I was invited in September to a fantastic soirée at the Bofinger brasserie that I have blogged about before (a few years ago). Amongst a slew of Parisian bloggers I was excited to be able to taste some of the options from their new Fall-Winter menu.
(Pour les francophone, voici quelques blogs en français sur le sujet : auhasard.fr, bambiaparis, ParisianShoeGals, Eloàlabouche, YuYuFashionBook, RaphALaVanille) and for a collection of the tweets and instagrams check out Storify.
Not just a well presented dinner, the event was a fun and involved one. The lovely ladies who organised the event had us rate our favorites as the procession of food progressed, and we all got to participate in a food preparation lesson for one of the courses.
If you haven’t been to this restaurant, it is a great option to feel immersed in historical Parisian culture. 150 years is quite impressive for a restaurant to remain open and popular! The founder, from the Alsace area of France was the first to bring beer served by tap to the capital and his restaurant still prides itself in serving specialties from the Alsace region.
Our tasting menu was quite intense. We savored three different entrées (starters) : A traditional crusted paté flavored with green pepper and served with a Riesling jelly; there was also a crab and avocado entrée flavored with a mango and passion fruit purée on the side (this was my favorite of the entrées), and we also tasted a lobster carpaccio dish with scallops served with a beet and ginger vinaigrette and sprinkled with crushed nuts. This latter dish was one that certain guests were invited to prepare and plate themselves in one of the « ateliers » (workshops) that we all got to participate in. It was fun to see the different creative way my fellow dinner guests chose to plate their dish.
The « plats » or main courses we tasted were all amazing. The first was a juicy monk fish dish with scallops and crayfish in a buttery red sauce. Gorgeous, and delicious. The second was simple yet divine, baked sole fish with a light breaded crust served with roasted potatoes. The sole was the dish reserved for the atelier, which I participated in. we were instructed on how to elegantly debone the sole fish, just like they do in the restaurant after presenting the client with the whole baked fish. There are specific and delicate gestures to deboning a sole fish, but once you know how it doesn’t seem very difficult. I can’t wait to try at home for guests. The third dish was the restaurant’s famous specialty : choucroute. It was needless to say, succulent and amazing. My favorite dish though was the sole fish, probably because I participated in prepping one of the fish that was served at the table… but regardless, it was subtle and flavorful and cooked to perfection.
The third course, the desserts was quite the collection of flavors… My absolute favorite (although it was hard to chose) was the bourbon flavored pineapple pool (soup) with a giant scoop of thick ivory chocolate cream in the center and garnished with lime zest and pomegranate pearls. Not only was this dessert exotic and creative but it was thirst quenching after a lot of food and it was so different from the usual dessert. We also tasted « Kougloff » a sort of french toast but a thousand times better, with mirabelle fruit jam. the third dessert was the traditional « Paris-Brest » pastry, a puff pastry shaped like a donut, sliced in half and filled with a thick café vanilla cream… so GOOD! There was a fourth dessert that the guests sent to the workshop prepared, a mille-feuille of crunchy pastry wafers, thick pastry cream, lime zest and fruit each one delightfully arranged.
I was quite impressed with the organization of the entire event. It was a delight to have the restaurant manager taking care of us personally, as well as the chef offering us his savoir-faire for each little workshop. The PR team as well animated the entire evening with peps and positivity. And well, it is hard not to enjoy yourself when you are almost literally fed up to your eyeballs with amazing food, cooked in a hand crafted traditional style and served with all the panache that you would hope for from a grande brasserie Parisienne!
Bravo and thank you to the entire team!
5-7 rue de la Bastille – Paris 11
Tél : 01 42 72 87 82