Sunday, March 02, 2008

En famille à Pigalle

Last night, we went to dinner with our eight best friends. They're the people we've known pretty much the length of our marriage, and they are family to us. We see a few of them regularly, and some occasionally, but it's rare that our busy lives allow us all to sit around a table together.

Our tenth anniversary seemed a good enough reason to change that. We booked a table for ten at
Pigalle, and while the waitstaff seemed a little anxious at first (possibly assuming we were a pre-theater crowd who expected to be served and out the door in 90 minutes), they realized we were in no hurry when we all ordered the five-course tasting menu.

Can I describe each dish for you? No, sorry; on this night, food took second place to conversation, and I was more interested in catching up than in taking notes. Having said that, I do remember:
  • the amuse-bouche of pickled beets, yuzu honey and horseradish crème fraîche, served in a miniature martini glass, every mouthful a lovely balance of sweet and spice, cream and crunch

  • the perfect breaded sphere of a panko-crusted poached egg atop asparagus and frisée salad

  • the thick slice of roast salmon, skin slightly charred and crisp, fish soft and tender
  • the short ribs, deep and meaty with a slightly carmelized sweetness

  • the intense, moist richness of the molten chocolate cake
We staggered out of Pigalle some time around 11, five hours after we arrived. The night air was almost cold enough to shock us out of our satiated daze. But we'd spent an evening with our family of friends, and that was insulation enough.

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