Monday, July 28, 2008
How Much Chicken Can One Diva Eat?
As it turned out, we dined at La Mirabelle on Saturday night, a lovely local place and a favorite of the Diva family. Papa Diva chose the restaurant and a fine choice it was. La Mirabelle is a traditional French bistro and both the food and the dining experience there are throughly satisfying. The menu is not overly ambitious, its full of the classics one would expect, and the food is simply prepared and beautifully executed. We've been dining there for 13 years and have never had a bad meal. The wait staff is so gracious and charming, it almost feels like you are dining in someone's home ... and, in a sense, I guess you are. The Le Douaron family has owned and operated La Mirabelle for years and its clear they love what they do.
Needless to say, I had the chicken. It was glazed with a savory wild mushroom sauce and served with some steamed veggies and a decadent, garlicy potato galette. No, that's not one of the South Beach Diet approved foods - and, yes, I ate it. It was magnificent! I further enhanced the meal with some rich chocolate gelatto for dessert ... but I shared it with pixelgal ... and neither of us were sorry about that!
La Mirabelle is one of the treasures of the Upper West Side of Manhattan - and I recommend it, highly. Be sure to have dessert if you dine there - the fresh fruit tarts are spectacular and not to be missed.
As previously mentioned, we dined at Perry Street last night. Its restaurant week here in New York, and we were happy to take advantage of the summer slow-down and book an early table there. Perry Street is part of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ever expanding empire and it is altogether delightful. As a destination restaurant, it has everything to recommend it: sleek, modern decor, beautiful views of the Hudson River, simple and elegantly prepared food ... and, perhaps, the skinniest mirrors in all of New York City!
I'm not kidding. I took one look at myself in that restroom mirror and thought: "Damn, I look good!" I'm seriously considering taking up residence in that bathroom and giving up this diet thing altogether. It was all I could do *not* to strip down to my undies and spend the rest of the evening in there admiring myself. These mirrors are *that* flattering! The last time I looked this good in a mirror I was shopping Macy's in Herald Square and ended up purchasing an ill-advised, empire-waist, white eyelet top. Ugh. The top is a disaster and will soon be heading to Good Will - but I digress.
We began our meal at Perry Street with a selection of their wonderful cocktails. I had the passion fruit - chili cocktail, made with bourbon and a hint of spicy chili pepper syrup. Outstanding! The husband (and his sister) had the cucumber martini - which tastes like summer in a glass, M had the spicy and delicious ginger margarita and K chose the thyme infused vodka lemonade. Although said cocktails were woefully late in their arrival, there were no complaints upon tasting them. I've been to Perry Street for the drinks alone and would happily go back just for that passion-chili cocktail. Its a marvelous combination!
No surprise, I had the chicken! For the record, I am capable of ordering and eating other things, but I had opted to go with the restaurant week menu and the choice of entree was limited ... chicken or red snapper. Anyone surprised I didn't choose the fish? No? I didn't think so. In this case the pan-roasted chicken breast was served atop a buttery mound of fresh, sweet corn and drizzled with a rich, smoky jus. The combination of the savory jus, crisp sweet corn and succulent chicken was heavenly. I hear the red snapper was delicious as well, but you'll have to take my dining companions' word for it. ~wink~
Much to my surprise, delight and chagrin ... the afore mentioned chocolate pudding with candied violets was offered as a dessert option and you'd be crazy if you think I passed it up. All three women at the table chose the chocolate pudding while my brother in law opted for the cherries jubilee - further proof of my theory that men will always choose a fruit based dessert, and women will always go for the chocolate. Its a biological certainty. My second rendezvous with this unusual pudding did not disappoint. It was every bit as luscious, interesting and indulgent as I remembered and this time it came with a sparkly, silver candle for me to wish on. M's pudding came with one as well. Nice!
Both the meal and the company were divine and it was a delightful way to cap off my month of never-ending birthday celebrations. Special thanks to M who made it all possible. So happy to have shared our July birthdays in this way and looking forward to doing it again next year!
All of which brings us to the question of the day: how much chicken can one Diva eat? A lot. And, at this point, I think I've had my fill of it. What's for dinner tonight you ask? Who knows ... stay tuned and I'll answer tomorrow!