Woohoo! Today is the first official day of my sabbatical and it's time to celebrate! I can't think of a better way to toast my trip to Europe with a leisurely dinner at Fleur de Lys. J and I debated the menu for a long time - we had wanted to go with the 5-course but decided that it may be too much. And when our server told us that it would be okay for us to share the 4-course and then just share the dessert, that's what we went for, along with the wine pairing of course. Both J and I are big foie gras fans so we basically went for whatever items that had foie gras in it. We both started off with the Duo of Hudson Valley foie gras, which consisted of a baeckeoffe (we had no idea of what it was) of foie gras, truffles, and fingerling potatoes, and "a seared duck burger and foie gras on a brioche bun." The foie gras burger was delicious, the foie gras was juicy and tender, which offsets the texture of the duck burger which reminded me a bit of a fish cake. The baeckeoffe was tasty but for some reason it was a bit cold and it barely had a thin sliver of foie gras in there.
For our fish course, I had the hazelnut-crusted scallops while J got the sea bass. Both were pretty good but we decided they didn't blow us away. For the meat course, I chose the filet mignon topped with seared foie gras (of course), while J decided to have stuffed quail with foie gras (on the side). The filet mignon was perfectly cooked and the foie gras was a perfect complement. My only complaint was that I wish the foie gras could have been bigger but that is always my wish. Then J and I split a course of 5-cheeses and a chocolate souffle. Of course at the end both of us were stuffed too full to walk but when we managed to push ourselves out the door, we were greeted by Hubert Keller himself. He was very friendly and when I told him that I was leaving for Paris in a couple days, he gave me a number of recommendations of his favorite bistros in Paris. He even told me that he was jealous that I get to spend a month in Paris! Imagine that!
Again, I got carried away by the food but I did take a good look around the dining room. It was mostly couples except for a few tables of small groups. I guess it's a romantic place and it was packed for a Tuesday night, which surprised me a bit. A number of the guys were pretty good-looking, but I always wonder if it is because it's a more dressed-up place (and guys who look more put together do have some advantage). Either way, this was a great way to jumpstart my trip. I'll be reporting from Paris soon. A bientot!