Survey: raise your hand if you’ve ever ordered French Onion Soup from a restaurant envisioning a bowl of richly flavored broth, filling the room with the smell of caramelized onion, and topped with all the Gruyere your little heart could desire. Now raise your hand if, instead of a bowl of ambrosia, you received the equivalent of a slightly more aromatic chicken stock topped with a few sad, half-melted strands of pre-grated Safeway Swiss, alongside a chunk of day-too-old baguette. If you associate French Onion Soup with chain cafés, believing that this is a quintessential example of this dish, you probably haven’t been super motivated to attempt it on your own (sorry Panera Bread). Or maybe you’ve never thought of it because, frankly, it just doesn’t sound that interesting – I mean it is just onion, bread, and cheese in a simple stock, right? Wrong…Continue Reading
Posts Tagged ‘french food’
Whoa 2012, slow down! It’s already December and all year, I haven’t written about the one thing that makes my life complete. That single thing that gets me out of bed every morning (seriously). This year would not be complete without posting an article (or in this case, more like a love letter) to my all-time favorite bakery, whose name any regular KelsEats visitor should know by now. Yep, you guessed it! Knead Patisserie.
Before proclaiming my love for this bakery once again, I browsed through my previous articles, wanting to ensure that I didn’t repeat anything I’ve written in the past. Although I’ve publicly given most of Shauna des Voignes’ pastries piles of compliments, there is a noticeable, gaping hole: I left one MAJOR item out of all of my writing. Therefore, I’m dedicating this piece to the #1 pastry Shauna does better than any other patisserie in the world: the croissant…Continue Reading
It’s no secret that Coi is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. So, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon what seems to be the Coi of Paris: La Bigarrade. There are many similarities: a small, limited-seat dining room, utter precision and immaculate presentation on the plate (so much so that I recently designed business cards featuring a picture I took during my meal), a focus on serving the best, local ingredients available, and a careful balance of flavors – so careful that even a single, extra grain of salt could throw it off…Continue Reading
Fine dining in a casual setting; ingredient-driven cuisine that’s been prepared by kitchen pros and a kick-ass chef but is served on tables unadorned by tablecloths; a wait-staff that is at all times professional but jokes with you at the table. The concept has been around awhile in San Francisco, but apparently in Paris, a city that for years has adhered more to tradition than modernity in its cuisine, this trend is really just emerging. And, no restaurant seems to embody this movement better than the newly-opened “modern bistro” Septime.…Continue Reading
At the risk of insulting a fair number of restaurants, I’m gonna just come out and say it: if you’re not looking to spend a small fortune on a meal (think tasting menu at Michael Mina), the dining options around Union Square suck. How many places can you name that go beyond the tourist-trap fare and serve thoughtful, well-executed cuisine without also coming with an intimidating price tag? If you can think of more than one or two, please contact me, as I need to know about such magical places. However, after eight years of shopping my way through the mean streets of Union Square, there’s only one restaurant that I believe fits the bill – a little French bistro known as Cafe Claude…
This restaurant has a lot going for it: owned by the same people in charge of Cafe Claude (one of my favorite restaurants in the City), good location, beautiful decor, lively atmosphere, outdoor seating, french/spanish small plates (rather unique in this city), an extensive cocktail menu, and listed as one of the 100 Best of the Bay this year. Whew, that’s one impressive list!
It’s like they thought of all the ingredients to make a perfect date environment, and if that’s the reason you’re going here, you will not be disappointed. Plus, they have mirrors on the walls so you can secretly watch other people without your date remarking on your wandering eyes!
What it doesn’t exactly have going for it is the food, which is my bottom line. I can deal with a snippy server, minimalist decor, and a short beer/wine list if the food is amazing. I mean, the whole point of going to a restaurant is to eat, right?…Continue Reading
First of all, making reservations a month in advance is like torture because every day you get more and more impatient for the big day to come. As much as I tried not to, after so much waiting I had very high expectations for the meal I planned on having at this restaurant (the full tasting + wine pairing). In a sense, I was setting myself up to be let down. Not only did Jardiniere meet my somewhat unrealistic expectations, it far surpassed them…Continue Reading
I’m scared of Gregoire. Why? Because I’m scared I’m going to eat 5000 little potato puffs before I get out the door and explode. It actually happened once, and it could happen again. You have to be careful with those little balls of heaven – they’re addicting. I heard they started making a potato puff patch, the PPP, that you can stick on your arm for those who can’t control themselves and need something to help them curve their cravings…