASF Greens
Paired with 2010 Erraszuriz, “Wild Ferment”, Chardonnay, Chile

Pan Fried and stuffed with… stuffing? Some sort of sop. it was good, a bit salty so I ended up picking some of it out.  The Sole filet was folded over so the stuffing was cooked inside, and then set atop of raw heirloom tomatoes.  Which was nice, refreshing, but also surprising, I expected cooking tomato.  Under the tomato was braised greens, that tasted super asian-y YUM.. I’m guessing sweet potato grees?!… Anyways back t the sole: The outside was crisp and the inner was fluffy and flaked away. YUM.

Main Course
BBQ Braised Pork, Sweet Corn Relish, Apple Gastrique
Paired with 2009 Malbec, Alfredo Roca, Mendoza, Argentina

The pork was super tender and I loved the mixture of corn and apples.  It seemed like the perfect, end to Summer. hello to Autumn dish. BUT it was SO overly sweet… And the fact that I was already full on the dishes before and a ton of wine

Fromage Course
Bayley Hazen
Paired with 2006 Concha y Toro, “Lourdes Vineyard”, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Maule Valley, Chile

This was a nice moldy not too stinky blue cheese… I’ve been trying not to eat too much dairy products lately since W suggested that my tummyaches may be a result of eating them.  Seems like he may be right.I still have some cheese, just not in overabundance like I usually do ;D  The plate was also filled with fruit preserves, chopped up dried figs, pecans, almond slices, pistachios, halved grapes, slices apple and some truffle honey. SOOO good.  All the contrasting textures and flavors with the fruits, nuts, cheeses were amazing, you didn’t even need the crostini.  I had my cheese with some honey on apple slices MMMMM….

Another amazing meal.  Thanks SDLT see you next time when I’m back in town!

Sweet Potato Bistro [Takeout]

So my mother was a judge at a kid’s chinese speech contest in Newton MA [I think it was for GBCCA] saturday and she had “bian dang” aka “餐盒” aka lunchbox — which, in chinese culture is usually protein, veg, soy sauce egg, pickled veg and rice or noodles :] YUM! — btw I LOOOOOVE the Taiwan High Speed Rail [台灣高鐵] Lunchboxes- or any chinese train ride lunchboxes for that matter hehehe………

Sexy example NOT from my photo albums..:

ANYWAYS… so she had her lunchbox from this new Taiwanese cafe from Newton. OBVIOUSLY we’re always looking for good Taiwanese food and while I’ve been to a few around town, in Boston I’m still partial to Taiwan Cafe – teehee biased – but this new place is pretty good. What is it called? Sweet Potato Bistro – cute name.  Mommy immediately decided to buy a few things from them, including 油 條  – you tia – [Taiwanese Fried Dough] which I don’t have a pic of cuz I ate them too fast, but they’re SUPER GOOD….  SO MUCH SO that she went THIS morning to buy some of their dim sum. SO?! Review!

涼拌海蜇皮
Jelly Fish Salad

The first order I had was SOOOOO salty…. apparently cuz they put in unsoaked jellyfish on accident, but the second time I had it was SOOOO YUM!  Crunchy, fresh, garlicky with lots of fresh cucumber! Crunch crunch crunch and refreshing – but I had MAJOR garlic burps after ;D #sexy

Traditional processing methods, carried out by a Jellyfish Master, involve a 20 to 40 day multi-phase procedure in which after removing the gonads and mucous membranes, the umbrella and oral arms are treated with a mixture of table salt and alum, and compressed.[28] Processing reduces liquefaction, off-odors and the growth of spoilage organisms, and makes the jellyfish drier and more acidic, producing a “crunchy and crispy texture.”[28] Jellyfish prepared this way retain 7-10% of their original weight, and the processed product contains approximately 94% water and 6% protein.[28] Freshly processed jellyfish has a white, creamy color and turns yellow or brown during prolonged storage.

In China, processed jellyfish are desalted by soaking in water overnight and eaten cooked or raw. The dish is often served shredded with a dressing of oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar, or as a salad with vegetables.[28] In Japan, cured jellyfish are rinsed, cut into strips and served with vinegar as an appetizer.[28][29] Desalted, ready-to-eat products are also available.[28]

蘿蔔糕
Pan Fried Turnip Cake

Turnip aka Daikon – which is kinda radish/carrot-y too

Turnip cake is a Chinese dim sum dish made of shredded radish (typically Chinese radish ordaikon) and plain rice flour. The less commonly-used daikon cake is a more accurate name, in that Western-style turnips are not used in the dish; it is sometimes also referred to as radish cake. It is commonly served in Cantonese yum cha and is usually cut into square-shaped slices and sometimes pan-fried before serving. Each pan-fried cake has a thin crunchy layer on the outside from frying, and soft on the inside. The non-fried version is soft overall. It is one of the standard dishes found in the dim sum cuisine of Hong KongChina, and overseasChinatown restaurants. It is also commonly eaten during Chinese New Year, since radish (菜頭, chhài-thâu) is a homophone for “good fortune” (好彩頭, ho-chhài-thâu) in Hokkien.[1]

This was sooooo goood.. just wish there was more texture, cuz I’m all about the texture. it doesn’t taste powdery like some Dim Sum places BUT… grated texture would’ve been amazing!!! YUM… the sauce they give with it looks like poop but it’s good :] I add my favorite chili oil to it and UUUBER YUM

Also tried the Taro Cake [芋頭糕] which I thought which was a bit too dry… LOVE Taro but def needs more fat/moisture in it – yep suggesting fat – fatty pork perhaps?! :D

 雞卷
Chicken Bean Curd Skin Roll

and the vegetarian one 素卷 [Vegetarian Bean Curd Skin Roll] – whcih was filled with mushrooms and yumminesssssss… Liked both.  Though they were nothing spectacular – but nom nom nom good.  Good spices, texture, flavor, etc…. def a must order – PLUS mommy LOOOOVES the chicken one!

韭菜盒子
Pan Fried Chive Pie

I think of it more as a giant pan-fried dumpling or/aka samosa or literally chinese chive boxes BUT anyways. So the best ones I’ve ever had is my exes’ mother’s – the only good thing that came out of the relationship was that his parents were FABULOUS cooks… his dad was the first person to get me to eat TONS of lamb and enjoy it.. and his mom would make these and I’d eat 20-30 at a time :]

I wish there was more filling.. I like the super thin vermacelli in these… while I did enjoy the super thick rice noodles….. needed more chives and eggs.. and you could even throw in some dried shrimp or pork to PUMP IT UP – but it was a bit flimsy. but the crust was DELICIOUS!  Pan fried to perfection, nice and thin… just needed more loving when you bit in…..

紅油耳絲
Julienned Pig Ear Salad Cold Cut in Hot Chili Oil

Very delicious.  Thinly sliced, crisp, and spicy… not over seasoned or overly salty – phew – I loveeeee pig ears but sometimes ppl cut them too thick and they lose that…. crunch/chew to it and it gets TOO chewy and TOO MUCH… these were perfection! NOM!

小籠包
Soup Dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao

Yes the infamous obsession of mine.  I’m always scared of getting these for takeout but I was still curious about the flavor of the filling – I was surprised that there was NO soup at ALL and they were completely dried out…. filling was okay, underseasoned but it was fine with the black vinegar/ginger it came with – BUT kinda disappointed. I LOOOVE  Taiwan Cafe… and I actually get XLB from there a lot – and while the skin goes lacking and it’s a little less juicy, there’s soup and chew… these were BONE DRY AND… no soup leaked out in the container :[

生煎包
Pan Fried pork Buns

Also tried the steamed ones….  菜肉包 [Steamed Pork Buns]

Filling was great.. love both.. pan fried has some crunch and grease on the outside, steamed has delicious chewy tender 饅頭 [mantou] bun.  JUST the filling is a tiny ball :[  NEED MORE MEAT! I’m a meat girl, need more!

蚵仔煎
Taiwanese Oyster Omelet

Oyster Omelet made with Eggs, Tapioca Starch and served with sweet and mildly spicy sauce

The dish consists of an omelette with a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Starch (typically potato starch) is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency. Pork lard is often used to fry the omelette. Depending on regional variation, a savory sauce may then be poured on top of the omelette for added taste.

I LOOOVE this… in taiwan.. but here it’s so disappoining.. too much, not much egg and while the oysters were HUUUUGE – freshness was questionable and the spinach was fresh…. the sauce wasn’t the red I was used to and just SOOOOOO much starch like ALL starch, no egg and it was just piled on top of spinach and oysters, not cooked into an omelette! :T  I ordered this despite the fact I had been told it was not good :T Sad that I still need to go to Taiwan for the best.. authentic… real….. this was not even close :[

米糕
Sticky Rice Ball

Not a huge fan….. this was complimentary and I was disappointed in it :T  I ate the cilantro off of it tho… I love cilantro haha… the rest was just subpar

燒餅夾肉
Five Spiced Beef in Shao Bing

SOOOO GOOD.. while the bun could’ve been flakier and thicker… it was just a nice crunch.. you could chew thru the layers… the beef was good and perfectly seasoned and the scallions were fresh and crunchy. ADORED

And of course an order of the regular 燒 餅 [Sesame Thousand Layer Cake (Shao Bing)]

甜豆花
Soy Bean Custard served with Light Ginger Syrup

In Taiwanese cuisine, douhua is served with sweet toppings like cooked peanutsadzuki beans, cooked oatmealtapiocamung beans, and a syrup flavored with ginger or almond. During the summer, douhua is served with crushed ice; in the winter, it is served warm.

:] Good, fresh, and while I usually don’t eat peanuts in this, it was good :D  This is one of my favorite asian desserts – minus the sweet potato dip in ice water or black seasame balls in red bean soup or shaved iced…. but yeah this is def in the top 5 :]

All in all it was pretty good Taiwan food, I’m glad it opened…. I def need to try it THERE in person and not takeout :] So keep that in mind, takeout food is never AS good as THERE! — of course then there’s leftover pizza & chinese takeout which is SO much better a day or two later HEE HEE – NOM ;D

ONWARDS

Heard their 排骨飯 [Pork Chop over Rice], Taiwanese staple, is pretty tasty…  the 夫妻肺片 [Beef/Triple in Hot Chili Oil], Taiwanese staple 彰化肉圓 [Ba-Wan – Large Taiwanese Dumpling made from a gelatinous dough and stuffed with pork, mushrooms and bamboo shoots] which you’ve seen if you’ve read my blog ;D KINDA freaks me out that they have “Thai Dishes” on their menu cuz seriously?! Taiwanese and Thai is SOOOOO different…. BUT… hopefully we can get some off the menu REAL Taiwanese food :]

And so it begins… with AKA Bistro

It’s that time of the year, again, when I turn 21.. AGAIN.

No wait, I think last year I turned a sweet 16 with a party at Momofuku, Carnival, Maze and Blue Ginger. And while Family birthday dinner is ALWAYS at Blue Ginger… every single year… we thought we’d change it up a bit this year and go try out a new suggestion from my mommy… AKA Bistro – “boast[ing] the best of two distinct and sophisticated cuisines.  Half the menu offers French fare; authentic recipes derived from the owner’s mother, a native of Marseilles.  The flip side of the menu features a creative roster of Japanese dishes, with an emphasis on elegant sashimi.  Ingredients are sourced from a handful of small farms [within] a few miles of the bistro, and pristine (often sustainable) fish is sourced from around New England and the world.”

AKA Bistro [pronounced “ah-kah” not “A KAY A” like the abbreviation hahaha] is definitely something fresh and new and not what I’d expect in Lincoln, MA.. especially next to a train station….

I was excited – we had reservations for 7:30… but by 5 I was STARVING.. it didn’t help that my mom was making some of her famous spicy beef noodle soup to freeze for later… [yes after dinner I had a bowl back at home… and some marrow.. #fattie]

Me getting ready :]

The weather was kinda gloomy and wet but inside it was popping.. the atmosphere was loud and it was a little.. not hot.. but it felt stuffy and humid inside – slightly – decor was really nice tho :] Happy chipper place.


AKA Bistro
145 Lincoln Rd.
Lincoln, MA 01773 

Bread.

Cold. Chewy. A bit hard. But COLD :[ Sad. I want French CRUSTYYYY bread… fluffy inside… alas, no.

DOT DOT DOT

But let’s get to the fun part. Or in the case of my daddy “at least the champagne was really good tonight…” yeah that’s kinda a preview of what’s to come.

We popped a bottle of bubbly :] I got ID’d :[ The hostess also treated me like a little kid. BOO!

Escalope de foie gras poelée et compote de fruits secs
Seared foie gras and dried fruit compote

Not my favorite Foie Gras…  definitely not the worst.. but it was okay.. I thought it tasted slightly off… but mommy liked it. Daddy didn’t like it so mommy got most of it :] The fruit compote was plums and was pretty tasty.. loved the wilted spinach underneath the foie.. the tart on the bottom was kind of madeline like…


So pretty tho…

Hamachi Collar

This was a special of the day – AND cooked to medium rare – altho definitely more rare than cooked… the outside was slightly burnt…. MEH.

Scallop Ceviche

Banuyls vinaigrette and fresh winter black truffle

This was my favorite dish of the night. But it was SOOO SMALL… thinly sliced fresh scallop sashimi.. a very light vinaigrette and delicious truffle..OMG.. the truffle.. subtle and not overpowering – a little goes a long way – LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. I wanted MORE!

This was SUPPOSED to be a Kumomoto Oyster with Uni and Caviar.. but they didn’t have the oysters and had another West Coast Oyster… and no Uni so they said they’d give me extra caviar. They didn’t but it was still good – wayyyy tiny tho :T

Os à moelle, fleur de sel aromatique,pain de campagne grillé

Bone Marrow, aromatic sea salt and toasted country bread


Delicious. Wish the Bone Marrows were bigger tho… I miss big fat delicious bones filled with marrow… MMMMM. This marrow was fatty, drippy, creamy… SOO GOOD and came with a little dish of a salt/pepper concoction to sprinkle over. This is the first time my parents have had Bone Marrow like this and they really enjoyed it :] Altho daddy thought it wasn’t that flavorful – which is why I said sprinkle more salt teehee.. but they both LOOOVED it…

Mommy’s Confit de canard et pommes Salardaises

Duck Confit, potato roasted in duck fat

The duck was cooked perfectly.. the skin was a bit TOO fatty and not crispy but still delicious.. a bit soggy tho.. the crispy bits of the sliced potatoes were delicious but even with the salad everything was WAY too greasy from all the duck fat from the potatoes and the confit.  The salad was DRENCHED in duck fat…. but I ended up eating all of the potatoes and the rest of my mommy’s salad and duck for her :] #tummyache

Daddy’s Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

I can’t find the exact dish on their old menu on the website but the stuff on the bottom was very herbby and gnocchi like… Even if you didn’t get a bacon piece the pork was cooked sooo tenderly and the bacon flavor totally infused itself into it. DELICIOUS.  The “gnocchi” like pasta or “dumplings” I suppose weren’t too bad either.. a little too mushy for my liking.. but probably the lightest dish out of the three we ordered.

My Saumon poche, beurre fines herbes, courgettes, fenouil et rattes

Poached Salmon with “beurre fines herbes”zucchini, fenneland fingerling potatoes

I… hated it.

But they were nice enough to take it off the bill. It was.. ick. Too buttery.. I hated the consistancy of the salmon.. which was bland… the fennel and zucchini I liked but the sauce it was in and the butter it was cooked in was just TOO MUCH…. :T I wanted to like it, I wanted to love it – I love salmon but I just hated it. Which is why I went to eat my mom’s duck fat drenched leftovers… if

Creme Brulee

Perfect.  Just wish maybe a little warm inside of cold custard on the inside.  BUT. Nice thick, but not TOO thick, perfectly burnt sugar crust.  Delicious innards… beautifully speckled with fresh vanilla bean. MMMMMM

FUNNY story. My mom and her friends had come here before when it JUST opened… the got the Lunch tasting menu and each had their own creme brulees for dessert. They had NO idea that it was vanilla bean and all took a bite, saw the black specks and freaked out – thought it was bugs or mold or dirty.. hahahahaha my mom JUST told me this story a few days ago and then AGAIN tonight…  Silly ladies :]

Complimentary Guava Jellies

They gave these at the end of the meal – SOOO good.. methinks there was grapefruit in it too?!… But can’t really remember… a little sweet but sooooo guava-y :D JOY! Made me miss Taiwan…

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

SOOOOO FLUFFY!! The cheesecake part was SO light and delicious… like whipped cream consistancy… the chocolate crust was flakey and cookie like – delicious.  The cherries were SOOOOOO GOOOOD and juicy!!!!

I wanted to have some family photos but part way thru the dinner my parents, especially my dad got super reminiscent and I got all emotional and teary and burst out crying and ended up being blotchy and sniffly for the rest of the meal – until I got a funny phone call from my sis Kate ;D but yeah… so no pix… I was splotchy in the above pic but it was far away enough that you can’t tell TEEHEE.. BUTTTTTT. PROPS to my makeup.. NOOOO gross masacara lines!!! :D Not ONE bit of makeup out of place.. I’m like halfsobbing and giggling with my mom about how my makeup wasn’t drippy.. LOL

OKAY so this wasn’t exactly a good meal – the desserts were great… the food was subpar :T The salmon was horrendous, the texture the flavor.. bland and fishy… overly buttery.. mommy’s greasy overly soaked with duck fat – even daddy’s delicious pork looked a little sketch and on the pink side… so far no food poisoning though, all three of us had some… but it seems like the Japanese food seems to be going more towards my liking… if I ever come back here, slim to none chance, I’ll get sushi.  I’ll stick to L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre and others for my French choice. Speaking of which.. I miss Chef Ed Cotton’s food at Plein Sud. NYC Trip ASAP! Sorry AKA Bistro. Good concept, poor execution. At least tonight… for my table :T Servers were nice, altho as soon as our waiter got the check he BOUNCED… how rude. At least the other servers said bye.

Happy – Almost – Birthday to Me :D

I’m SUPER excited about the coming week…s…. :] Vegas. Friends. Special Birthday Day :] Super psyched about it all….. Life has been so good to me lately. I’m glad to be pushing out all the negativity in my life and just focusing on the positive and the good people.. the good things… :] I may be “young at heart” forever, but some people are just freaking immature, childish and I don’t need them in my life. So good riddance. The past year and a half I’ve been dealing with a lot of negativity… settling for things even though I wasn’t happy – with where I was, who I was with.. what I was doing.. where I was going… with age comes wisdom… for most people – I’m blessed that I’m one of those people.

Thank you to all the amazing people in my life. Friends, family…. DIOR <3 This is gonna be a good good year – “21” is a good age ;D

A little bit of France in Taipei — Le Bistro de L’olivier

Tonight I had the opportunity to meet the adorably tiny Maggie  Liu of Le Bistro de L’olivier [橄欖小館 法國料理]. You guys should know by now that French food is one of my favs [aside from asian food of course] — AND that I’ve been craving steak tartare for AGES… who woulda THUNK that I’d find it here, in a little tiny bistro hidden away in Taipei?!

Ok, I have to admit, my daddy found it for me, he passed the info to my mom who lost it and then had to ask for it again and decided that tonight would be the night that we go all out… French. J’adore FRENCH FOOD <3

I adored the cute atmosphere…. One side was oldschool photographs of hotspots in France and the other side were collected paintings [also French] GORGEOUS!!!

Mommy and I decided to get the Tasting & the Degustation Menus to share [with wine pairings] we replaced the Lamb with Sole and the Sole with Steak Tartare… and I got the Seared Foie instead of the Escargot [snails tend to freak the momsie out *wink*] We had a nice little talk with the the Maitre’D Toni about food, HK, and me being a total foodie and blogaholic :]

Baron d’ARignac Dry White 2008, France

Fresh and vibrant on the nose with a fruit packed palate of citrus and apple.


This was light, refreshing, not too dry and pretty good. I drank all of it. It went really well with my appetizers….

Soft – but sadly not warm – “French” Bread, minus the crunchy crust… it was just soft and chewy — which was super delicious… LOVED the fluffy center…

“Tapas” said  Toni

They were little Croque Monsieurs with an Olive… and then a Tapenade of Olive/Anchovy Pesto… didn’t taste the anchovies though….

The Tapenade was SO good.. ate it all with the bread and the little tapas bites… :]

Soupe de Poissons Maison et Ses Croûtons

French Style Fish Soup

I’ve never had a pureed fish soup… it was smooth and creamy [but without the cream or at least not enough for me to notice] with a delicious cheesy like crouton on top of it that just melted in my mouth at the end of the soup. I had a little freshly ground pepper on top and the spices were just amazing…. kind of Mediterranean-yy

Salade de Foie Gras Brulée

Mini Foie Gras Brulée Salad

The vinaigrette was a bit too sweet for me [too much sugar in the balsamic?!] but the veggies were fresh with red/green lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, green beans, frisée and walnuts and the foie brulee was delicious atop of a crisp crouton.

Bisque de Homard

Home made Lobster Bisque

This was really lobster-y, a little bit fishy tasting too… but I was glad that there was not too much cream… SADLY it only had like two or three chunks of lobster in it.. tiny chunks mind you… actually, “chunk” is a strong word… mom describes them as fingernail size… MY fingernail size [I have baby fingers].. and the bowl was the size of a teacup :T Kinda lame.. the soup was okay,  mommy only had a few sips…. not really the lobster bisque I’m used to from New England [I’m picky about my seafood soups!!! Haha] YEAH.. so not worth the moolah on this one… #soupfail

Château Bernot Bordeaux 2008, France

Brimful of ripe, yet classically French fruit.

Not earthy at all…. fruity and really delicious.

Feuilleté d’escalope de Foie Gras de Canard, sauce Porto

Pan Seared Duck Foie Gras with Port Wine Sauce

It was between a sliced open croissant stick with some apples… some onion strings on the side and a sliced gherkin. My mom LOVED this but this was just way too sweet and tarty for me. It was way too overpowering. The foie didn’t taste extremely fresh [maybe it was the sauce that threw off the taste for me?!], it was cooked well….. But, like I said, mommy LOOOOOOOVED it.. so it worked :]

Fricassée de Champignons aux Truffes

Fricassee of Mixed Mushrooms with Truffles

ADORED this. BUT I was sad that I tasted NO truffles :[ The mushrooms were good, but I wish I got a bigger helping of it…. this also was slightly on the sweet side but I loved how it was atop a bit of puff pastry. Technically mommy had this one and I had the foie but we swapped completely. I feel a little jipped on the truffles :T Esp since it’s SUCH an overpowering taste/smell and there was NONE whatsoever… *sigh* #trufflefail

La Sole Meuniére, Sauce Tarragon

Fillet of Sole Meuniere with Tarragon Sauce

Three thin slices of sole… they weren’t as tender and melt-in-your-mouth as a I remember but there was minimal breading and lightly pan-fried to deliciousness… perfectly seasoned.. the cous cous was on the light side but a nice accompaniment and the sauce [which took over more than half the plate] was tasty but a bit too heavy. There was a bit of fresh veggies which was refreshing and relief.. I need my veg.

Steak Tartare et Pommes Frites

French Tartare Steak with French Fries

I approve of this tartare.. which is great because I was asking Joan from Hungry In Taipei of where to give in to my latest craving… how convenient :D I was surprised that I only got barely a half a handful of pretty tasty fries [very Mickey D’s like] and perfectly chunked U.S Prime steak…. that wasn’t overly salted [probably because of the one downside, lack of capers] .. it was delicious tho… needed maybe a little more black pepper and a quail egg for me to mix in [and capers and hopefully gherkins] but the SAD part was that there was NO toast points. [aside from the lack of toast points *two thumbs way way up for the tartare… more frites next time plz] but let me go back to the main point….

NO F&*#ING TOAST POINTS!!!!

I feel like B.A. Baracus from The A-Team ;D

——————-

Baracus: Oh dammit! My head, man.
Murdock: [presenting him with food] Coconut curry tapenade, your favorite.
Baracus: Give me that, fool. You got them toast points?
Murdock: Voila! Toast points.
Baracus: You had to knock me out again huh?
Murdock: Okay now, the whole injection knocking out – Hannibal and Face. The curry tapenade – Murdock.
Baracus: Why do I feel like I fell on my face, huh? Tell me that.

Speaking of The A-Team

HOW FREAKING HOT was FACE [Bradley Cooper] in it?!?!?!?! His body was like *lickity lick*

Oh sorry.. distraction distraction :D *droooool*

——————-

ANYWAYS.. so after the no toast points upset.. I asked for some more bread.. took them about 15 minutes to bring me another basket [this time warmed] of the soft soft “French” bread :[ Just not the same.. I want garlicky toast points to go with my steak tartare…. *pout*

After our main meals we got our cheeses and desserts :] The better half of the meal ;D

Fromage et Croûton

Cheese with Crouton

SIDENOTE [and kinda related to the chese] — I was kinda sad that none of the waiters explained ANY of our dishes to us so I have NO idea what kind of accompaniments were with them…

…YEP and that’s including this cheese… there was some croutons… with a, I’m guessing, triple creme milk cheese…. super creamy and light… [methinks Taiwanese don’t like stinky cheeses]… there was some orange and tomato slices… some olives [sugared I think] and walnuts as well…. #igotmymomtoeatcheese :D

And then came the bestest part of the meal!!!!…. the Desserts!!! First up was the Souffle [which I still ahve yet to make on my own]

Soufflé au Grand Marnier

Grand-Marnier Soufflé

FLUFFY, light and slightly orangey. The sauce [only had a teeny tiny bit, cheap much?!]  was delicious and not too sweet… OMG… the soufflee I’ll dream about tonight.. light fluffy… angel cakey-like warm goodness…


As I dug in, the steam came out.. amazing, I totally need to start making these at home, I could eat one or two or three a day…. a meal even ;D The skin was the best part [like everything… who doesn’t love skin] and mommy and I tore away at it :D

Not wasting a lick of it… lickity lick.. I even licked the bowl clean!!!

Dessert Maison

Homemade Dessert – Creme Brulée

There was something a bit off with the creme part.. but the brulee was thick and excellent… not even that sweet… :D Trying to figure out what they put in it.. maybe it was the vanilla bean?! Or maybe they put a little liquor in it..it was a light light tan color :] waaah!!! I wish they had better service and explained.. by the end of the meal I was a bit annoyed and too tired to even ask…

Mommy got a Thé [Tea] and I got a Café [coffee] :]

I asked for a copy of the menu and they said they’d make a copy for me.. After waiting 10 minutes……. I got ONE copy of the Degustation menu in a plastic folder… when I asked for the rest they said it would take a super long time… #awkward…. the meal was satisfying, nothing mind-blowing and expensive… I honestly would have rather spent the money on a new outfit… over $6000NT which is over 200$ [which is a TON for Taiwan… usually I can grab a huge 4 course meal for like a few bucks..]This was a decently good but not amazing dinner?! Downside,  when I told the chef about my blog she made a snarky comment about “EVERYONE has a blog now….” – made me sad…. well not everyone has MY kinda blog.

Doubtful I’ll be back, especially because of the price…[and that I already tried everything I wanted to on the menu] … It’s just gonna be DELICIOUS nightmarket, food court, cart food for me for the rest of the time here in Taiwan [minus the weddings I’m going to and probably NYE]

BUT aside from the [?] backhanded comment… Chef Maggie Liu was adorable [cute Hong Kong accent], SUPER SUPER skinny… and nice. I wish she was actually in chef gear and cooking the dinner I ate but alas she was wandering around in jeans and a cute top talking to customers in and out from the back. Not sure what her purpose was for, for the night? Maybe just putting the face on the restaurant?! Well it worked….

Gossip time: Across from us seemed like a couple having an affair and next to us was a young couple having an awkward date [guy being nervous and girl smiling and laughing and doing clumsy things too much] I felt like I was out on a date with my mom… :D Which was super fun….

It’s definitely an experience… and maybe I’m just a bit French Food snobbish since I’ve had Per Se and one of my favorite restaurants in Boston is L’Espalier and all… but this was kinda subpar, okay not subpar, it was decent, good but not amazing…. [to me] :T

I feel bad because I really really really wanted to love love LOVE it.. but I only enjoyed some parts of it.. slightly not so big but more  tiny parts… like our Maitre’D was awesome… the chef was nice and the place was cute and cozy and had great decor…. BUT…………………… yeah, so if you’ve never really had French food and want to try some [and you’re from Taiwan]  then come… but if you’ve had a lot, this might not be your cup of tea :P

I feel like such a food snob now… *blush* waa!!! Don’t hate me

Chef Maggie Liu & I

Haha she said I looked/dressed like a Gossip Girl before I left and how she loved the show…

橄欖小館 法國料理
Le Bistro de L’olivier

台北市安和路二段122號(遠企停車場旁)
No. 122, Sec 2, An-He rd., Taipei
Tel: 02-87323726

Last Nite

Dinner;
(went to a Bistro in Natick)

Salmon Nicoise Salad

MINE: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad

Dessert;

Snacks;

Monster Caramel Apple & an Oreo Caramel Apple (unpictured) – I’m addicted and my waistline is def. paying for it >_<;

I bought;
2 more Sel De La Terre BROWNIES :]
 

& I was naughty;

& 2 HUUUUUGE glasses of yummy Red Wine!!! (also unpictured) I passed out reading cooking magazines :] HAHAHA… I was still hungry but decided against a brownie :]