Sunday, March 13, 2011

Around the World in 80 Dates: France!

For more on the 80 Dates Challenge, click here!

This post has been due for awhile, but better late then never!

As a make-up Valentine's Day event, Alex and I decided to head to a local French bistro we've had our eye on for awhile. Jolie is an adorable little restaurant in the neighboring area of Boreum Hill and we've been hoping to find an excuse to hit up their Monday $25 pre fixe dinner. The week after Valentine's was Alex's spring break, so no night class, a perfect night to give it a shot.

One of the many things I love about dining out in NYC is that if you go to a restaurant that serves a certain ethnic or country specific food, the staff is almost certainly going to be of that background as well. Jolie was no different, the host and our server were most certainly French speaking, and even slipped into French several times while presenting our food, which made the experience all the more delightful.

We decided to get the pre fixe special, which for 4 courses for $25 is a steal in this neck of the woods. We also decided to splurge for the wine pairings, because, it was actually cheaper then any of the bottles on the list and would end up being more fun anyhow! (4 different glasses of excellent wine a piece later, this was definitely confirmed. :-) )

Because I’m lame and took forever to write this post and mistakenly thought the menu would be online, I don’t have the exact list of what we ate, but I do remember most of what I had and some of Alex’s…
They included tuna tartare, asparagus soup with crab and almonds, a beautiful scallop salad, and Alex had fish with sunchokes, and I had a delicious hanger steak with potatoes. For dessert we had some sort of awesome chocolate with raspberry sauce along with the most delicious crème brule ever.

We had so much fun dining here, I can assure you we’ll be back for more French goodness, especially when the garden opens in summer!

The At Home Version:
I had an incredible time trying to decide what to make as a. I couldn’t remember exactly what we had, and b. there was SO much good stuff, I was getting overwhelmed. Ultimately I decided to recreate the hanger steak and crème brule.

For the steak I search around and finally came upon this recipe on epicurious. It sounded really good and got good reviews, so I figured I’d go for it.

So much sadness. I was SO excited to make this because I love a good steak and it was going to be fun to have a fancy meal at home. However, this recipe failed me big time. For two reasons. A. The steak I got was much too thick and I should have trimmed it down beforehand, it didn’t cook well at all. B. There was no sauce. I followed the recipe pretty darn closely, but at the end, I just ended up with way too many wine colored shallots, and hardly any sauce at all. And I didn’t even let the stuff boil down that long at all. At the end of it, the steak did taste good, but it wasn’t the meal I was going for.


However, redemption! The crème brule DID turn out excellent. This was super easy and I will be making it again. Horray for delicious dessert! I followed this recipe along with the first commenter’s suggestions.


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