Friday, March 28, 2008

The Rose Bakery

Walking into the Rose Bakery in Paris, I could see right away that my dining experience was going to be quite different here than my previous meals in France consisting of bread, cheese, and duck confit...and pate...and saucisson sec (you get the idea.) Stacked on one side of the entry way were crates of local and organic produce, still covered in the earth from which they sprung. On the other side, a deli counter-like display of mostly vegetable salads, tarts, quiches and some *sweet* (pun intended) looking desserts.

The super fluffy quiche with an equally super flaky crust and the pizzette with a crispy olive-oily crust topped with feta, tomatoes, and olives were both served with simple salad of watercress and market greens. Beautiful executed and damn tasty.

We also ordered a plate of the salads of the day. The salads were what made me just flip out, man - I kind of feel like I got schooled by the Rose Bakery. Most of the salads were made with three ingredients or less, many had raw vegetables (or at the very most, barely blanched) and all were seasoned just enough to bring out the natural flavor so you could really taste the ingredient.

A Sampling of Salads:
Carrot, Rice Wine Vinegar, and Cilantro
Tomato, Fennel, Cucumber and Fresh Herbs
Spring Pea, Potato, and Chorizo
Beets, Jicama, and Olive Oil
Avocado, Pickled Red Onion, and Scallion

And my favorite was a this f-ing amazing chickpea, roasted eggplant and tomato concoction that had Rachel and me swearing off meat for good (OK...only for a few minutes but still.) What really impressed me was how restrained the chefs were with the food- just letting the ingredients be the ingredients. That is perfect food, my friends.

We finished our meal with the best carrot cake with cream cheese frosting- we were so happy when the cake actually tasted of carrot with a just a hint of frosting, instead of the big pile of sugar with an even bigger pile of frosting that we are accustomed to stateside.

We went back again the next day for lunch. (And we would have gone a third time, but drank too much Bordeaux with dinner, slept in and wiped out all the good those veggies did.) More than any of the fabulous places we ate at in Paris, the Rose Bakery was the one that so inspired me- now I just crave those clean, fresh flavors. If only the farmers markets could open sooner!

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