Tagged: French Restaurants

Jul 18

All Organic Macarons at Chantal Guillon

With much anticipation, I’ve been meaning to visit Chantal Guillon since they re-opened. So last Friday, I decided to take a 2 mile walk up and down the San Francisco hills for these sweet macaron delights! When I got there, there was a line which was impressive since it was in the middle of the day. Sweet and friendly, Chantal Guillon, was working.

When I got home, it was time to try them out with some coffee.  The macarons colors were a bit pale compared to how I remembered Paulette. I had to take a look at my Paulette blog to compare, and yes indeed, the colors were very different. I hate to say this, but I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy them as much as the macarons I’ve once had at Paulette. Not to say that Chantal Guillon is not good, they were still soft and fluffy,  but not as good as I remembered, and the filling was a bit sweeter than I would have liked.

So I had to do some digging online and according to what I read, Chantal Guillon moved on from the Paulette franchise and decided to go with the concept of all natural and organic products for her macarons, which is probably why they look and taste different.  She probably decided to make her move from the Paulette franchise since they was going through changes themselves. Turns out Paulette is now Lette Macarons, because “pau” was the victim of a trademark lawsuit! Oh my macarons is right!

I would still try Chantal Guillon if you haven’t. You never know, you might like the all organic macarons more than me! But for those who would like to have the macarons you once remembered, you can still order them from Lette Macarons, after all, they were shipped in daily from Beverly Hills anyways.


Jun 20

All Things Bouchon

I love celebrations because it’s always an excuse for me to eat something delicious! Over the weekend, my hubby and I decided to enjoy a day trip in Napa Valley for our 5 years Anniversary of dating…yes…any excuse to enjoy a gourmet meal!

We decided to go to Bouchon Bistro for some French Bistro by highly acclaimed Chef Thomas Keller! This restaurant was busy and crowded, we had 12:30pm reservations and noticed people trying to get seats for their late lunches at 2:00pm! With that being said, it was a sunny Saturday afternoon, but still very impressive!

The service was of course, impeccable, with very friendly and attentive staff. They started us off with their fresh bread and creamy butter, once we had this, we knew it was going to be a remarkable lunch. We ordered the Half a Dozen Raw Oysters, adding 2 Clams…they were not only fresh and sweet, they were exceptionally cleansed when served with all the juice intact!

We then enjoyed the Salmon Tartar special, which ran out about half an hour after we ordered it. I am sooo glad we got this, the salmon was so fresh and served with chopped eggs, onions, capers and topped with Crème Fraiche, and of course it was served with perfect toasty bread! OoOoO La La…what a creative and colorful dish! After we finished this dish, I had to ask if the eggs were chopped finely by a food processor or if someone actually chopped them up in the kitchen, and of course someone actually chopped them!

We also shared the Steak Frites, a pan-seared prime flatiron served with sweet caramelized shallots and maître d’hôtel butter and the Moules au Safran, Maine bouchot mussels steamed with white wine, mustard and saffron! This was a great way for us to get our duet surf and turf entrees! The steak was medium rare, it was probably more on the rare side which we didn’t mind, the meat was so tender and the caramelized shallots enhanced every bite! The little mussels were very tasty, especially when dipped into the white wine, mustard and saffron!

Since both of these dishes were served with French Fries, we decided to upgrade to the Macaroni au Gratin as another side! Both of these were superb, the fries were extra crispy and well done, and the macaroni and cheese was baked, golden and toasty on top with strings of cheese!

As we were devouring our amazing lunch, we kept turning around to check the lines at Bouchon Bakery since that we our next stop. The line was out the door the entire time we were eating!  At first I thought a tour bus dropped off tourists for a quick purchase, I was wrong, it was just lots of people who wanted their baked goods! Since the lines were long, we decided to return before going home, we didn’t want macarons melting in the car.  We went back an hour before closing and there were still people but the lines were much shorter! We got ourselves a fresh Baguette and Macarons-Espresso, Pistachio, Hazelnut and their seasonal one Strawberry Rhubarb!  Oh my Macarons…they were much bigger than I expected, probably about 2.5 inches in diameter! These colorful puffy sweet delights were filled with a hint of flavor between the perfect shells of meringue cookies!

It was such a great day having All Things Bouchon!


Jun 19

Ladies Brunch at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Today I enjoyed a wonderful brunch with some friends at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. It was a hosted event and we were seated in the very charming private dining room. This event was such a treat, good friends, good conversations and good food, what more can I ask for?!

Our selected menu was from their day/brunch menus, so these dishes are also served in the main dining room of the restaurant.  I started with the Baby Romaine with White Anchovies and Vella Dry Jack. This was no ordinary Vella Dry Jack, it was perfectly crisped cheese! It was like a piece of PopCheese, get it? Popchips? PopCheese? And no, I don’t think this really exists or that would be dangerous. For my entree, I had the Croque Monsieur with Black Forest Ham, Gruyère and Dijon Mustard on Toasted Levain!  This was very tasty, and with these ingredients you really can’t go wrong! The dessert I selected was the Crème Brûlée with Huckleberry Violet Compote and Short Bread.  It was the perfect sweet ending to my meal, it was light and not too sweet.  Of course, during my meal I had a bite or two from my friends.  The Dungeness Crab-Salad Sandwich and TCHO Chocolate Pot de Crème were delightful too!