Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dinner at Chez Christophe's

We were inivited on a recent friday evening to indulge ourselves in a well kept secret in town, a place where you can't book and you can't buy your way in, a privilege indeed. We were greeted by Christophe and Christel into a warm and welcoming Dining and Living room in a cold winter night. Preceeded by his famous cooking, Christophe had high expectations to satisfy and did exactly just that!

We started with some meze of pita bread, tzazitki, hummus, taramosalata, salami rolled gherkins and beautiful fat green and calamata olives. We had been holding ourselves from eating much for the rest of the day, knowing the indulgence that awaited us in the evening, and thinking this was the starter, we tucked away. The other couple arrived and after some excellent SA bubbly, and some nice conversation, we then sat in at a beautifully set table. We were in for a ride through the tastes of France!

Salmon and Pea Veloutee
A bright sweet green pea, salmon and creme fraiche veloutee was served for starter. Not only were the colors inviting, but the combination was just warm, yet fresh and sweet, with the fleshy, salty and deep flavor of smoked salmon, with a creamy touch and a the sparkle of Paprika. I'm guessing there was a bit of mint in there, but then again, I'm just guessing, and it'll be up to our fabulous gourmand host to share the secrets to this delicious recipe.

Beef Bourguignon Caserole
The gorgeous smell all over the flat that one could almost taste, meant that the Beef Bourguignon was making its way to the dinner table, nothing like a melt-in-your-mouth Beef Stew, to warm up the cold winter night! Served in a rich, red wine jus, the beef did not need any knife at all, it was so soft, we could have eaten with a spoon! Served with artichoke raviolis topped with parmesan, poured under with the juicy beefy sauce, the meal was a delight! a true work of skill, patience and long, french style, perseverant cooking - just like out of Julia Child's cookbook.
Beef Bourguignon with Artichoke Ravioli
After such a feast, one can easily imagine that the host is not keen for dessert, but I guess we could have known better. How does a French foodie (aren't they all?) end his meal? Yes, you guessed right! with cheese!! and what a nice variety too... I'm not gonna pretend I knew even half the names on that board, but I promise you, they were all worth a few bites, even if you were as full as I certainly was!

We were very grateful to have been invited to indulge ourselves in such wonderful company and magnificent meal. It all made it such a nice evening, Christophe even made an attempt to enlighten me with his Beef Bourginon recipe, which I really wanted to take in, but I guess the excess of wine took my normally rather sharp memory away. In fear of failing to make honor to his great food, I'd rather let the chef tell us himself about the recipes, and that way I can share with you a more accurate (and sober) version of them.

Cheers to Christel and Christophe for their lovely food, wine and hospitality. I hope you would be as lucky as we were to try this amazing combination of ingredients sometime!

Love, iSa

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