Clowns are scary, yes we all know. Circuses are bizarre, yes, maybe we can agree. But maybe, just maybe, foie gras cancels it all out. How did I come upon this genius mathematical equation? By way of Le Cirque. When you realize that you will be eating under a glowing orange tent, that should be the first sign that your meal will be one of indulgent absurdity. Over-the-top, frighteningly extravagant and simply, opulently, greedy fattiness. Does that even make sense? Who cares.
Matt's cousins took us out for a celebratory night of excess that began with champagne and...what?! Foie gras ravioli with green cabbage marmalade and a black truffle emulsion. Holy mother of $39-raviolis, this...was...insane. The intense fatty deliciousness of these two pricey little pillows marked our souls in a dangerous, dangerous way.
Back on the other side of the Inferno, Monica was enjoying her tuna a la nicoise, revisted. I don't think I can do any revisitations after that ravioli pleasure-coma.
Andrew had the Australian shrimp with Asian mixed vegetables and a coconut lemongrass jus. He enjoyed them, but wasn't blown away. C'mon, little shrimpies! Step up!
And, uh, step up something surely did. The prime dry-aged strip steak definitely made its massive presence known...And as if a huge slab of meat weren't enough, this meat was served with a side of MEAT! Oh, dear oh dear! It all just makes me blush. Cannelloni stuffed with short ribs, caramelized onions, haricot verts, fresh herbs, red wine sauce and pommes dauphine. Andrew devoured this in seconds. Very impressive.
And back on the daintier side of hedonism, I went for the John Dory, served with baby vegetables, grain mustard and saffron-kaffir scented endive. It was delicious, but there was just way too much of it.
Matt went for the famous paupiette of black sea bass, wrapped in crispy potatoes on a bed of braised leeks with a Rocca di Frassinello wine sauce. Now one thing I do know is that I'd like to have my name as a wine sauce. The intricacies of this beautifully formed dish aside, Matt thought it should've been more over-the-top.
Monica had something that just seemed perfectly proportioned and yummy: the roasted duck breast with leg confit, rhubarb marmalade and white asparagus. Yes, yes, do tell.
And for dessert, a lovely creme brulee.
Andrew had the chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream and chantilly. It was huge. And I guess, in my haste, I quickly ate up my own dessert without photographing it...a blueberry souffle that was simply outrageous. Outrageous! It was like blueberry pancakes, souffled, but a million times better. Oh I get cravings for this now in a section of my brain and stomach that has been re-wired solely for this precious being!
Matt had not one, but TWO desserts, and he would not stop talking about their wondrousness. Isle Flottante (floating island), and a red wine-poached rhubarb with a marsala sabayon. Hello, lovers.
But not even two desserts could cut it. A tray of mignardises came out, and these were probably some of the most generous ones I've seen. Do I see tarts! Tarts!? That is not just a little sweet bite to enjoy with coffee. It's a dessert! So, on my trip in Provence, I discovered pre-desserts. I never knew there could be post-desserts as well. Needless to say, it was quite difficult walking out of there. Thank you, Monica and Andrew!