Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guest Blogger: The Parisian Princess

Competition is getting fierce! After 3 weeks, Helvetia Homemaker is ahead. This week another entree from the Parisian Princess. As always, these are actual submissions by real people, and not just pen names Peter and Rene use occasionally. Send in yours today, win lunch.

Traveler’s Journey: A Tale of Another City

New York City, like New Orleans, is a food lover’s paradise. Nowhere else in the world with the exception of the tacky Epcot in Disney World can you experience so many cultures in one place. If you want some Peking duck, go to Chinatown. If you are craving a cannoli, head down to Little Italy. Are you in the mood for some chicken curry? Then take a trip to Murray aka “Curry” Hill. From pizza to pierogies, New York has got it all.

For me, the best always comes back to one place: France. Call me a snob, an elitist, a traitor, but in the world of cuisine, no one does it better than the French. As I write this, I envision many of you rolling your eyes and sighing in horror thinking that I am about to deliver a monologue on why French food is supreme. Chances are you probably think that I am going to mention savory dishes like foie gras wrapped in a puff pastry and topped with a delicate cream sauce. But I am not here to elaborate or honor famous French chefs. I am here to talk about food, and by "food" I mean meat: man’s best friend.

As any traveler will tell you, the heart of the French bistro lies in one dish: Steak Frites. To recreate this dish anywhere outside of Paris or its neighboring cities is a daunting task for any chef. But luckily some are up for the challenge. So I decided to press my luck and search for this dish in New York City. In the Big Apple, perhaps no one knows more about the art of steak frites than the culinary bad-ass, Anthony Bourdain.

On a recent trip to the legendary restaurant Les Halles, I had the pleasure of experiencing classic French fare. Bourdain spent years working at Les Halles before moving on to the bright lights of food writing, television production, and generally becoming the envy of foodies around the world.

To mix it up, I ordered the N.Y. strip with a side of béarnaise and a generous portion of crispy golden fries. The meat was tender and juicy, and when paired with the rich and creamy sauce, this protein re-affirmed the reason why I could never be a vegetarian. The french fries were salty with a sweet aftertaste of butter, which my best friend and fellow foodie, Fifi Frank, assured me was from frying the potatoes in duck fat. This meal may have temporarily spiked my cholesterol levels, but it was worth the consequences.

To top off the evening, I chose a warm chocolate and banana tart with a generous helping of whipped cream. It was the perfect rich and decadent dessert to end my dining experience. I left the restaurant pleasantly full and satisfied. My faith in the ability of American chefs to recreate French classics was solidified. Thank you, Bourdain, the crew at Les Halles, and God Bless America!

1 comment:

BBD said...