Monday, July 19, 2010

Chez Nom Nom Nom

Some nights, at some meals in particular, I become very aware of how lucky I am to appreciate amazing food and to live in Providence, where amazing food is so plentiful.

I took not a single photo at dinner tonight. I was too busy enjoying the company of my dinner companions. Lack of photos notwithstanding, our meal at Chez Pascal was just about perfect. It is Restaurant Week here in Providence, so we chose from the special menu provided for the occasion. (Psst... Restaurant Week lasts through July 24. There's still time for you!)

You'll have to indulge me in my copying of the dish descriptions straight from the Restaurant Week website. I'd rather admit that I copied and pasted, rather than rely on my shoddy memory and botch an important detail.

I started with the Stoney Hill Cattle Company braised pork meatballs with fennel, zucchini and green olives. The meatballs were small and delicate. By sight, I expected a heavy, Swedish style meatball. Not so. The sauce was flavorful, but not overwhelming. The qualities of the great fresh vegetables and olives were really allowed to come through.

For dinner I had the grilled swordfish fillet with a stew of local onions, carrots, zucchini and cilantro-espelette butter.  That butter! I don't think I ever want to eat another piece of meat or fish that doesn't have a sliver of compound butter melting over the top. The butter added a depth of flavor to the fresh fish that I haven't experienced anywhere else.

At this point, if I really listened to my body, I probably should have stopped. But there was dessert to be had. And you don't get to be a card-carrying Weight Watchers member by listening to your body tell you it's full! Jeez! For dessert, I chose the blueberry and almond tart with Chocolate Feuilletine Crunch and lavender ice cream. Warm. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Balanced with the cool, not too sweet ice cream. I normally don't choose fruit desserts. But this was way more decadent than I would have thought. A fantastic finish to a perfect summer evening in Providence.

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