Saturday, February 9, 2008

France away from France

What kind of gourmand (and bona fide wino) would I be if I didn't share with you one of my favorite restaurants in Baltimore? The Brasserie Tatin is a neighborhood joint where we go when we're in the mood for a taste of Paris. This place is quite similar to the Restaurant Le Bosquet. Not too formal, not too expensive. The food is marvelous, and the wine list isn't too shabby, either.

We ordered the Prix Fixe, which consisted of Les Hors d’Oeuvres: escargots in a puff pastry for Frank, and broiled scallops in a bourbon cream sauce for me; Les Plats: steak frites for Frank and a lamb shank for me; and Dessert: Marjolaine Le Bec Fin for us both.

This is the way the dessert is described on the menu: "Hazelnut meringue layered with chocolate mousse, hazelnut buttercream & whipped cream, glazed with ganache."

This is the way I describe it: Perfect.

Our clever server, Divya, talked us into ordering a bottle of wine instead of settling for the minute portions offered as the prix fixe wine-pairing. She actually had to wrestle me to the ground, holding a butter knife to my throat before I gave in. Uncle! Uncle! Okay, I'll do it.

The host/owner/sommelier extraordinaire Marc Dettori recommended the Saint-Julien Bordeaux, Chateau Talbot 2002 because it was "soft and beautiful". He was right on the money. We both enjoyed it immensely: Frank, with his one-glass-allotment, and me, with the rest of the bottle.

What was the occasion for this delectable outing, you might ask. Simple. I had just visited my favorite salon so I needed to take my hair out to dinner.

Does a girl need a better reason than that?