October 7, 2021

Feels like the first time

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Unlike the impromptu dinner which serendipitously fell into place last year, this year I tried to nudge Sankala about early planning for her birthday. After all, many of our favorite restaurants are now booked up weeks in advance, and we can no longer try our luck the way we did last year.  Eventually we settled on Louise, a restaurant which - at the time of booking - I had never been to... and Sankala had not returned to after her first visit 2 years ago was marred by a selfish so-called influencer seated nearby.

We looked at both the signature tasting menu as well as the à la carte selections, and eventually chose the tasting menu. I do love that the restaurant still offers a choice where diners don't need to take a whole, long, tasting menu.

Variation de tomates anciennes, sorbet basilic - the amuse bouche tonight was similar to a dish I tasted here a few weeks ago. Very refreshing with tomato water gelée and basil sorbet, and the acidity helped to whet the appetite.

Sériole légèrement grillé, aneth, choux rave, condiment pimenté - the yellowtail skin had a touch of smokiness from the light grilling while showing slight bitterness on the palate. The kohlrabi was nicely marinated with good acidity, and we've got a spicy kick from the green, spicy condiment. Finally, we have some nice fragrance in the mouth thanks to dill.

Poêlé de cèpes, ail persil et noix, Valetta de Dume Cesari, vinaigrette jus de volaille et Xérès - very rich flavors from the pan-fried ceps, and that top layer of vuletta from Dumè Cesari in Corsica was obviously really delicious. I mean, who doesn't like fatty pork cheek?! The fresh walnuts were nice, as were the slices of fresh ovoli on top. Delicious.

Foie gras de canard grillé, betteraves multicolores céleri-rave et prunes en différentes textures, jus de canard infusé aux feuilles de tagette - the grilled foie gras was really something, with beautifully soft texture. The acidity in the jus was perfect. Such a wonderful, classic dish.

Langoustine rôtie à la cannelle Cassia, girolles et petit pois, bisque de crustacés au vin jaune - love it when langoustine comes with shellfish sauce, and this one was particularly lovely - although there was a little too much vin jaune and the taste of alcohol was a little too heavy-handed. We've also got some sweet peas, which always works well, and the sprinkle of brioche crumbs on top was a nice touch.

La poitrine de pigeon Miéral grillé, cannelloni aux cèpes, artichaut, foie gras de canard et cuisses confites, condiment ail noir, sauce salmis

The breast of the pigeon was pretty nicely done.

The cannelloni came with confit of the pigeon leg, ceps, and foie gras.

Pavlova mangue fruit de la passion, glace à la vanille de Tahiti - love all the tropical fruit flavors. Classic dessert with all the signatures of Julien Royer.

Canelé - this was very, very hard and crunchy on the outside, which is what I prefer at the moment. Very, very nice.

Of course, I came prepared with a special bottle of wine.

1982 Veuve Cliquot Cavé Privée, bouteille 2443/3500, dégorgée en mai 2014 - definitely nose of sugarcane and water chestnut water (竹蔗茅根), savory notes like Chinese salted plum, caramelized sugar, and marmalade. Soft and lovely on the palate, with enough acidiy still.

2018 J.L. Chave Sélections Saint-Joseph Offerus - huge metallic and minty nose, reminiscent of blood. Very young and tannic.

Very happy with our meal tonight. Very solid cooking, and definitely somewhere I could take mom when she is in town for a visit. Not sure when that would be, though...

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