First of all, I need to preface this blog post by stating that all pictures were taken by Diane. I only had my iPhone and the pictures did not turn out in the dim-lit Frenchie. Plus, let’s face it– my photography skills can’t compare to her skills.
I’ve read a lot about Frenchie (5-6 Rue de Nil) and there’s been a lot of hype surrounding the restaurant. I’ve heard mixed things about the actual restaurant and better things about the casual wine bar across the street. When Diane suggested we dine at the wine bar, I jumped at the chance to judge the food for myself.
Endives Au Jambon
Foie Gras Royale
Burrata with Wild Mushrooms
The dishes at Frenchie are small and meant to be shared. The wine bar doesn’t take reservations so I don’t recommend going with a large party (two people is actually the optimal number). We started the meal with the burrata cheese with wild mushrooms, endives au jambon and foie gras royale. The burrata wasn’t my favorite because I felt like it was lacking some flavor (burrata at Beretta in SF is better). The endives with ham and cheese and truffle oil was a really interesting combination. My favorite dish out of the three was the foie gras royale. It was topped with an apple/pear chutney and walnuts. The consistency was so incredibly smooth and almost like a whipped texture. I’ve never had foie gras like that before and I loved it.
Tête du Cochon with Pickled Mustard Seeds
Potato and Jerusalem Artichoke Purée (Side Dish with Quail)
While I have been busy with school, I have escaped to Paris to enjoy some delicious meals. My classmate planned a really sweet all-girls brunch at the LaDurée on Champs-Élysées. There was a fire last year at this location and they just reopened in October. We were lucky to sit upstairs and see LaDurée in all its remodeled splendid glory.
I call the picture on the right: “The leaning tower of treats.”
For 36.50 euro, you get orange juice or grapefruit juice; fruit salad; hot chocolate, tea or coffee; three pastries; bread rolls; three macarons; yogurt; two mini sandwiches AND scrambled eggs. Talk about a ton of food! Everything was so incredibly good and I especially loved the pastries. I had a moment at the table with my almond croissant. The only thing that was lackluster (besides the not-so-great service from our waitress) were the mini sandwiches. They were dry and pre-made. But, I definitely wasn’t running short on food. I think we all rolled ourselves home after that brunch. I know LaDurée is so touristy, but I would say it’s worth going at least once and getting the brunch. It’s a real Parisian experience sitting in this gorgeous room and drinking your tea out of delicate, pastel-colored china.
Korean Food at Paris’s Dawa. Are you salivating just looking at that bibimbap?
I’ve been craving Korean food and my blogger friend, My Red Kitchen, was kind enough to introduce me to Dawa, located at 5 Rue Humblot in the 15th arrondissement. I had high hopes and Dawa met expectations. It’s a small restaurant owned by Koreans and it’s got that hole-in-the-wall feel to it. MRK and I shared hot kimchi stir-fried with thin slices of pork (also served with a cold side of tofu), japchae (stir-fried noodles with beef and vegetables) and we each ordered our own beef bibimbap (stone pot rice). I am literally obsessed with japchae and bibimbap and both dishes totally satisfied my craving. I had zero complaints about the kimchi too. We demolished our food and ate every last grain of rice and leaf of kimchi.
Château Brane-Cantenac introduced us to their state-of-the-art optical sorting machine. This machine uses cutting-edge technology and lets the user set parameters to sort the grapes. You can sort by weight, color, size and so much more. I’m sure it speeds up the sorting process and leads to a higher quality of grapes. Last year, there were only five châteaux with this kind of technology; this year, there are about 20.
Don’t let the picture deceive you. This Bucher Vaslin machine will set you back half a million Euros!
They renovated their buildings to make them more sustainable with natural cooling and heating systems, energy-saving air movement and humidity control. I enjoyed the wines at this second growth winery because the tannins in the wine weren’t as harsh and more silky. Château Brane-Cantenac takes pride in their “balanced wines.”
Château Pontet-Canet’s underground cellar (top right) dates back to 1865.
Harvesting and Sorting
The statue (far right) is actually for you to spit in.