Friday, July 14, 2006

Let them eat bread!

It's Bastille Day and though I need little encouragement we've used it as an excellent excuse to partake of some fine French fare. We've opted for Café Du Marche surrounded by all the meaty establishments in Smithfield's market. They aren't festooned in tricolours like Club Gascon but it still looks very French inside (and we are treated to that special French service!) H has arrived before the rest of us (clients, but also great dining companions!) and there's already a basket of warm from the oven French bread on our table. Okay this is where is all goes wrong in a French restaurant; the bread is just too good! We all dive in and are soon in bread heaven, I think it must have special powers. We all feel strangely euphoric and just a little full and we haven't started our meal yet. I have a good small starter portion of risotto - there's a fighting chance I'll be able to eat the rest of my meal. The risotto is Risotto Saint Jacques et Boudin Noir. And I can report that scallops and black pudding is an excellent addition to the creamy risotto. We um and ah over whether to split a Steak Bearnaise but opt for Duck Confit with Figs and Honey served with mash - yum! It was an inspired choice and tastily continued my duck theme. The duck-tacular was going to feature duck confit but I wanted to do it several days in advance and I ran out of days! The portions were a perfect size especially considering that we'd eaten our body weight in warm bread - ahhh warm bread beforehand. The final flourish was a little slab of chocolate and hazelnut mousse terrine. C'est fin! Hmmm must make a mental note to find some more French events to celebrate!

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