Monday, June 18, 2007

A Rebours

I'm not even sure if I'm pronouncing it properly - Laura? My little francophile Frenchie pooh, a little help? But wow, I do I love it! This little place in downtown St. Paul is a darling take on modern, sophisticated dining. The room is charming and our server was flawless AND as an added bonus, French. Like a real French accent, not the fakey one that the cute server boy at Barbette sometimes affects.

We were allowed to pick whichever table in the room we wanted. There was a perfect little spot for us right by the bar with a lovely view of the street. Outside, a woman was sipping a martini and reading a book. It was so warm that we only wanted to do a very light dinner, so we only ordered two appetizers. I wish we'd had more! I was cursing myself as we walked away, why didn't we get a full entree? If the appetizers were this flawless, than the food must be divine. We ordered their Gnocchi a la Parisienne, which are not the traditional potato dumplings, they were much more closely akin to cream puffs and eclairs, but savory. They were light as air little pockets tucked into a deeply creamy, cheesy sauce and was then broiled momentarily. The arrived at the table steaming. They were so decadent and yet, so light!

The mussels were equally charming. The presentation was gorgeous, like a lot of little shells winding into the shape of a conch. The broth was buttery with light notes of wine and a warm kiss from a little curry. Not only was the curry flavor not too assertive, but the mussels were exactly as they should, deep, briny oceanic flavors set this Midwesterner to the moon. This is what a mussel tastes like! THIS is what a mussel tastes like?! What have I been eating all this time and how can I get more of THESE!!!!

Even the bread, the silly little bread basket was outstanding. I almost asked where they got it from. Crusty, yeasty with a hint of a tang telling of the starter that birthed this gorgeous loaf.

Oh, and the Prosecco! Oh, my God was this Prosecco amazing! And it was so perfect with the food - the effervescence cut through the cream and the light flavors were buoyant with the mussels. It was delightful! Stupendous! (Nice, job on the wine pairing Joy! pat. pat.)

This is the sort of dining experience everyone wants! This is what it should be!!! do I write a blog without complaining, though? It's disconcerting. Maybe I'll just need to go back and see if they can't screw something up.


At 2:22 PM , Anonymous J.Lo said...

A post without complaint? As refreshing as the prosecco!

The name is pronounced "ah ruh-bwah." I'm nothing if not public-service oriented.

At 6:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, it's pronounced "ah ruh-boor"

At 1:14 PM , Anonymous J.Lo said...

Okay, okay. Yes, one has to be 'CaReFuL' pronouncing consonants at the end of a word in French. Touche.

I need to be reminded I'm not infallible.


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