Tuesday, August 23, 2011


“I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet! I Feel the World Tumbling….”

There was a small little tremor in NYC today caused by an earthquake which yours truly, thankfully I should add, did not feel.  I was enjoying the benefits of a spontaneous day off and on my way to lunch with Simone-celebrating her golden birthday.  Like any New Yorker, I attributed any movement I felt to the crowd or subway.  After watching Hell’s Kitchen almost religiously, thanks to John who obsesses over reality food television after meeting me, I had a craving for French, Indian, and Greek cuisine.  So we settled French, an early dinner, and La Barrique in the heart of midtown. 

The food was delicious starting with bread and a balsamic olive oil mix followed by snails and a goat cheese green salad.  Now I was on the fence about trying snails, as I’m sure most of you would be; however Simone, who had taken French and is far more cultured than I am, went right along with my spontaneous snail moment “sure, I’ve had it before.  Let’s give it a try.”  And so we did.  I allowed my fork, somewhat shaking from my anticipation and ambiguity towards eating an insect, to break into the puff pastry that enclosed the escargot and took a bite.  I must say that it was not disgusting, and if I was a fan of mushrooms, I may have just loved the texture and taste because that is exactly what they reminded me of: mushrooms.  The color, which I failed to take a picture of while I was recovering from my anxiety of eating snails, the texture, and the taste were almost identical to mushrooms.  Luckily, Simone had chosen a green salad with goat cheese.  I must say, the French are quite innovative when it comes to cheese, and La Barrique- although in NY- was no exception to this.  The cheese was pan fried, warm, tangy, and waiting on top of the salad for an unsuspecting, such as myself, newbie to bite into its delectable flesh.  My taste buds, if nothing else, has a newfound appreciation for cheese!

Following my escargot moment, which Simone-despite it being her golden birthday- coaxed me through, we settled on almond crusted lamb and Chilean sea bass.  Both were yummy delicious options.  The lamb however was to die for, and Simone and I came to the realization that French were best known for their meat, potato au gratin (which I had for the very first time and found to be hearty, delicious, and worthy of a recreation at a later date in time), and sauces. 

Our scrumptious meal was finished with tiramisu, coffee, and a round of “happy birthday” sung off tune.    The coffee was wonderful and perhaps one the best cups I have had- most likely due to the alcohol content the barista threw in there to help us celebrate.  All in all, I’d consider French food conquered, and I wish you were there!  Next up: Chinese tea ceremony at tranquility tea room.  Any volunteers!? 

P.S. Happy Golden B-day Simone! I love you, hope you had an amazing birthday, and wish you many many more to come! 


  1. The pics are beautiful! And the food sounds absolutely divine! I love your taste for adventure. :) It's so refreshing when someone is willing to be daring & experience other cuisines (I consider myself daring, but then again, I don't think I've pushed my limits that far...although I'd like to)! I'm looking forward to reading about what you try next. And maybe trying some new thingies myself (though in the meantime, I may have to experience vicariously through you). :)

  2. Don't wory Alyssa, you are def. invited for the recreation of this dish...and your going to love the potato au gratin...i'll be sure to hold the snails!

  3. Cute. I can't wait to see more. p.s thanks for fixing the comments! I thought i had to sign up for blogger just to leave a msg!

  4. Potato Au Gratin is yummy and should be easy to recreate! happy b-day to simone. Golden b-days are always fun!