Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Freshly cut Hydrangeas at La Grenouille.

Although I am certainly not against testing out the newest additions to the New York restaurant scene, I do prefer to stick to my old standbys; they rarely disappoint. This week I went to La Grenouille in search of a difficult pairing; comfort and elegance. Like many New Yorkers before me, I had to deal with a major leak in my apartment. And along with many other New Yorkers, I was devastated to learn about Tim Russert’s sudden death. It was just another reminder of how quickly things can change and that we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

There is no restaurant quite like La Grenouille. Located at 3 East 52nd Street, La Grenouille is filled with the most beautiful bouquets of seasonal flowers. This florid scent and burst of color is jarring to the senses, and loosens up what can be construed as a stiff décor. If you allow for it, the reddish hue of Le Grenouille feels more like a warm glow and once tucked into your table (also graced with a mini bouquet — in this case pink and baby blue hydrangeas), an absolute comfort level seeps in. The restaurant, which serves refined French cuisine, has been open since 1962.
The main dining room.
La Grenouille has suitable options for every diner. You can stop in for a quick bite at the bar and snack on a tasty leek tort or Chicken Paillard. La Grenouille also offers a pre theater menu comprising 3 courses for $55.00. And with the regular menu, you have the option to order a la Carte or select the prix fixe for $95.00.

If you like Dover Sole as I do, this is the place to order it. It is served grilled with a luscious mustard sauce. For dessert order the chocolate soufflé. Not many restaurants still make (or even know how to make) a proper souffle. At Grenouille the soufflé is airy, yet still retaining its deep chocolate flavor. Safe to say the experience at La Grenouille lifted my spirits. [La Grenouille]
The menu. Pie Saladiere.
Clockwise from top left: Charles Masson and J.P. Boru; Warm Asparagus with Poached Egg; Grilled Dover Sole with Mustard Sauce; My neighbor's Grand Marnier Souffle; Wild Mushroom Risotto; Some nibbles before dinner.
Bass with Artichokes "Barigoule." Wild Salmon with Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms.
Apple Tart. Creme Caramel.
Chocolate Souffle. Chocolate Cake.
Good news about coffee and red wine. Drinking a few cups of coffee everyday is actually beneficial to your health. Specifically, drinking coffee lowers the risk of fatality from cardiovascular issues. [The Wall Street Journal]

Drinking red wine is also good for you. Besides protecting your heart, a certain compound in red wine and in its grapes may help fight obesity. The resveratrol compound was shown to stimulate the formation of a certain protein, decreasing the risk of A heart attack. Cheers! [NY Times]

When the weather gets warm nothing beats dining outdoors. Here are some restaurants that have hidden gardens. I have yet to hit any of these, so I’m looking forward to dining al fresco. [Metromix]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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