Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vacation part 2 - South Beach (Miami)

Bienvenido a Miami! I will cram a lot of things + pictures into this post so forgive me but we ate a TON in Miami and I photographed a lot.

Hot, humid and minty. Why minty? I drank mojitos every day; multiple ones. We ate way too much food there over the course of three days (thankfully we rented a car so we could go out of South Beach). 

Word of advise - never eat on Ocean Drive. They lure you in with two-for-one drink specials which is totally false advertising. Unfortunately, we got caught and ended up paying $80 for a non-spicy spicy chicken wrap and a "tropical mango" salad. 

Mango? Where is the mango? And it was supposed to have a carrot ginger dressing but it didn't and when I told the waitress my salad wasn't dressed she brought me a bottle of olive oil and vinegar. WTS. Our drinks were actually 40oz and $22 each. After one of those you don't even want a second drink. RIDICULOUS. If you absolutely must must must eat on Ocean Drive, I suggest The Pelican, which has normally priced (and sized) two-for-one drinks. Just don't get any flavored mojitos - they put syrup in them. JP's arugula pizza was good and my porchetta panini with mushrooms was pretty tasty, although I was expecting chunks of roasted pork, not sliced pork.

I have learned my lesson a second time and will not let JP pick our first restaurant of the trip on a whim anymore. Thankfully, we redeemed ourselves in the evening with dinner at:

Yes! Sra Martinez. It was a choice between this and Michy's, Michelle Bernstein's other restaurants but this menu sounded better and more varied. They did seat us about 30 minutes after our reservation but we passed the time drinking sangria at the bar. Once seated the waitress wisely told us to not pick more than 3 tapas per person. Smart lady. JP and I always have eyes bigger than our stomachs at tapas restaurants and this could have ended in disaster.

The first dish was a seasonal veggie salad with a gazpacho dressing. It was ok, lacked some flavor and I got the blame since I picked this dish. 

Out next were the patatas bravas. There were unlike any that I had eaten before and I thoroughly enjoyed popping those little things into my mouth - so addictive! Of course, someone took the credit for ordering these and it was not me.

I took credit for this though - catch of the day (I forget what fish it was but it was one I hadn't tried before) with israeli cous cous. Apparently, JP loved it and thinks israeli cous cous is awesome (whereas he thinks actual cous cous is not so awesome) so now I have one more grain that he will eat if I cook it (along with lentils but only if cooked with bacon, and maybe polenta). But this was definitely a highlight dish.

I was a huge fan of how they were staggering the dishes so you didn't have 10 plates on your table at once. And then this came - garbanzo stew. 

It had a quail egg on top, which was obviously the first thing to go because I don't eat eggs and demand they be taken off. This chickpea stew had a slightly creamy sauce, with chorizo (woohoo!), some spinach, and tetilla cheese. This was ridiculously good and one of the highlights of my entire trip in terms of food. And by now we were feeling stuffed but halfway through finishing this, the corn came.

I am such a sucker for sweet corn in the summer. I can eat corn and heirloom tomatoes all day every day in August and be content. This corn was great but I was saving room in my tummy for dessert. But, we had one more course to go - Galbi. 

Personally, I think they should take these off the menu. They're fine, but nothing spectacular and I'm not really sure why they have Korean-inspired ribs on the menu at a Latin restaurant. Maybe is the whole korean taco craze they're trying to go with? Don't know. Just take it off.

And finally. FLAN.

I think it was too eggy for me but JP liked it a lot. I didn't mind - I was so stuffed. And so, our first day in Miami came too a successful conclusion.

Wake up in the morning! Brunch at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink which is coincidentally on the same street as we had dinner the night before. This is purportedly a fantastic place with market cooking and local ingredients and blah blah blah all that good stuff we like. Their brunch is tapas-style and I wanted to go here for the home-made pop tarts.

One peach, one lemon. These were the best things we are there and I wasn't that huge of a fan. JP had a breakfast sandwich (don't know how one shares that) and I got the braised brisket hash where the meat was overly fatty and the potatoes too mushy. 

We also ordered a side of heirloom tomatoes which were presented as two huge slices and were, unfortunately, flavorless save for the olive oil and salt on them. Michael, you disappointed me. At least the pop tarts and our brunch drinks were good!

But again, we redeemed ourselves at Versailles. No, not the french palace but an ode to cuban cuisine on the real Calle Ocho (although I think Little Havana was actually further west of the restaurant). The restaurant was packed at 7pm when we went, the waiter spoke no English (yay, JP is helpful with his spanish) and the majority of clientele was older people (like 50s and older...). There was one Asian couple there who did not seem to like it too much as they left their food pretty much untouched it seemed. Oh well...onto ordering food after a basket of toasted garlic bread and our mojitos (with sugarcane!) were set down on our table.

Since like I said we are gluttons (or maybe just me? It's ok, I'm not religious), I wanted to order a sampler platter as an appetizer on top of our two main courses. Luckily, the waiter knew better, looked at me, and strongly advised against it in Spanish. Que? Yo no se! No hablo español! With the bf as interpreter I reluctantly backed down and ordered only the fried pork. A small (1 pork chop) or large (2 pork chop) portion I was asked? Que? It's not even a choice on the menu! Thinking the waiter was probably hinting and something (no, not that I'm a fattie, but that its a lot of food) I went with the small.

While they were preparing our food I saw a little card on the table for yuca fries. What?! I must eat you! And so we called the waiter back over and also ordered that. There, I fulfilled my wish of an appetizer.

I'm a fan of yuca. It's starchy but not overly so that you can't eat it and its an interesting change from potatoes. Plus brazilian cheese bread, which I love, is made from yuca flour. So we munched on these until our main courses came.

Like I said, the waiter knew better. SO MUCH FOOD. Perfectly succulent and crispy pork chop with sauteed onions (I'm a huge fan of sauteed onions), rice and beans that weren't dried out (amazing!) and fried plantains (getinmahbellyyyyy!). I ate pretty much the whole plate (left a tiny bit of rice and beans and some onions), and then proceeded to steal bites of JP's arroz con pollo

Juicy chicken? Tender flavorful yellow rice? I couldn't stop bringing my fork over the table to his plate. Honestly, we were stuffed. At the beginning of the meal we were contemplating getting two kinds of flan and now we decided we should just stick to one. And here it is, the flan cubano (not sure what makes it cuban flan as opposed to other flan)

Now this one, this one wasn't eggy and I probably ate more than my half. Cheap, satisfying cooking (apparently JP loved the meal because it tasted like something his mama might make...). Lesson learned: listen to your waiter and if you read that the portions are huge, they really are and you don't need a prelude to the main course - only perhaps a sweet ending.

We also went to a Haitian restaurant but I don't even want to write or put pictures up because it was an utter disappointment from what the reviews we read online said. My favorite thing there was the rice and beans. Everything else was too starchy, lacking flavor, or super dry (like the upside-down pineapple cake which was dry to the point of being inedible). We tried to eat as much of the food as we could because the service was really friendly but it was just...blah. Maybe I just don't like Haitian food since there were a lot of favorable reviews. But you can't have every place be a home run, can you?

It sounds like all we did in Miami was eat. This is true. We ate, we drank (mainly mojitos), we relaxed, we went to the beach (not as many fake boobies as I thought I'd see and a lot less in-shape people than I thought there would be...), we stumbled upon the Jersey Shore gelato shop (which is blah by the way), we went to a Paul Mooney comedy show (obviously not my idea), we drove around looking at the ridiculously gorgeous and expensive houses with yachts and we even did some walking in the ridiculous humidity and heat. But not as ridiculous as Vegas would be...
Hope to see you again Miami and eat some more Cuban food!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vacation part 1 - NYC

I never tire of New York. Actually, the reason I'm in Paris is because I thought I was tired of New York. I was mistaken. I love being in NYC. I shop, I eat, I people watch...Last time I was there in June, I was drooling over what I saw people in midtown wearing (to the office I assume); this time was no different. People there just have really nice clothes. I get bored watching people in Paris - there's rarely anything (or anyone) interesting to look at. And while Paris is fantastic for food, they really only do their own stuff well and after a while, my palate gets tired of it and craves something with tons of flavor and heat. And so, as always, I made sure to visit some old favorites, some places I have meant to go but never got around to them, as well as what would become new favorites.

Lets start with one of my favorite stand-bys where JP and I used to go to brunch a lot and my dish of choice was chilaquiles. Dos Caminos. I don't think anyone would argue that of course its not the best mexican food, but I like it well enough and the flavors, at least for me, are there. Plus, after getting off the plane I just wanted something tasty, familiar and not far from the apartment.

Unfortunately they forgot to salt the guacamole but the carnitas tacos were juicy and the salmon ceviche with mango was nice and fatty. Not a bad choice to come home to at all.

And I also came home to my twin's birthday! I have no idea how this twin thing happened. SK and I don't look anything alike. We're probably have a height difference of 4 inches, a weight difference of 15 - 20lbs and I'm Russian and she's Korean. Yea, I don't know. Twin, twin's roommate from Spain who was visiting and I ate at Maialino for lunch where the three of us all got the bombolotti all’Amatriciana. It was delicious with a hint of spicy-ness and the guanciale providing a little bit of porky chew to the sauce. I went back for dinner another night with JP, JL and her bf. I got the same dish again, although this time they used bucatini instead of bombolotti and I also tried the malfatti which came with suckling pig ragu. Delicious but I think I prefer the lunch menu. The portion of pasta for lunch is perfect but for dinner it leaves you hungry. Oh, and they give you Sullivan Street Bakery pizza bianca in the bread basket. I could eat it every day with olive oil. So good.

I went down to visit mama in Jersey and of course JP and I stopped by Taco Bell (don't hate, the Taco Bell in East Windsor is the best Taco Bell ever and I'm a sucker for their fresco tacos). And I also got my fill of Bent Spoon ice cream in Princeton. It still remains my favorite (FYI they come up to NYC for the New Amsterdam Market near the Seaport whenever they have it). Mama also came up to visit us and I took her and JP to Jean-Georges for lunch. It was good but it wasn't that good. I understand the 3 michelin stars for the service (they would synchronize the setting of plates on our table) but the food was meh compared to what we had at Daniel last year (you'll notice that I now compare every fancy place to Daniel). And Johnny Iuzzini, you were a disappointment with your dessert...I was so looking forward to it! Now I don't know if I'll be watching Top Chef Just Desserts; you underwhelmed. Le sigh.

JP's entire (immediate) family was in town one day too. The older brother was back from London for a little bit, so JP's parents and youngest brother drove up from Jersey and we went to Papatzul for some Mexican food (JP - we need to diversify your parent's palates! At least to Latin cuisine...). Older brother's gf came too and so that JP's younger brother didn't feel too left out, she brought her sister along. Three "couples" + parents. Aw. But that's not the point. The point is the food. I ordered agua de tamarindo which had zero tamarind and a lot of lime for some reason. Fail. But the red sangria was a success (although I'm not particularly opinionated about sangrias). I also had elotes which we split (I can't say no to corn) and sopes with mushrooms, zucchini and goat cheese. They were good.

It was ok overall but I wouldn't go there again nor recommend it. You know which place I would go to again though (we went twice) and would highly recommend? Num Pang. If you haven't been and you're around Union Square, go. Actually, run. They might be out of some seriously delicious vietnamese-inspired sandwiches (both times they were out of the five spiced pork belly). Here is my pulled pork sandwich:

They look a little on the small side but trust me that thing is jam packed with flavor and will leave you happily stuffed, maybe with some sriracha you forget to wipe from the corner of your mouth. The pulled pork nicely soaked the bread and the cool crisp veggies provided a welcome respite from the heat of the spiced honey (I don't like honey but you don't taste the honey taste in there). I also tried JP's catfish sandwich which he loved (I'm not a fan of catfish) and had a mackrel sandwich with roasted leeks the next time which was good too but I think I'll stick to the pulled pork. They also have vegetarian options which I wanted to try but didn't have time to. Anyhow, if you're in NYC, PLEASE GO NOW and if you've never heard of it and are in NYC, don't wait over a year (like I did) after reading about it. May I suggest the blood orange lemonade as a drink?

There were other places we went to - revisited our beloved Las Ramblas which is as good as ever (best patatas bravas in NYC) and luckily for us, had paella that night as a special. Blockheads for drinks with my friends, then a boozy sangria brunch at Calle Ocho. Twin's and her former roomates' joint bday dinner (17 ppl!) at B Bar and Grill, and some Magnolia cupcakes instead of cake. Also lunch with JP's older brother at Gyu-Kaku and dinner with some friends at Oliva (after which we went to Whole Foods on Bowery and I got something called Juju Stars at the chocolate/candy counter). It ended with an unimpressive brunch the day I flew out at The Standard Grill but I had wanted to try it out and I finally got to walk the Highline! That park is amazing, even in dreary weather. And, a trip isn't a trip without at stop at Trader Joe's where I stocked up on some goodies that I brought back. In between all that - a week in Miami and Las Vegas, entries to come. Until next time, New York.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I miss the spaceships mama has in the laundry room

My washer / dryer combo in Paris is brand new (4 months old). Yet it takes almost 5 hours to wash and dry clothes. Mama's house? 1 hour. It also randomly makes white clothes dirty, especially lace and shrinks shirts. Exhibit A.

What my shirt used to look like:

What it looked like after I washed it:

I'm ordering another one online but it was an upsetting and nerve-wracking experience...don't even know if I trust that thing with my socks and underwear anymore!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Le Chateaubriand

BB's last dinner in Paris while I was around (thats a lie, we went to Breizh the day after) was at Le Chateaubriand. Currently #11 on the 2010 San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants and luckily for us, with a second seating that is on a first-come first-serve basis aka NO RESERVATIONS (come after 10pm!). Yes I saw the chef, Inaki Aizpitarte (I really do wonder about the origins of his name) although at first I thought the bartender was him (tall lanky french dudes with facial scruff...they all look alike). This was a 5-course for € wonder reservations are hard to come by. And the 5-course was really a more-than-5-course since there were multiple amuse bouches and two desserts. I love amuse bouches, they're so fun!

We started with a plate of poppy seed gourgeres that I, unfortunately, found a little too eggy for my liking, kinda like flan sometimes is. 

The second dish was red caviar enveloped in a think slice of radish. I don't like red caviar and am dealthy allergic to sturgeon (black caviar incubator) so I passed. Apparently it was pretty good, smooth with a briny pop

It was followed by a third one - a poached prawn (shrimp? langoustine?) with a tiny cob of corn. First of all, I don't eat shrimp but I tried this one and it was SO GOOD. Secondly, where did you get the corn?! I've never seen fresh corn in Paris - its always vacuum packed and looks a sickly yellow color underneath the plastic. My first taste of corn this year (but not the last, thank you NYC!) The little green things? Wood sorrel (the name eluded me at dinner). Sour clover-shaped little leaves that I used to pick in the woods when mushroom hunting in Russia. And I digress...

And finally we get to the official first course - Gazpacho with frozen cucumber granita. I loved this. Not only was it visually interesting (red! green! TEXTURES!) but the contrast between the icy granita and the lukewarm liquid gazpacho was like little firecrackers going off in my mouth. Yea, you can envision that.

Next, a sardine feuillette served with fennel and passion fruit powder. Basically, a sardine wrapped in a pastry sheet (kinda looks like a cigar, no? And don't worry,it was filleted). I was afraid there'd be a lot of bones but am surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. Perhaps it was the passion fruit powder. I love passion fruit and the powder was genius and had this ridiculously intoxicating smell.

Is this where I now made a discovery? We ordered a second bottle of wine, one that BB and I had tried at L'Avant Comptoir. It tasted off but I'm always too shy and scared of sending stuff back, especially wine since I know so little (or...nothing at all!) It just tasted wrong and funny and acidic. So I asked the waiter to try it. He took it and came back with a new bottle because sure enough, that bottle was corked! It's true, once you try a corked wine, you KNOW something is way off. And now I know that I can detect it pretty easily. I was (and still am) quite impressed with myself (yes, being humble does not always seem to be a trait of mine).

Moving on to our third course - Pollock with black olive puree, beet greens, baby carrots and pickled garlic. This was by far my favorite dish of the night. I'm not a fan of olives (or olive bread...thanks for the chips JP ;)) but I love tapenade. And the carrots were fantastic. I stole someone's carrots off their plate later.

Fourth - beef with roasted aubergine, spring onions and shallot relish with ginger and lime. This beef was rare. So rare I only ate around the edges and left the middle for someone else to eat. With the meat, the aubergine (basically, chared eggplant) blends really well. By itself? I felt like i was eating charcoal or ashes.  

And now dessert! I almost forget what this was. The first dish had saffron strawberries with little meringues that tasted like cardboard. I'm not a fan of saffron in sweet dishes. 

The second one was a lait ribot (a fermented milk from Brittany which is somewhat similar to buttermilk) ice cream with stuff I don't remember except for it tasting vaguely minty...I liked the ice cream better than the strawberries.

Definitely a delicious and interesting meal, with great company so a night (and money) well spent. But I don't know if I'd go back again...too many places to try still and this wasn't so amazing that I'd risk another night of a mystery prix-fix menu.

L'Avant Comptoir

I've already written about my love for Le Comptoir de Relais. Now its time to give some of that love to the standing-room only wine and French hors d'oeuvres (not tapas) bar next door, L'Avant Comptoir. Literally, it translates to before Comptoir and it makes sense because people waiting for their tables would drink a glass of wine here. The hostess from next door would pop in every so often saying "deux pour Comptoir" seeking would-be diners. Once, those deux were nowhere to be found and BB and I seriously contemplated asking for their table since the next availability for dinner on a weeknight there (when there is a €50 prix-fixe) is somewhere around November (might be December by now for all I know).

Inside, a zinc bar (very Parisian) fits maybe 5-6 people at most and has a basket of freshly baked (warmed?) mini baguettes, pain d'epi and rolls, as well as Bordier butter (oh how I adore you), cornichons and pickled pearl onions, Guerande fleur de sel and piment d'espelette. All communal, all help yourself to as much as you want, and yes, we helped ourselves to many, many cornichons.

Both wines I had were great. I started with a Lapierre Morgon from that was absolutely delicious (I found it at Crush in NYC and am making JP buy bottles!). I wanted a beaujolais next but Eric (I assume he was the manager? he basically ran the show, seemed to know everyone and was quite funny and helpful) said no and poured me a glass of Villemade Cheverny which had also quite good. Frankly, I barely know anything about wine so I'll listen to the guy pouring it and take his advice. For me, the $4 white zinfandel from Trader Joe's is also delicious.

Moving on. BB and I got the ham croquettes which were fried to order (as they should be!) and they were filled with liquified cheese and tiny pieces of ham that melted on your tongue. 

And then we got the pate en boite which was essentially a tin of pate with a layer of fat on top. Notice the knife.

The pate was ok. But I kept slathering the Bordier butter on my bread. And, being charcuterie fiends, we couldn't say no and got both chorizo and jambon. Essentially, a delicious meat fest. Can't wait to go back.

Update: have gone back. delicious again. will go back. again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sugar rush - Part II

Apologies, apologies. I meant to post some before I went on my two-and-a-half-week-French-mandated-long-August vacation to NYC, Miami and Las Vegas (last two courtesy of my wonderfully AWESOME bf, JP, for our 3 year anniversary :)) but more on those later. I may have a flurry of posts in the near futures so bear with me. But lets start chronologically somewhere at the middle / end of July...

You may remember a while ago I went to a ton of bakeries in the Marais (if not, click on the link). This time, it was a ton of bakeries in the Saint-Germain-ish area (6th and 7th). Another macaron virgin - BB. Naturally, I wanted to lead her to Pierre Herme. Alas, it was closed. As was Gerard Mulot so off we went towards Sadaharu Aoki. The fun was only just beginning (I think my friends underestimated how much of an obsessed-with-food-establishments person I am). This guy makes serious French pastries with a Japanese twist

But we (almost) resisted. Et voila, 3 macarons for each of us (4 ppl = 12 macarons)

Pretty, isn't it? I went for the matcha, hojicha (roasted green tea) and sesame flavors. Suprisingly, we only doubled flavors once - the matcha. My favorite were the cassis, early grey, hojicha (roasted goodness!), matcha and sesame flavors (notice how I like all the ones I got? hehe). The yuzu disappointed and tasted merely of lemon rind. I think Mr. Aoki is more successful with the offbeat flavors. The chocolate was very one dimensional and not even in the same league as Pierre Herme's chocolate one. Overall, these macarons are solid but a little too sweet and unfortunately, they were somewhat stale. I'd recommend going with the more exotic flavors if you try them. But even with those, he is incomparable to the master (yes, Pierre Herme I am obsessed with you) and I kinda forgot I didn't really like his pastries that much. And yes, I brought a cutting board (you didn't think we just found that in the park, did you?) and a knife. But SM had a serrated knife - he one upped me.

And then we ate this green thing. Usually, I'm not one for eclairs but this matcha eclair was bursting with green tea flavor, which I can rarely resist.

While working our way towards Hugo Victor I couldn't not take everyone by Poilane for a taste of the best rustic apple tart in all of Paris. As my friend put it, it's like an awesome apple croissant with chunks of soft, baked apples and a dough slightly heavier (weighed down by the apple liquid I think) than a plain croissant. I can easily finish one by myself. This one we thankfully cut into quarters and proceeded to get out next sugar fix.

At Hugo Victor I opted for the apricot tarte tatin-like thing that I read about on Dorie Greenspan's blog the night before. Apologies, not the prettiest picture but I couldn't wait to dig in:

The top was apricot gelee and some liquid caramel running down the center with a base that tasted like a cardamom-infused hazelnut sponge cake to me (according to Dorie its a dacquoise and the cardamom may or may not have been galangal). I love cardamon but not in baked goods. Throw it in a stew or into my favorite chunky apple cranberry sauce (thanksgiving!) and it lends a warmth. In baked goods I just find it to taste stale and overpowering. Was totally jealous of these delicious strawberry verrines that both BB and SM got!

There was also a grapefruit tart floating around but I didn't take a picture. We were already feeling the sugar coma set in but no, we had to press on! On to La Patisserie des Reves. Dreams? Pastry shop of dreams? YES exactly. Pastries are displayed under glass domes and after perusing you order at the counter and they bring you a pastry from the back.

They all looked amazing, but I was there for one thing and one thing only...

...the Paris-Brest.

Has nothing to do with boobies (hah, boobies, I make myself laugh); the pastry is circular and named after an old bike race that went from Paris to Brest (or the other way around?) since it looked like a bike wheel (supposedly). And supposedly the best Paris-Brest in the city according to various sources including Le Figaro.

This is like putting liquid sugar in your mouth times ten (not as hot I assume!). We cut it up into the little ball sections. Choux pastry with praline creme and liquid chocolate praline on the inside, this was enough sugar to last me a long long time - never have I tasted anything this sweet. The delicate choux easily gave way and a bite revealed a liquid praline, caramel-like center. Delicious? Yes. But I wouldn't get it again, its too much! Thankfully there were ppl to share it with. The tarte de fruits noirs, on the other hand, was an interesting spin on the tarte de fruits rouges you see more commonly.

It had good flavor and a good textured crust but I was so done after that ball of liquid sugar. 

And who do I spot while walking back from our pastry hopping? Ms. Dorie Greenspan herself sitting at Au Chai de l'Abbaye (where I had a few weeks ago witnessed a little old man courting a well put together old lady in the cutest way...I think he got her number!) proofing (or so I think) her new book which she kindly held up to show us! I think SC was more excited than me since she is a pastry chef...I had to be coaxed into saying hello to her, which I did, under the pretense that SC would be doing the talking after that, and she did.

One more for the road before you head off to read SM's entry of pastry bliss:


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Le Relais de l'Entrecote aka unlimited steak frites

This place serves one thing, and one thing only - thinly sliced ribeye. And it was the best steak I've had in Paris to date. Now I know why people line up and wait for this. Thankfully, I arrived 15 minutes before 8pm and got us a table for 3 because the line was a good 15 people deep five minutes later.

Everyone starts with a salad dressed in a mustard-y vinaigrette topped with walnuts. Nothing super amazing, but pretty solid.

Afterwards is where the real damage is being done. Unlimited thinly-sliced tender ribeye bathed in a buttery herb sauce and served with thin, crispy fries. You finish your steak, they come around with more. And with more fries. Essentially an all you can eat meat and potatoes (and butter) feast for €25.

I ordered my steak a point (this can range anywhere from medium-rare to medium) and it came a little more red than I like it to be normally (the waitress said that a point plus would be too well done). But the sauce, which I couldn't get enough of, made up for it. I had two portions of steak but refused the second portion of fries (I don't think the waitress understood why). I'm a goldfish, I eat everything in front of me so it's better for me to not get the extra frites.

Before we came, I figured we're get one dessert to share. No, we each got our own.

BB - the Vacherin de Relais, or praline and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched with meringues and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Me - the Vacherin d'Ete, or raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched with meringues and topped with whipped cream and raspberry coulis

SM - Tartelettes de Fraises.  

The picture says it all, or, as he put it "comparatively inadequate". Well said my friend. While our vacherins were towers of sugar and crunch and smoothness and cold, the tartelettes  (maybe they give 2 because they're not very good?) were a pate sucree crust with sugared strawberries that had released some of their juices. Weak sauce.

Overall, a fun, happy and (overly)satisfying meal. And another food baby. No wonder I keep gaining weight.