April 24, 2009

ooh la la

Now what I really want to tell you about is the dinner that Jason and I went to last Friday night. Once a month, Tea Bar & Bites puts on a prix-fixe "theme" dinner with food from different countries or cultures. I've attended their theme dinners ranging from Peruvian to Irish and I'm never disappointed.

For April, the dinner was Parisian-themed, so of course I was excited. I really love French food, but it's hard to pin point exactly why. I think it's the simplicity of it. The French make a meal of meat and potatoes into something gourmet. But more than that, it's that they truly appreciate the experience of food. When I lived there, I attended dinners that lasted for five hours. Seriously. I would be exhausted after those dinners, trying to follow the conversations and pretend like I knew what everyone was talking about. But I loved it, too, because it was totally un-American.

Our dinner last Friday consisted of five or so delicious, well-thought-out courses, starting with a goat cheese crostata with asparagus and roasted red pepper; there was a mushroom soup with homemade pastry, celery and fennel salad, followed by a really really good salmon with potatoes and some braised red cabbage. But the coup de grace, as they say, was the dessert. Take chocolate cinnamon mousse sandwiched between two chocolate discs and topped with a chocolate covered cherry, and you have this:

Chef John Ruff, you're my hero.

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