October 10, 2009

Vive le Bistro!

This past weekend my friend Patty stayed over (sleepover!) and we went to one of my favorite local spots: Saint Germain. It's a little French bistro on 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge. Saint Germain has a 16.95 prix fixe that comes with one entrée, coffee or tea, orange juice OR lemonade, and a dessert from their case. Trust me, you will not leave hungry. You also should try what I think is their best dish--the omelet to end all omelets.

Normally I would order said omelet, packed with spinach, goat cheese and smoked bacon, but I saw someone else's order of Eggs Benedict and changed my mind. Ahh, regrets, I have a few.

Patty got the awesome omelet and loved it. She said it was one of the best ones she's ever eaten, and I agree. It's super fluffy, they do not skimp on the goat cheese, and it's packed full of bright green spinach, chopped bacon, and other goodness. I noticed especially this time how the herbed goat cheese really sings, and decided to buy some this weekend at Trader Joe's (that post coming soon!)...but I digress.

There's a shot of my Eggs Benedict. I make a pretty awesome Hollandaise sauce, so I knew it wouldn't be great. It was actually almost cold, even though my eggs were still warm. Granted, the doors were open and the breeze was blowing through (Saturday was GORGEOUS!), but it was odd. Instead of English muffins, the eggs were perched on soft, thin slices of challah bread. Delicious, but different. I decided I liked it. The eggs were PERRRRRRRFECTLY poached. This always makes me happy. I hate getting 'poached' eggs that are really hard boiled. Feh. These were just right. The dish used to come with mixed greens and my favorite vinaigrette, but now it comes with home fries. These are just okay, and no match for Mark Bittman's pan-crisped potates (have you made these yet? WHY NOT!?!?)

I always get the sparkling lemonade at Saint Germain: it's the sparkling pink kind--not too tart, not too sweet, with just enough unobtrusive carbonation. I don't like the big, bossy bubbles. :)

The hardest part for most folks would be choosing the dessert--they have a colorful display right when you walk into the restaurant. For me, it's easy: one of the fruit tarts with almond. I chose the apricot-almond tart, but as soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I should have picked the pear. The pear is even better, but for some reason I kept my mouth shut and stuck with the apricot. Don't get me wrong--it's not terrible, it's just that the pear one is even better! Next time. ;)Our server also heated this up in the microwave for me to soften up the almond. Yum.

Patty picked the carrot cake, and even I had to admit it looked pretty darn tempting. Carrot cake isn't a go-to choice for me, but I tried of bite of hers and was pleased to find no raisins!! It was moist and the cream-cheese frosting was legit!

The place was getting packed as we left around 2, stuffed to the gills and quite happy. Despite the gathering crowd, we never felt rushed or hustled out the door. I'm glad one of my favorite places is still staying awesome!

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