Les Halles

Sep. 21st, 2006 05:58 pm
Being there:

We couldn't have picked a more perfect evening for it. We sat outside, overlooking Pennsylvania Ave. while we ate. There was a tiny little breeze, just enough to keep the air cool, and it was so clear that when it got dark you could actually see the stars- pretty cool for downtown DC.

Bread and butter- Can I just say again how much I love French butter? When your butter tastes like cheese, you have done something RIGHT.

Cocktail:
French Lemonade- I WILL find the drink recipe for this. Light, crisp, and totally refreshing. Dangerously yummy, and I didn't feel a burn at all.

Appetizer:
Escargots- In about a cup of butter, herbs, and garlic. They were served in this nifty little dish about like this one, except the cups in ours were deeper. Once we'd devoured the snails themselves, we wasted no time in making total pigs of ourselves by sopping up the rest of the garlic butter with the amazing fresh bread they'd so handily provided.

Main course:

Salmon and Sea Scallops on a bed of spinach and caramelized onions in chardonnay sauce- Oh. Oh my gods. Oh. The scallops -melted- in your mouth. They were so sweet, so tender, it was nearly a shame to devour them. They'd been seared lightly, and the crisp edges were a really nice counterpoint to the tender flesh. The salmon was the best I've ever had- perfectly seared on the outside, still translucent on the inside. The vegetables were cooked, but still both had a flavour that was distinct, and the chardonnay sauce was something I'd probably give a kidney to be able to make myself. It was rich, but still delicate, and tasted faintly of caramel.

Hanger steak with fries and shallot sauce- Tom was kind enough to let me try a bite of this. We both agreed that we're going to have to find a butcher to makes this cut. It wasn't tough at all, but it was one of the most flavourful pieces of beef I've ever had. Incredibly meaty, and the shallot sauce was to die for.

French fries- Anthony Bourdain says that Les Halles makes the best fries in the country. We both thought that might be overstating it a little. We were both wrong. I don't know precisely what they did to make them so amazing, but they were perfectly crispy, still tasted of potato, and I liked the few I borrowed off Tom's plate so much that I ordered another plate of my own.

Dessert:

Espresso

Hot Chocolate with mini brownies- I asked if I could get the hot chocolate without the brownies, but he convinced us to just get them and let Tom eat them. Damn you, cute waiter! You've heard the phrase sex on legs? This was sex in a cup. Oh. My. Gods. All I can guess is that it was mostly melted dark chocolate with a generous helping of cream. I could see traces of vanilla bean. When I tipped my cup, it left a thick coating of chocolate behind. I was done after a single cup- they brought me a pitcher with about three in it. I died a little when I realized that there was just no way I was going to finish it.

Creme Brulee- We split this, after debating the merits of the various desserts. The custard, like everything else, was rich and perfect, with dots of vanilla bean under a lovely sugar crust.

We spent almost three hours eating, just enjoying the city night, the conversation (We killed Robert Jordan!), the food, and each others company. It was one of the coolest birthday presents I've ever gotten, and hands down the best meal of my life.

Thank you again, [livejournal.com profile] interminable!

December 2015

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