jeudi, mars 01, 2007

DJ and Luis eat more stuff

So, the majority of my daytime activity was at work, working with Tommy on the disk images for the new iMac lab we're in the process of installing. So, rather than comment on that, allow me to focus on the more pleasant part of the day: DJ and Luis eating more stuff.

You see, DJ had a rather rough day at l'Université de Paris VII, where he spent a great deal of time bouncing from office to office, trying to find out where his money went. Also, he had to deal with LCL (Le Crédit Lyonnais, one of the largest French banks), so it was suck-tastic all around. Since I was totally in the mood to eat out, I told DJ I was going to take him to dinner. All he had to do was go home and wait for my call.

With that, I started calling l'Ourcine. As you might've noticed, I'm quite fond of the place, having visited already three times before. I called and was a bit startled to hear a male voice; previously, the front-of-house portion of the restaurant was run by three women. In the interest of gender-equality, I wanted to not be disappointed, but his manner over the phone was distant and cold. Also, he told me that the only table available was at 19h00, which gave me a little more than an hour to go home, meet DJ, and head over to the restaurant.

In the end, I didn't even make it home. I met DJ at the métro station near our places and then headed right back out to the restaurant. The unfortunate result of that was my somewhat informal attire, but I've noticed that l'Ourcine seems to observe a rather "bistro" dress code, so I think it was all right. 19h00 is far too early in the evening for dinner here (especially dinner reservations), which was partially why we were able to get a table on the same day. I think we were the second group of people to arrive and be seated.

Alas, "the new guy" on the waitstaff lacked all the charm of the all-girl team--and when I say "charm," I don't mean "boobs," since I'm all gay and stuff. Rather, he had mastered that very french affect, which is not neutral but polyvalent and unsettling, implying at least one of three moods: 1) "I couldn't care less about you." 2) "I loathe you but am too polite to show it overtly." 3) "I find you quaint and amusing and whatever other condescending adjectives I can think of." None of that said "Welcome to L'Ourcine!"

Anyway, aside from my disappointment with that guy (there were still 2 other women on staff who I remembered from my previous visits--they just didn't serve us), the meal was great as usual. I seemed to hit home runs on all of my choices, while DJ started strong and declined in later innings (this is me channeling DJ's sports metaphors). I started out with a plate of ravioli stuffed with poached hen, topped with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and a mousse-like butter emulsion. Although I would've appreciated the meat in the ravioli stuffing ground or shredded or chopped finely, the dish itself was great and the real star were the chanterelle mushrooms. DJ's entrée was a remoulade (mayo-based salad) of bulots (whelks, sea-snails) with curry spice and granny smith apple slices. I was really impressed with the bit that I tasted, and DJ seemed to be thrilled with it.

For the main dish, I got the "jambonette" (stuffed chicken leg) with sautéed winter vegetables and cream sauce. This was AMAZING. It was a full leg of pintade (a pheasant-like guineafowl) stuffed with a delicious mixture of herbs and what I think was seared bacon/pork belly. The meat was very juicy and tender yet well-cooked, and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. Still firm and flavorful, but also tender and buttery. As much as I love me some pintade, I think the veggies were my favourite part. DJ got some lieu jaune (pollack, I think) baked a la plancha. The fish was good but a bit underseasoned, with only the faint scent of the wood plank to give it some character.

For dessert, I ordered these neat little "bon bons" made by filling phyllo pastry with dates and orange peels and then twisting them like christmas crackers and then baking them until crispy. The results were glorious. It also came with a little dab of their house-made almond-milk ice cream, which was similarly amazing. DJ got a pralinette (chocolate & hazelnut mousse), which was, in his words, "pedestrian."

Eventually, we were chased from our table for the next seating, so off we went. It was only 21h30, which seemed hellaciously early to be finished dinner and headed home, so DJ led me up rue Mouffetard to a great "Irish" bar on the place de la contrescarpe. I finally got to have some Faro, which is a kind of lambic beer (i.e., fermented with wild yeast), which is aged three years and slightly sweetened.

After a long chat and a few beers, it was closer to midnight and it seemed like we had finally done justice to our evening out, so we stumbled back to the nearest métro station and headed home.

2 commentaires:

amy a dit…

Oh, I just went to L'Ourcine last week. It was very good, although I agree that the ravioli was the real stand-out.

LMGM a dit…

Yeah! The ravioli was great. I miss that winter stew I had back in December. That was really amazing.