April 14, 2005
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L'Os a Moelle

L'Os a Moelle
We arrived in Paris, checked in, ran to the Marmottan which has, in addition to its customary splendors, a fascinating show on Paul Guigou, who (to my untrained and untutored eye) seems to stand in an interesting place between Corot and Millet, and between Corot and the some of the American regionalists. He's got lovely pictures of isolated riders on a long, dry road that anticipate Remington. He's got lovely broad landscapes that could be Bierstadt.

L'Os a Moelle

The confit du canard at lunch didn't hurt, either. One of the sidebar goals for this trip was to touch base with a number of dishes I've been learning to cook but for which I'd never tasted the prototype. I've had good luck with Sally Schneider's revisionist confit du canard, but I've never had the real thing and so I might have wandered far into left field. Verdict: I'm probably spicing it too high, but I'm in the right ballpark.

L'Os a Moelle
Dinner at L'Os a Moelle (3 rue Vasco da Gama, 15e) was remarkable. No a la carte at all, which suited us just fine -- especially on jet lag night. A bowl of beef bouillon with thyme flowers was pleasant, and the foie gras foêle was spectacular, tasty and sweet and crunchy and soft. A lotte rôtie with a buttery herring caviar sauce and a a small pile of spicy peppers was wonderful and complex.

L'Os a Moelle

A small agneau rôtie with a nice hint of garlic worked very well indeed, and the desert was a gratin of fresh fruits (how?) and a vanilla sauce that really hummed. €38.

These dishes contain a lot of work and complexity, complexity one could easily miss. An extra sauce here, a second coulis there. Vegetable that are cooked and tasty. Lots of corners that could be cut but aren't.