Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Le Triple X Porn De La Food

I threatened you with Triple X Food Porn, and I plan to deliver, my darlings. Last night, two of my oldest friends and I went out for dinner to Le Bouchon on Damen and Armitage for their half-price bottles of wine. The place looks, sounds, smells and feels like a Parisian bistro, and the food absolutely lives up to the atmosphere.

We settled into a table at the front of the very crowded restaurant, and labored over our choices. Fortunately, the three of us are all about maximizing the variety. Lady chose our wine for the evening--a bottle of Bordeaux. Couldn't tell you the name, don't care. I'll drink box-o-wine if it's on hand, but I know a delicious, velvety red when I taste one. Good choice, Lady. It didn't overpower anything on our table, and it was damn lovely if I do say so myself. To start, Hot Buns Murphy got the goat cheese salad, Lady got the steamed mussels and I got the cheese plate.

The mussels were fat, juicy and fabulous. In case any of my dining companions forgot just how much those little mollusks look like teeny tiny vaginas, I was sure to remind them--every time I snagged one from Lady's bowl. Hot Buns' goat cheese salad was ... salad, topped with a medallion of breaded and pan-fried goat cheese. While it was really tasty and delicious, it violated one of our food-rules: don't order something you could just as easily make yourself at home. Although I got a snooty snort when I said that to the waitress, sorry, lady, it's true; I have goat cheese in my fridge and bread crumbs in my cupboard. You don't have to be a Cordon Bleu chef to do that, and I plan to prove myself right as soon as I'm done blogging here. I can fry some fucking cheese.

Speaking of which, I could slice up some cheese and Granny Smith apples, too, but I'm not sure I could actually find such perfect, buttery Brie, Roquefort and some unnamed but soft, creamy and tangy blue-veined cheese. The bread was soft inside and deliciously crusty outside, and was perfect with the cheese, and even better to soak up the buttery goodness that the mussels were steamed in. I hate to say I could have left full right there, but felt compelled to dive into my dinner.

Bouillabaisse. I've had the wine and saffron-infused seafood soup of champions before, but never like this. A simple French specialty, it had more mussels, clams, thick and tender chunks of salmon and fluffy chunks of potato steamed in a light, garlic, shallot and thyme broth. Topped with croutons drizzled with some tasty aioli for dipping, I couldn't have made a better choice. Unless I got the rabbit, like Hot Buns did. Or the walleye special like Lady did. Good Lord, there was no going wrong at Le Bouchon last night.

The rabbit, or the Lapin Saute Chasseur, was sauteed with mushrooms, vegetables and wine, reduced to the consistency of butter. Lady's fish was also sauteed, but rested on a delicate fennel sauce. Usually I don't care for the anise flavor of fennel, but it was roasted into a sweetness that probably would have resulted in me licking the plate.

We could have stopped there, but why? If I'm going to be hedonistic, I take it to the highest possible level. For dessert, I had to go for the chocolate mousse. Lady went with her standard, creme brulee; Hot Buns went the lemon tart route. With cappuccino and some Grand Marnier up in a snifter (forever a nod to my daddy--thanks, mom and dad for teaching me how to live life the right way) I reveled in the tasty goodness of all of our perfect and delicious deserts.

The food was completely amazing--simple, fresh and rustic. The atmosphere was awesome. Although it was crowded and noisy, it was fun and relaxed. If you're anywhere in the Chicago area, and you want authentic French food in a casual environment that won't cost you a small fortune, check out Le Bouchon on Armitage et laissez les bon temps roule!

7 comments:

Mitchell said...

Good lord. I haven't heard of a single thing you guys had there.

theeriver said...

It's funny no matter what you eat from the highest class food to the 99 cent burger all comes out the same way in the end.

Wait I'm missing my bunny fluffy!

Nora said...

Mitchell, we just ate cheese, bread, shell-fish, regular fish, rabbit and vegetables cooked in lots of butter and wine. But damn if it wasn't some good ass eats.

River, so true. Poo is the great equalizer.

Nora said...

PS: It wasn't Fluffy. Fluffy is tonight's special at Chez Nora. Muah hahahaha!

theeriver said...

Did you have any Chicken Little while you were there ?

Jude said...

Number 1 on my Bucket list is to go alphabetically thru the Chicago Dining guide...I'm on the letter M and I hope I have the "stomach" to finish.I don't just go to the GOOD places....you have to have a Maxwell St Polish w/all the stuff at 2am after smelt fishing...I will go to the Good,the Bad,and have done a few Uglies...all in the name of FOOD. Nora,you do come by all this honestly!!!

Nora said...

River--they call it coq au vin.

Mom--thank you, thank you a million times thank you.