Saturday, May 24, 2008

I got Schooled

Sorry for the delay in posting (I went one whole day without writing anything. Most people probably didn't notice, but I like to think that some people are obsessively checking to see if I wrote anything yet. Maybe that's wishful thinking). Anyways, my mom is here and we've been very busy. This past week, we had dinner with Ana at L'Ecole ("the school" in French) which is the restaurant connected with the French Culinary Institute in Soho. I've been there twice before, about six years ago with Ana and her mom, Mary Jo, and once with Meredith for our college graduation. So it had been awhile.

The menu remained similar, but the decor was very different (or so said Ana. I couldn't remember what it looked like before). The 5-7pm menu is a four course pre fix that professional chefs are in charge of. If you want the students to cook for you, you'd have to go later in the evening (and you'd have to have five courses. Me, I'm fine not having a separate fish course).

I resisted the urge to order the salmon gravlax with potato galette for the third time in a row (I love salmon. Especially when it's raw/smoked/cured. Delish!) and instead opted for Fresh Corn Soup with Lobster and Pancetta.

It was good. Nice and simple, with a creamy consistency but no actual cream (I asked). The pancetta was crisp and yummy, but the lobster lacked some flavor. Oh well. I still enjoyed it.

Ana got the salmon that I usually order. It's pretty, yes? Oh it's so yummy. There's a little cucumber salad wrapped up in the salmon. Love it!

My mom had the steamed asparagus with deviled quail eggs. It was chilled. She and Ana liked it, but I'd rather have my asparagus hot. Next came the main courses. I chose Grilled Skirt Steak with Cippollini Onions and Creamed Spinach.

It was very good. Nice and rare with great flavor. My mouth got all full of spit just typing this. Sigh. It came with these French Fries.

They were nice and crispy. My mom thought they were almost like potato chips. See the bread behind it? The bread was good. I love sourdough bread with butter. It's one of life's simple pleasures. My steak came with three sauces as well - some sort of parsley sauce, mustard and a fancy bbq sauce that I didn't like. Don't fault the sauce though - I just don't like bbq (I know, I'm weird. I grew up with four California vegetarians. It's a miracle I like anything).

My mom and Ana both ordered the chicken, despite our discussion about how you never should order chicken in a restaurant (which I heard for the first time in this restaurant six years ago. Ana's mom said it. I think they ordered the chicken just to spite me).

It was nice, the skin was crispy and rubbed with rosemary and thyme. However it's just chicken, right? I could make that at home. I could make steak at home too, but I won't buy such good cuts. The chicken came with these little pots of vegetable ragout.

I thought that was cute. There were lots of mixed vegetables in it and bread crumbs on top. Next came our third course. I was expecting salad with goat cheese (that's what we've always gotten before) but instead they brought us three little sorbets.

They were Coconut, Passion Fruit and Cantaloupe. Passion fruit is very big right now. We got little tastes of passion fruit meringue at the Gramercy Tavern, but I forgot to include it in my blog. I'm telling you now though, so we're okay. Phew. The cantaloupe was my favorite, but possibly because it was the only one that hadn't melted to soup before they served it to us.

We got three different desserts to maximize our sugar intake. I got Chocolate Ganache Cake.

It was good, but a little one-note. I could have used some ice cream with it, or maybe a fruit sauce. Ana got a Strawberry Rhubarb Financier (Try the financier, peak of his career) with Thai Basil Ice Cream.

This was my favorite. The pastry was nice and buttery and crisp, and the fruit was warm and yummy. My mom got a Cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust.

I liked the crust a lot, but found the cheesecake slightly too dense. It was still good though.

On the way out, they gave us cookies that the pastry students had made in a little bag. Is this a new thing? Gramercy Tavern gave us little Chocolate Cherry Strudel Cakes to take with us as well. I hope it is a new thing. I like it.

Overall, the food was very good. It's a fun, not overly expensive for fancy food (our meals were only 39.95 for four courses), destination.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Hee hee- I'm the one who obsessively checks your blog, except when i'm in greece, so I obviously wouldn't have known this time...

Looks good- I just remember the service was a bit dodgy there.