I’ll tell ya, I’m so happy to be back in front of the keyboard and returning to writing. It’s more fun to just talk about everything and nothing…
Speaking of which, Friday turned out to be both a busy and reflective day.
It started out with me traveling to the Pine Barrens in NJ to attend my Aunt Catherine’s funeral. Once I got out of the Philadelphia area, the drive was incredibly relaxing and pleasant. The trees are still scattered with their multi-colored leaves and the bright reds, oranges, and yellows against the clear blue sky was beautiful. In a couple of weeks, we will be entering into that monochromatic landscape of grays and browns and overcast skies—until the rebirth of Spring.
Anyway, lately I’ve had my share of funerals. And I’m tired of wearing black, so I decided to brighten the mood by dressing in navy. Among the sea of gray and black it was a nice change.
That’s me dressed in Navy amid the sea of funeral black!
I have to be honest here and don’t want to sound morose but this funeral Mass was the nicest and sweetest one I’ve ever attended. Let me tell you why—then I’ll get to the foodie thing—ok?
First of all, there was no casket. Instead, at the foot of the altar, was a table. On the table were beautiful flowers in hues of pink and rose. Also placed in the middle of the table was a beautiful and plain marble box. In that box were the ashes of my aunt. It was moving. And to tell you the truth, it made for a more relaxed and comfortable service. Just knowing that there wasn’t a “body”—all dressed and stuffed into a wooden casket, that wouldn’t be lowered into the dirt set a vibe that just was not depressing.
This photo of my aunt Catherine was taken when she graduated from high school. She remained a beauty till she passed away!
The service was short and sweet. Her grandchildren and children spoke about her and it was lovely. In fact, I found something out about her that I never knew. I just assumed Aunt Catherine returned to work because the kids were getting older and she wanted something to do. No. She returned to work because her husband, my Uncle Johnny, was diagnosed with cancer and his time was precious. She returned to work because she knew that she would soon be the main supporter of her family. She never let on and never complained and never set herself up as a martyr. She was a good woman.
Following the service, the family hosted a luncheon. Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to the distance I had to drive. In addition, Bonaparte and I had plans to attend dinner that night…
And now, I give you the story and the reasons that I am hanging my foodie apron on the hook.
Well, realistically, I’m keeping THIS apron. It’s my favorite one because I can get it as messy as need be and bleach will always clean it!
Bonaparte and I don’t go out to dinner often. But when we do, we make sure it is to a restaurant worth spending the money on and we make sure the restaurant will offer the types of food we enjoy.
It isn’t a matter of being a “foodie” or a food “snob”. It’s a matter of being frugal and liking to cook and dine in the comfort of our own home. We save the restaurant visits for special occasions.
Yes. I love to eat! And while I love great food, I don’t consider myself a “foodie” because that word just has a negative and douchey vibe to it!
Dining at home lends itself well to relaxing and savoring and being able to take your sweet time. We are both tired of going to restaurants and being rushed. I cannot stand when the plates are taken away before the last person in the party is finished with their meal. I don’t want servers coming up to me every five minutes and asking me if everything is ok. This is NOT the fault of the server. It is the fault of the uneducated management. It’s all about the money..
Anyway, last Christmas we received a gift certificate to a restaurant in Philadelphia, Bibou. We’ve been to Bibou in the past and the food is amazing. The service is spectacular. It’s a well-run place with a menu that offers excellent dishes. The servings are just right—not too small and not loaded onto the plate like slop. It’s the kind of restaurant where you remember and talk about the meal for a long time and when friends and family are looking for a great place to dine, you tell them to make reservations at Bibou and make them well in advance.
Are you following me?
Good. Bonaparte and I decided to “save” the gift certificate and use it when we just felt we “needed” a great night out. We made reservations for October but had to cancel them because we were in Paris for Danièle’s funeral. No big deal. We tried to move the reservations to another Saturday evening, but all that was available for the rest of the year was Friday, November 20th, the Friday that just passed. We had to take that date because, unbeknownst to us, Bibou’s policy was that the gift certificate would expire at year’s end. This was a policy that both of us weren’t too fond of. Neither of us wants to be dictated as to the timeframe of the certificate. Alas, that’s the policy. So be it.
Again. Another funeral. But again, no big deal because I would be home in plenty of time for us to go to the restaurant. Besides, both of us needed a night out where we could put all of the latest life events behind us.
In the meantime, we discovered that Bibou had changed the dining format. No longer would the regular meals be offered, but the menu had changed to a tasting menu only. This should have been a red flag for me to just let the certificate go unused. Why? Because whenever I see “Tasting Menu” , I know that the small amount of food will be incredibly overpriced and we will have to deal with a room full of pretentious foodies. (Cest MOI???).
I still laugh every time I see this commercial because this guy IS so pretentious!
Anyway, here’s the menu and obnoxious dinner pics–but I took them because I had a blog post in mind!:
The menu. If only the portions just were a tad more than one bite….
We started off with this little amuse bouche. With our Kir Royales, these tasty bites were very nice!
The Curry Mussel Cream was great, but the fennel lacked a bit of flavor….
Next tasting was the pig snout and that cute little quail egg. Honestly, the pig snout was the best thing on the menu. I would have finished off a ton of these things!
The photos are getting a little fuzzy. That’s because of all the wine I started drinking. Bonaparte isn’t much of a fish eater but he loved this Mahi Mahi. And the photo looks a lot bigger than the actual portion…but it was very good.
Bibou, luckily is a BYOB restaurant. We had a nice bottle of this Margaux. I love it because it tastes like dirt!
Foie gras was next. Again, I could have finished off a lot more than this!
The one bite of lamb was perfect…..
This is the Brillat-Savarin Truffle with Warm Saint-Maure de Touraine. Don’t even ask me to explain what it really is because the wine was giving me a buzz. All I know is that this was some seriously good shit!
Dessert. Cranberry tarte. Take a guess at why the photo is completely out of focus!! *burp*
Was it spectacular? Well—yes. And no. The food that we had tasted great. I could have devoured an entire plate platter of the pig snout. It was comparable to the pig cheeks I had at “Frenchie” in Paris. (OK, WHO sounds pretentious now? I do—but I don’t mean it in a pretentious way!)
Pig cheeks from Frenchie were fantastic–but my visits back never measured up to that first one!
What bothered me was the $100.00 per tasting plate. Honestly, I didn’t think it was worth the money for the one bite. Look, I’m not one of those diners who judge on the amount of food. In fact, I cannot stand having too much food on my plate. I believe in quality over quality. However, for one bite—the price point could have been lowered to about $75.00 per person. After all, I’m a woman who needs to prioritize my spending—I have a shoe budget you know!
We did have a great time though—we had a lively conversation with the diners at the table next to us and we did slum it by stopping at Mc Donald’s on the way home!
Yes. I hadn’t had a McDonald’s burger in years (remember, though, I did sample some McDo’s fries in Cannes over the summer and they tasted just as bad as the ones sold here!) and on Friday evening after our expensive tasting menu, I had not one, but two cheeseburgers!
Last night for dinner, I made one of Bonaparte’s favorite meals. Chicken Veronique—chicken with grapes in a wine/cream-based sauce. I made my “Chez Paul” potatoes. Potatoes inspired by Restaurant Paul on Place Dauphine. For dessert, Bonaparte enjoyed a slice of my home made Brioche topped with butter and honey.
I made these potatoes sauteed in butter AND duck fat. So tasty and delicious…
The brioche always turns out great because it is Thomas Keller’s recipe!
This meal may have sounded fancy, but it wasn’t. It is just the good and comforting French home-style cooking that Bonaparte loves and that I’ve learned to cook with love and from the heart.
I yi yi! I’m tired of the foodie generation turning donuts into gourmet treats. A friggin’ donut is a donut is a donut. Just because it’s topped with bacon doesn’t mean it has been turned into a pretentious, complicated and arty form of dessert cuisine. It’s a damn donut with bacon.
Even when topped with Bacon, it’s still just a donut. It isn’t a gourmandise fancy pastry. It is a donut!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my beloved veal kidneys don’t become a foodie favorite because they will make the leap in pricing from dirt cheap to outrageously expensive. That would be offally awful!
Please keep veal kidneys unappetizing to many–or they will become too pricey! Hmmmm…I’m beginning to have a “kidney kraving”!!
Foodie has such a negative impact—doesn’t it? I’m just a person who loves to eat. And cook. And bake. Especially for those I love! I’m a “Cookie“!
Since the topic today is food—how’s about some “Food Glorious Food” from Oliver?
Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Try to keep out of the supermarket due to the crowds prepping for Thanksgiving! I am thankful we are going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. After all, it is for a special occasion! XOXOXOXO!!!