Sunday, July 12, 2015

More artichokes this year from Le Bistrot du Sommelier


The artichoke season is back upon us again! This year Le Bistrot du Sommelier has done up their steamed Brittany artichoke with a beef and tomato fondue, a change from the previous years where it was served with just vinaigrette. 


First up was their baby purple artichoke off the regular menu; this was not the seasonal item. The plant was stuffed with anchovy, ratatouille and a number of herbs. I think I tasted dill amongst a bunch of others. The flavour profile was surprisingly quite foreign for us and it did ring a little Middle Eastern-ish. Didn't quite enjoy this. It was way inferior in our opinion as a whole for flavours and experience compared to those seasonal Brittany ones that pop up in the middle of the year.


We got ourselves a steamed artichoke with the tomato fondue since the fondue option was new this year. It wasn't so much a fondue than a sort of Bolognese sauce. Sort of. Which was actually rather good by the way. Tangy, meaty and works with the little bits of "flesh" you scrape off the bottom of the scales.


This was their garbure, a vegetable soup of duck stock and bacon with chicken dumplings. The chicken dumplings were awesome. I'd come back here for this again easily.


I believe there was some sort of pesto involved in the garbure, but otherwise, the other main profile of the flavours were the slight smoky saltiness from the bacon. I couldn't sum it up beyond calling it an honest to goodness comforting soup. And one of the more memorable ones that we've had from recent times.


We finally made the heart of the artichoke halfway through the garbure. The best part.


And an onglet which we can never seem to get past during lunch. I don't know if this would qualify as one of the best onglet in town, but it's very competently done everytime we've had it. A nice caramelized crusty exterior encasing a warm red and juicy interior. Along the lines of what many lesser beings would described as "seared to perfection".  Lesser beings because only they understand perfection. I don't. 

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