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Sunday, February 15, 2004

eG Food Blog: Feb 14

Yesterday was in Strasbourg. You'll just have to make do with pictures for now. I've got no time to do much online as we are running today to another small town in Germany.

(more texts added Feb.16)

Breakfast before driving to France:

Thomas and I had a rendez-vous today with Marie-ève and Lucas who came from Zurich to meet us in Strasbourg for a lunch at Julien, a Michelin * restaurant in town.

After picking up Marie-Eve and Lucas from the train station, and stopping once or twice along the way to join the huge manifestation and yell in support of better treatment for Ochalan, the Kurdish freedom fighter/terrorist (depending, of course, on your point of view), we trekked across town on foot to lunch. On the way we stumbled upon this market.





We had no time to properly survey the market, but I managed to snap a few photos anyway.

When we arrived at Julien, our nice table by the window with the view of the cathedral was waiting for us.

Lunch at Julien, menu Coup de Coeur.

The amuse consisted of a few cold mussels marinated in shallots and parsley vinaigrette, and a dumpling of mince fish(?) in a slightly sweet and sour sauce. The mussels were quite fresh and perfectly seasoned in the marinade, but I was less happy with the other thing. I wasn't even sure it was fish! It just tasted vaguely of some type of seafood, and I wasn't wild about the sauce either.

Marinated wild salmon, served with Quinoa taboule and sprouts salad. The saumon was almost in the style of lox, but without the smokiness. It was great and almost melted in the mouth. I didn't quite get the sprout salad though. Sprouts in general have this slightly woody taste that I dislike.

Scallops with a salad of jerusalem artichoke and black truffles from Richerenches, and risotto. This was the star of the meal. The scallops were fresh and sweet, the jerusalem artichoke salad was lovely, though the truffes de Richerenches were largely missing in action.

The meat course was a Supreme of pheasant stuffed with foie gras, accompanied by mango and dried fruit compote and a reduction sauce with port. I wasn't too happy with this, and left almost half untouched. The pheasant wasn't at all gamey, in fact, it was so benign it could have very well been turkey. The foie gras was somewhat tasteless, which was strange as it is the specialty of the region. Too bad.

The pre-dessert was a swan with cream and coulis. It was just ok, fancy but somewhat pointless presentation, really.

The dessert course consisted of a “molten” bitter chocolate cake, white mousse and orange sorbet, in spiced wine coulis. I wasn't too happy with this either. The supposedly bitter “molten” chocolate cake was neither bitter nor molten. The sorbet was also far too cloyingly sweet. The mousse was ok, but nothing spectacular. The tuille cookie was not crispy.

We had a bottle of Riesling that was chosen for us by the sommelier. It was quite good, though they failed to list the name on the bill so I couldn't tell you what we had.

After we saw Marie-Eve and Lucas back to the train, Thomas and I went in search of a good cheese shop. We found one, La Fromagerie des Tonneliers, which is owned by the same people who own the famous cheese restaurant La Cloche de Fromage. The fromagerie carries all sort of raw milk cheese from all over France.

When we found the place, there was a big sign in front exclaiming “Le Vacherin Mont-d'Or est arrive”. So of course, naturally, we bought one. I also insisted on a slice of Bleu d'Auvergne, even though it's not from this region. I've just been craving it so long. I also got a Valencay, a goat milk cheese formed into a pyramid shape. And to also get something local, we got a big slice of local Munster cheese.

After the big lunch, dinner was a simple meal of cheese, bread, and saucisson sec (also bought from the cheese shop). To drink were a glass of bordeaux and a bottle of Karlsberg.


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