Adventures in French Food

Warning! This is an extended gush about food. If such things bore you, you should probably wander over to avoidthisjob.com, and come back on Monday.  I should be back to talking about cute animals and writing by then.
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As most of you know, I am not an adventurous person when it comes to food. My current daily diet consists mainly of canned tuna, green beans, apples, toast and soy lattes, with the occasional infusion of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Eating out-wise, I prefer Italian restaurants, burger joints, Asian food and Mexican in that order.

I have never eaten French food.

Never.

Until Thursday night, when some good friends of ours asked us to go to the local French restaurant for dinner. And not just any dinner, but the full eight-course meal, including wine and dessert.

It sounded like fun, so my husband and I finagled the money, got dressed up and went. And it was beyond fun. It was astonishing.

I decided before we left that I would try unusual things, so when it came time to pick the hot and cold appetizers I went with duck-and-pork-pate and lobster bisque. (I MAY just have wanted to say the words 'pate' and 'bisque' in the same sentence.)

Hello! I am wrapped in bacon for your delicious delight!

My friends were nervous about the pate, but when it arrived, I thought it just looked like incredibly fancy meatloaf.  Not scary at all.


Mmmm... creamy sweet goodness. But watch out for the shell at the bottom!

I was nervous about the lobster bisque though. It's been a long time since I had lobster and since I love shrimp, but hate crab, I figured there was a 50/50 chance I wouldn't like it. But I was possibly the best soup I've ever had.

 I could have been happy with just the pate and the bisque for dinner, and we still hadn't had the entree yet!



My main course was quail flambe, and I fell in love immediately. Partly because I got to eat it with my hands and wash my fingers in a little finger bowl. (So fancy!) But also because it was delicious. Not even the Filet Mignon on my husband's plate could tear me away.

(Those grapes on the plate had been soaked in Cognac for a month. It was like a bomb went off in my mouth. And they looked so innocent...)

What grapes? I don't know anything about any alcoholic grapes!

 At this point, we'd been in the restaurant about two hours and gone through one bottle of wine. But we weren't even close to finished.

Next came the palate cleanser, a lemon sorbet with apple liquor in it. This was widely proclaimed at our table to be the best part of the night.

Look at the tiny spoon! So cute!

Then a mesclin salad..

The vinaigrette on this was good, but tart. It was the only thing I didn't finish.

Followed by a selection of cheeses!

Our server told us in France the cheese selection is 3x this size!

That part was full of awesome. Our server told us where each cheese came from and gave us information on how they were made. My friend Jenny and I liked the brie, but our favorite was the second cheese to the right (at the back). It's made with a layer of ash in the middle, which sounded odd, but tasted awesome.

Then came pre-dessert...


Strawberry Mousse. Yum!

 And dessert!


You can't eat me! I'm too pretty!

That, my friends, is chocolate fondant in a pool of cream. And yes, it did taste as good as it looks.

Four hours, eight courses and two bottles of wine later, we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant.

Two days later. I'm still not hungry. I may never be hungry again. But I'm so glad I went.

Have you ever done something completely out of your comfort zone that worked out wonderfully? Tell us about it!

10 comments:

  1. Oooo, this is the most delicious post ever! Now I really really want to go to a French restaurant. I'll make that a goal for 2011!

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  2. Wow. That sounds SO yummy. I've only gone out for a multi-course dinner once, and it lives on in my memory as a treasure.

    I'm so glad you pushed yourself to try this new (and wonderful!) adventure!

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  3. Love this post!! Some of those things would have been out of my comfort zone too. But now I want to try all of it!

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  4. Tres bon! Mais qui! Thanks for sharing. I got full just reading this.

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  5. oh. my. gosh. the concept of 'pre-dessert' has just revolutionized my life. thanks so much for sharing your meal with us!!

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  6. WHY DOES BLOGGER KEEP EATING MY COMMENTS?!!?

    Trying again... *rolls eyes*

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  7. Laura- I definitely recommend it. :) Especially if you can find a place run by an actual French chef.

    Wendy- This will be a treasured memory for sure. I am also glad I went! *grin*

    Nicole- You should sometime! It was like some of my favorite foods grew up and got awesome. :)

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  8. Jan- I am still not hungry! Also, there was an older Swiss couple on the other side of the restaurant speaking French to the waiter. It made me feel very international. Har.

    Amy- I know, right? It's like second breakfast, only MORE AWESOME. Yum...

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  9. French food is always an experience... It's not something like "All you can eat". Quality vs Quantity.

    Cathy
    French online

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  10. Cathy- I definitely noticed that! It was pretty amazing.

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.