Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Way to a Girl's Heart

Through her stomach! That's the saying right?  Girl...man...turns out it's a universal sentiment, and in the case of Chez l'Ami Jean, even with bad behavior, you can do no wrong.  That's right.  We're returning to my favorite restaurant.  And even for me, a record was set this time - 2 times in a week!  Best, week, ever?

I reserved a table for five for a Thursday night because Jillian had two friends in town who were ready to indulge in some delicious French food.  At the mere mention of "indulge" and "delicious", the obvious choice was Chez l'Ami Jean, and Alexa and I were game to join the fun!  And THEN on Monday, the sister & brother-in-law of one of my best friends from college came in town, and they wanted to go here, too!  (Wisely!!)  And so we did. 

But back to the first visit, Thursday night.
I FINALLY got to sit at arguably the best table in the restaurant, the one in the corner with the chandelier, right next to the cartoon graffiti...just another reason to love this place.
We are immediately greeted with a wooden board topped with beautiful ribbons of melt-in-your-mouth jambon cru with a bowl of salted butter hand-churned by butterflies in Normandy.
 It's honestly hard not to eat a whole loaf of bread and butter and ham and just call it a night. 
 Alexa knows.  But bread will slow you down on a night like this.  You just have to be strong.
Shannon's face says it all so well.  And so all our faces looked the rest of the evening, as each new course arrived.  "Ho, ho, what have we HERE, kind sir??" "Why, t'is a delicious parmesan soup, made 98% of cream, poured on top of fresh vegetables & croutons."  "We accept what you have poured for us, good day sir."
By the way, how precious is that little 16-year-old looking waiter?  Well let me tell you, about 10 minutes later, I don't know what he did wrong but Jego, the chef (my bf), was in a TERRIBLE mood, and not only started yelling at this kid across the restaurant but shot out from the kitchen and pushed him straight out the front door!! With another waiter in front him, who just got shuffled out in the frenzy as Jego bulldozed them both through the room!  And when the little guy came back in, he was blinking back TEARS!!  Oh we all just wanted to hug him, poor thing.  Jego was scowling and yelling the whole night, I've never seen him in such a mood before.  And obviously, we're best friends and married, so that says a lot.  

Up next, a perfectly cooked langoustine ("baby lobster") on top of seared foie gras, fennel, & oreilles de cochon, in a slightly spicy broth.
As we ate and talked and laughed, we were all still harboring concern for our precious waiter, all 100% on the little guy's side, all thinking of ways to show Jego that he had acted horribly towards this kid.  Until these came out.
And then Jego became #1 in our hearts once more.  And look...I know we should still be appalled at the chef for flipping out and bulldozing precious tiny boy child waiters out the door in the middle of a busy dinner service.  But you didn't taste these scallops.  And everyone at the table can attest...When we started eating the scallops - you put the whole thing in your mouth like a sucker so you can taste all the delicious buttery wonder-sauce...that's when you know that mermaids made this.

Who even knew that scallops could smell amazing?? 
 Jego knew.  That's who.  The boy waiter didn't know.  He had no idea.

After the scallop course came perhaps the most delicious pork dish I have ever tasted, and we bowed in honor to such a plate as this.

The round of synchronized smelling occurred naturally, and then we danced around the table as a sign of gratitude and appreciation.
There were two cuts - One was like a pork chop and the other like pulled pork, which I could have used a spoon to eat because it practically dissolved upon impact.  I wish I knew how to describe the flavor.  It's like if you bit into something and then rainbows came out, followed by a firework, and then glitter.  Like that?

I need to work on my flavor descriptors if I ever want to be a food writer.

Finally, we have reached the dessert course.
Dessert #1: Fresh, fresh, fresh.  Incredibly fragrant strawberries, raspberries, and red currants, topped with a creamy strawberry sorbet produced by the strawberries themselves on their honeymoon in the Alps.  Topped with crunchy crumbled pieces of pistachio macaron.  And no, I didn't lick the interior of the bowl.  That was someone else, and I told them to stop.  So embarrassing.  People with no self control.
Speaking of Dessert #2 - If you know anything about Chez l'Ami Jean, it can be none other than the famous rice pudding, claimed by all to be the best in Paris, argued amongst many to be the best anywhere period, end of story.  I side with both these groups.  Paris, universe, best.
And, to complete the meal, a beautiful, clean, tasty espresso.  Perfect ending.

...with cocoa-dusted walnuts.

It's love.


  1. I love your writing!!

  2. I love your blog! I am a friend of Michael and Melissa Jackson (through my daughter), so I heard about you from them! We are coming to Paris in September, so I love reading about the restaurants you love. I may never meet you, but I love reading about Paris through your eyes!

    1. Hi Judi!! So fun!! Tell Michael to send me a Facebook message, and I'll send him my Paris recommendations list for sightseeing, hotels, restaurants & eating! September is usually beautiful, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time! Come on one of our tours so we can meet! :)

  3. Is it weird if I say that I am in love with you? Probably. Well, it's true. You are so funny and cute.

    1. You know my heart belongs to Jego but I'm happy that our love is blossoming from across the ocean! Isn't that beautiful?

  4. holy wow how do you eat SO much food yet look so fantabulous! i was "full" with the ham but then there were more! and then the desserts! ps i agree with your lover matthew you are such a great writer. pps poor little waiter boy! you need to have a little chat with jego about his temper.