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Bibou Prix Fixe

After several failed attempts at going to the Bibou prix fixe, we finally got a reservation! I swear, every time we wanted to go, there was something stopping us. Either we tried to get a reservation too late, they were on vacation, or one of us wasn’t available on that said sunday. Then all the stars aligned and we finally went! Bibou is pocket-sized and adorably so. It’s warm and inviting.
Warm baguette, anyone? Yes, please! The butter was also delicious.
To start, we had the soup course, which was a bouillabase, with rouille toast. Oh, this was a cute bowl of seafoody goodness. It was hot, pungent, and a great start.
E got the foie gras duo. There was a foie gras creme brulee and a hunk of seared foie gras. For those of you who eat foie gras and like foie gras, this is the choice for you.
I decided to be bold and get the escargot. It’s a french place and I wanted to go as french as possible! Escargot is of course, snails, and these were in a ragout with fava beans, mousseron mushroom, and flavored with tarragon. I like escargot! I’d only had it once before, maybe nearly 10 years ago, but those were just pretty plain and buttered. These were succulent and savory and I even enjoyed the mushrooms. There’s nothing scary about snails at all. They’re delicious.
E wanted the octopus dish, but they had just run out. So instead, she got the striped bass prepared as the octopus had been. So here is the striped bass with with cauliflower couscous, tomatillo and red bell pepper, preserved lemon, in a caper brown butter. Yum!
I got the regular striped bass dish, which was served with artichoke barigoule, fava beans, butternut squash, and barigoule emulsion. What does all that mean? I don’t know, it just tasted good. Both of the fish dishes were perfectly cooked. The fish was tender but with a slightly crispy skin. The accompanying flavors and veggies were mild, yet perfect for how it was prepared. We both ate it up!
E is a chocolate girl, so she got the mimi’s chocolate cake with caramel sauce. Oh my word. This was an individual sized and baked cake. It was crazy good.
I prefer fruit in my desserts so I went with the crumble fresh cranberry pie. Jimminy cricket this was amazing too. The cranberry was fresh and tart and the accompanying berries were lovely and sweet. Really, every bite of this meal was superb.
Just when we thought we were done, they brought out some macaroons and other sweet treats. How cute is this! And if that wasn’t enough, Chef Pierre came out and said hello to us (and everyone else). We were both elated, stuffed, and a bit starstruck to say anything intelligible! We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal here, and the entire experience. I still don’t know jack about french food, but places like Bibou make me want to try it again and again.
Bibou on Urbanspoon

Bistrot La Minette

I feel full of shame that I hadn’t gone to Bistrot La Minette earlier. I’ve passed by it dozens of times. It’s right across the street from Beau Monde. I always saw it and said to myself, hmm, I wonder if that place is any good. I just had no idea that it was an authentic French bistro and that it would be so darn good. Maybe I was afraid of French food. I just don’t know. But I’ve finally righted my wrong. So they do a prix fixe on sundays, $29(!) for four courses, and the menu changes weekly. And man, it was stupendous.
There are some cute tables outside and when you go in, it immediately feels like you’re in Paris. It really is quite transformative. What do we start with? Baguette! So good and served with the most delicious salted butter.
Here’s the amuse bouche – rillet on a little mini crostini.
Our first official course was the Soupe Parmentier. It was a winter root vegetable soup with fried leeks, butter-roasted chestnuts, and parsley oil. This was so velvety smooth and rooty. It definitely is made with roots, but nothing was overly bitter. The chestnuts were so good! I wish there had been more of them!
Next up was the Grillé au Cantal. It was a hunk of breaded and fried Cantal cheese with cauliflower and haricots verts in a lemon vinaigrette. It was like cheese tempura! It was a bit on the overly crunchy side, but who doesn’t like fried cheese!
The main entree was the Bœuf Bourguignon. You know what this is, it’s a beef stew with mushrooms, lardons, pearl onions, and potatoes dauphine. This stew had an intense flavor and the meat was tender and juicy. My favorite thing about this were the potatoes dauphine! They like deep fried mashed potato balls! So the puffed outside is a little crispity but the potato on the inside is whipped and creamy. It was so awesome.
And finally, for dessert, the Tarte au Citron et son Sorbet Cassis. It was a super duper lemony tart with a cassis sorbet. The whole thing was great, especially the cassis sorbet. It was so much food! And it was all delicious! We were both absolutely crazy about it. The service was also excellent, from our extremely blond server. He would have looked extremely at home in a Russian figure skating program. Early on when we first got there, which was like early bird time, it was pretty much deserted. But later in the night, we were happy to see lots more people show up. And you should show up too!

Bistro La Minette on Urbanspoon

Cafe La Maude

After many thwarted attempts, I finally got a chance to brunch at Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties. It’s down a few steps from the ever popular Honey’s, but it’s a completely different experience. It’s cute on the outside, and it’s probably even cuter when it’s warm and the front windows are open and there are tables outside.  But omg, the inside is just so sickeningly cute and awesome. I mean, seriously. It’s so amazing and well-done and beautifully designed it makes me want to cry. If I could dream of a kitchen and dining room, it would look like Cafe La Maude. I would also be filthy rich in order to be able to afford it.
It’s totally european chic and cool on the inside. Grey subway tiles! I love it! It’s a cafe so the menu is fairly small, consisting of some breakfast items, sandwiches, and salads. There’s also pastries and coffees. The fare is french-lebanese, so you’ll see a nice mix of middle-eastern and french favorites. Really though, can I just say again how attractive this place is?
Here is the Saumon Fume. It is an open-faced sandwich with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, and an overflow of arugula. This sandwich was enjoyed quite a bit, until J bit into an olive pit and almost broke a tooth. That kind of put a downer on it. Also, he asked for an egg to be added on but there was no such egg! Oops. But otherwise, a good sandwich.

I got the Halloumi Press. It was a grilled halloumi cheese sandwich on baguette with roasted tomatoes, green olives, mesclun greens and an arugula basil aioli. I fell in love with halloumi cheese ever since having it at Kanella so I really enjoyed this sandwich. This halloumi was actually quite salty though, so don’t expect anything bland. We also tried an oj/lemonade mix drink that had a slightly odd taste to it. Not odd bad, just odd. I felt like it was flowery, like a honeysuckle taste? In any case, we liked it! The service was ok. We had to wait quite awhile for the food, and people that were seated after us got their food before us, which wasn’t that cool. But the atmosphere is too great to let that bother you. It’s definitely a place to just hang out and linger with friends. I’ll wait for my sandwich if I can just soak in how lovely this place is. If only I could go home and my home was this lovely!

Café La Maude on Urbanspoon

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