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D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

On February 22, the farm-to-fork movement pioneer D’Artagnan celebrated 35 years in the sustainable food industry. For over three decades, D’Artagnan has delivered high-quality artisanal meat products while using free-range, natural production and sustainable, humane farming practices. Founder Ariane Daguin has been leading her company through these initiatives since its founding in 1985.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Ariane Daguin, Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Bryan Hunt and Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan started its celebrations with a night of decadent food in New York City. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs prepared these meals, including Jacques Torres, Tom Colicchio, Pierre Landet, Justin Bogle, and Michelle Palazzo. At this event, the purpose was to honor D’Artagnan’s vision, Daugin’s Gascony heritage, and the brand’s place amongst the culinary elite as well as consumers who are searching for superior products.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Patrick Nollinger attends D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

The next portion of the celebration was its sixth annual Cassoulet War on February 24. In this event, also based in New York City, 20 renowned chefs battled to cook the best cassoulet. A cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean and meat casserole integral to French cuisine. It is a French tradition to have chefs and villagers compete in a showdown for the top cassoulet. D’Artagnan’s iteration involved chefs from across the United States, allowing them to put their own distinctive American stamp on the classic dish.

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Laetitia Rouabah, Andy Knudson, Dieter Samijn and Ariane Daguin attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Erwan Caradec, Jacques Torres and Laurent Tourondel attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

This year, Laetitia Rouabah was named the People’s Choice Winner, Andy Knudson was the Reimagined Cassoulet Winner, and Dieter Samjin came out on top as the Grand Prize Winner. All proceeds from the evening benefitted Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization that focuses on taking decisive action against the root causes and effects of hunger.

With values consistently leading the actions of D’Artagnan, it’s no surprise the company would choose such a worthy cause. D’Artagnan has been credited with leading the charge on sustainability within the meat and poultry industry. While many people may associate the word sustainability with industries such as the plumbing industry — which made over $107 billion in revenue in 2018 — because of their direct effect on the world’s natural resources, it has been a recent focus in D’Artagnan’s field. Modern consumers are no longer only concerned about what they eat, but where and how their food made it to their table.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

This concern is evident in New York City’s recent push to ban foie gras, a dish that many people view as cruelly-made. On October 30, 2019, the City Council voted to ban the dish beginning in 2022, joining California, Australia, India, and many other places that prohibit the dish for animal rights reasons.

The ethical issue comes in with the production of foie gras, which requires force-feeding birds to enlarge their livers. The livers often become up to 10 times their normal size and the process often involves inserting a tube down a duck’s throat to force-feed them large amounts of grain, according to animal rights activities.

Foie gras farmers are challenging the ban. According to the Catskill Foie Gras Collective, which includes the producers of foie gras in NYC, the small tube used to feed the ducks does not cause discomfort. The collective also points to the fact that their ducks are cage-free and that they use a rubber tube rather than a traditional metal one to further ease the process.

In the midst of this battle is D’Artagnan. At the end of 2019, Daguin said her company would be amongst the others in the industry fighting the ban. As Daguin has always been a champion of sustainable meat and poultry practices, she feels certain that the process of fattening a duck’s liver is not cruel, when done in the correct way.

“The farms feed the animals like they would naturally feed themselves in the wild prior to migration to store calories up in their liver…the actual feeding process itself is not painful nor stressful to the animal. In fact, the worst thing for a meat purveyor to do is cause stress for animals, because it impacts the quality of the meat,” she said.

While the foie gras battle rages on, Daguin and the D’Artagnan team look towards the future. She estimates that the company will reach $250 million in sales within the next five years and expects to drive this growth through ongoing innovations. One such innovation is the Green Circle Chicken, which is a unique vegetable-fed bird that eats excess veggies that come from restaurant kitchens and markets. With progress like this, D’Artagnan is situated to continue making waves in the meat and poultry industry for decades to come.

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

Restaurant Review: Demarchelier Summer 2019 Menu

Summer is sadly slowly coming to an end but there is still some time left to enjoy a few of what makes summertime a wonderful season. The fall season is still a month away, so there’s plenty of time left to partake in a fantastic summer menu. We had the pleasure of doing just that when we journeyed back to experience the Demarchelier Summer 2019 menu. We were once again welcomed by Emily Demarchelier, for an evening of gourmet dining that captured the essence of authentic French cuisine.

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

For the summer season, Demarchelier features many signature dishes including Pate De Campagne, Filet of Herring with Potato Salad and Moules Mariniere (which we enjoyed on our last visit), for an appetizing start to a full course dinner. Delicious entrees transporting you to France include the succulent Duck Confit with white beans (another favorite from our last visit), Rainbow Trout Meuniere and Filet Mignon. The dessert menu boasts an assortment of sweet treats including the Crème Caramel (Flan), Profiteroles with chocolate sauce and Crepes Suzette with Grand Marnier. While there were dishes were already familiar to our palates, we opted for the Demarchelier summer 2019 menu items we hadn’t experienced before. Here is our summer menu journey.

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

Surrounded by the paintings of Eric Demarchelier, we were ready to traverse the Demarchelier Summer 2019 menu and surrender ourselves to the wonderful French flavors.

COCKTAILS

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

We started our review with a bang of a cocktail, a drink to remind us that the fall season is approaching. The second cocktail was more along the refreshing and sweet side, thanks to its unconventional flavor. Check them both out below:

Le Normandie – vodka and Père Jules Pommeau shaken with a dried apple garnish. Bold and potent, this cocktail is perfect for brandy lovers.

Kumquat Margarita – Casamigos Tequila Blanco, fresh lime juice, and Kumquat liqueur. If you’re a fan of Limoncello, you will love this cocktail; it’s refreshing, vibrant, and sweet.

STARTERS

QUICHE OF THE DAY – GOAT CHEESE & ARUGULA

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

GLASGOW:  We love a good savory pastry and Dermarchelier’s the daily Quiche offering hits the spot every time. Tonight we dined on a Goat Cheese and Arugula Quiche sitting on a bed of fresh greens. It’s a meal in pie form but not too filing that it would prevent you from enjoying your full course.

PATE DE CAMPAGNE

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

LUCIANA: Its combination of pork and beef, rustic texture and rich flavors were sublime. Every bite melts in your mouth. It forces you to pause a few times to appreciate the beautiful assault on your palette. Served with a fresh salad and creamy sauce, I found myself eating slowly hoping this culinary experience would last forever. This tender, French country style pate is a definite must to try.

MAIN COURSES

BISON BURGER ON A BAGUETTE

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

LUCIANA: I’ve wanted to experience the bison burger, and this was my first time doing so; and what an introduction I received! I was not at all disappointed with this distinct cheeseburger. What I discovered was a delicious, succulent burger charred to perfection. Served on a crispy baguette (a lovely change from the traditional bun), and topped with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions and your choice of cheese. I especially love the fact that this meat is lower in fat than traditional beef but still tastes so incredibly good. I would recommend this dish over and over.

WHOLE BRANZINO WITH MEUNIERE SAUCE

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

GLASGOW: Great food is my weakness and this superbly prepared whole Branzino with an amazing Meunière  (lemon butter) sauce hit every tastebud with strategic levels of mindblowing flavor. Whether you’re a seafood lover or not, this cooked-to-perfection mild-tasting and versatile fish is an absolute win.

SIDES

POMMES FRITES

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

GLASGOW: I was in the mood for a bit of British influence, so naturally needed these Pomme Frites to go with my branzino. The fresh-cut Frites were wonderfully crisp and soft at the same time, and there was a very faint sweetness to the flavor. The result was an empty plate.

MIXED VEGETABLES – BEETS & GRILLED POLENTA

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

GLASGOW: Since we paired a carb side with our Branzino, we opted for an equally rustic side of vegetables. In this case, beets and grilled Polenta. The beauty of polenta is its mild enough to mix beautifully with stronger-flavored foods; perfect for my branzino.

DESSERTS

PROFITEROLLES w/ Chocolate Sauce

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

LUCIANA: I love chocolate but melted chocolate drizzled over ice cream sandwiched between French choux pastry balls are heavenly. The semi-sweet puffs, vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce made for a decadent combination of texture and taste. Every bite to the last was exquisite.

TARTE TATIN w/ Vanilla Ice Cream

Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

GLASGOW: Some may say there’s nothing like a warm slice of apple pie but one bite of Demarchelier’s Tarte Tatin would change their minds. It may be a simple dessert but its flavors are anything but. This is definitely one of the most hedonistic a la mode desserts I’ve enjoyed.

Emily Demarchelier at Demarchelier Restaurant in New York

There’s also about Demarchelier to love besides the art and wonderful summer 2019 menu.  The wonderful hospitality from Emily Demarchelier is unsurpassed. You really feel the family warmth, tradition, and generational pride as soon as you step foot into its homey ambiance. Whether it’s your first, second, or fifty-first visit to the Demarchelier French Bistro, you’ll always want to come back.

Demarchelier Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Center-Cut Filet Mignon

Restaurant Review: Boucherie West Village’s 2nd Birthday

There’s a lot to celebrate during the holiday season but for traditional French brasserie and steakhouse, Boucherie West Village, the holiday season is also a time to celebrate their anniversary. We had the wonderful pleasure of celebrating their second birthday with them in a family-style meal of French holiday classics and timeless bistro favorites. Since they opened two years ago, Boucherie West Village and Chef Jerome Dihui, have been captivating the palettes of fans.

Boucherie West Village Boucherie West Village

The 320-seat Boucherie provides a diverse array of dining options. It boasts a spacious dining room, a seat at the butcher counter, and an intimate second-floor gallery with private dining and outdoor cafe, where we were seated. With chic french cocktails, timeless French classics, and dry-aged steaks, our evening at Boucherie West Village, was filled with more than holiday magic. Join us on our culinary journey below:

COCKTAILS

Boucherie West Village Cocktails

We enjoyed two wonderful cocktails at Boucherie. We couldn’t begin our traditional French foodie adventure without having the classic French cocktail, French 75. So delicious, we ended up having two. We followed soon after with Boucherie’s Old Cuban, a blend of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Cartron, Gingembre, Lime, Mint, and Sparkling Wine. It was our first time enjoying this cocktail and we have to say it’s a truly sophisticated rum drink.

STARTERS

MOULES NORMANDES

Boucherie West Village Mussels

French cuisine is known for the use of creams, cheeses, and wine; so what better way to begin than mussels cooked with white wine in a heavy cream sauce and bacon as a first course. We thoroughly enjoyed this classic dish, it’s wonderfully hearty without feeling stuffed.

RAVIOLIS AUX CHAMPIGNONS

Boucherie West Village Mushroom Ravioli

A wonderful, mushroom ravioli with black truffle beurre fondue, and burgundy truffles. We couldn’t partake because of our allergy to mushrooms but the consensus of the table proved that it is as delicious as it looks.

ENTREES

CHATEAUBRIAND POUR DEUX

Center-Cut Filet Mignon

You will swoon over this perfectly grilled center-cut filet mignon with assorted vegetables and bone marrow bordelaise. We tried to save our appetite for our own dry-aged steak but we just couldn’t resist this succulent cut. We highly recommend this perfect for two steak dish.

SUPREME DE POULET ROTI JUS DE BALSAMIQUE

Roasted Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

This divine chicken dish arrived at the same time as our main, so we didn’t enjoy a lot of it. The little we did try….wow!! The perfectly crisp skin and juicy inside were as we said, divine.

STEAK FRITES AU POIVRE

Pat LaFrieda New York Strip Steak

Alas, our Pat LaFrieda New York Strip steak with four peppercorn cream sauce and french fries had arrived. Every rustic bite of the rich flavor of this dry-aged steak was incredible. If we hadn’t mentioned before, Boucherie West Village is known for their exquisite steaks. One bite and you’ll know what we mean. We cannot recommend this restaurant enough, whether you love steak, French cuisine, and great food.

Boucherie West Village is located at 99 7th Avenue South in New York’s West Village. We’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve visited.

Boucherie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

French Restaurants

Eat, Drink, Be French: French Restaurant Week Kick Off at Cafe Centro

We were invited back to French Brasserie-styled, Cafe Centro, to celebrate the kick-off of the 9th edition of French Restaurant Week New York as part of the Bastille Week festivities. From July 2nd to 15th in New York (and July 9th to 22nd in Chicago), participants will experience masterful cuisine and gastronomy while honoring French culture and history. For two weeks, selected French restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus at $17.89, $25, $38, and $178.90 to commemorate the French Revolution in 1789.

Participating New York restaurants: AOC East, AOC L’aile ou la Cuisse, Bistro Vendome, Bistrot Leo at the Sixty Soho Hotel, Boucherie , Boucherie Park, Brasserie 8 1/2 Patina Group, Cafe Centro Patina Group, Cafe du Soleil, Deux Amis, Dominique Bistro, Excuse My French, Fig & Olive, Jubilee, La Sirène, Le Bateau Ivre, Le Rivage, Maison Harlem, Match 65, Pardon My French, Perrine at The Pierre Hotel, Troquet.

French Restaurant Week continues to partner with OpenTable where diners can easily book their reservations online throughout the event. At Cafe Centro, known for French favorites with a Mediterranean twist, Executive Chef Christine Towers offered up a great selection of hors-d’oeuvres paired with two appropriately selected rosé wines (‘Tis the season for Pink Drink!):  Jalliance Cremant de Bordeaux (Brut and Rosé) and Chateau Pourcieux Rosé 2017.

Chef Towers utilizes her French-focused menu to masterfully play with Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Peruvian and Mexican techniques on your plate together. We sampled a beautifully refreshing Leek Terrine in champagne vinaigrette, a vibrant red Tuna Crudo (with watermelon beet and citrus), and an AMAZING Beef Tartare Crostini, which we very graciously went back to for seconds and thirds because it was THAT delicious.

Chef Towers was also very interesting to briefly chat with! Not only because of her amazing Michelin-studded resume, but her proven leadership abilities as an executive chef in a notoriously male-dominated industry. I am certain she has a lifetime of stories and pearls of wisdom to share with aspiring top chefs from all walks of life.

Cafe Centro, you have made a new friend in me.  And as the French saying goes,  “Que les invités qui entrent dans cette maison, repartent en amis.”  We will be back to embrace you at your Wine Bar series this Summer!

A New Pop Up Wine Bar Series at Café Centro sees Chef Christina Towers transforming Café Centro’s outdoor patio on 45th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. On Monday evenings this summer, the French brasserie turns into a wine bar devoted to French pairings. Dubbed Monday Mariage, a nod to the French definition of “Mariage,” meaning “a blend of 2 things”, the wine bar runs from June 18th through September 10th, 2018 every Monday night. Each night will feature a different pairing, starting with Champagne, Provencal rosé, and Armagnac.  For $25.00 – $30.00, guests can enjoy expert pairings featuring French food and beverage menus that highlight a classic French beverage (i.e., Champagne) matched with 1-3 of its perfect counterparts (i.e. caviar). The rotating schedule kicked off on Monday, June 18th with Lanson Champagne paired with Crab Salad, CroqueMadamee with Quail Eggs and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. The full calendar is available on www.cafecentrowinebar.com.

ALL of the French Restaurant Week participating menus were so promising to the senses. I’ve already made my reservations for Le Bateau Ivre for lunch, Excuse My French for their Bar Menu offerings, and Cafe du Soleil for Dinner….stay tuned for reviews…

 

Will you be partaking in French Restaurant Week?

 

 

Edited by Glasgow Skinner
All untagged photos provided by Cafe Centro

Restaurant Review: Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building

Going into midtown is not really the thing to do for New Yorkers unless you work in the area. We usually try to avoid the area, however, with a wonderful restaurant like French Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building, avoiding this area is not an option. What’s cool about the location of Brasserie 8 1/2 restaurant, given all the craziness around midtown, is the fact that you can retreat to the centrally located, spacious, and well-decorated haven for a well-prepared quick lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch.

The main street location of Brasserie 8 1/2 is great because not only is it near trains and office buildings, it’s not in the midst of clustered tourist hubs. On a fairly warm day, we headed away from the hustle and bustle of the noisy New York City streets to experience their sophisticated French cuisine. As soon as you head downstairs, you’ve entered in its quiet and serene open environment to enjoy a great culinary experience, courtesy of Chef Franck Deletrain, and an attentive staff.

Our culinary journey at Brasserie 8 1/2 started off with a few delightful wines, including a lovely Sancerre (French wine), crisp Chardonnay, and a sublime rose. They were the perfect pre-starters to wake up our taste buds for the onslaught of decadent french flavors we foodies were about to indulge in.

APPETIZERS

White Asparagus with Chanterelles Mushrooms, Fromage Blanc Flan, & Smoked Duck

DAVID: This was a delicate dish with distinct deep flavors. The smoked duck was buttery tender and its richness balanced nicely with the subtle tartness of the asparagus. The Fromage blanc flan was creamy, light and airy and surprisingly held its own against the pleasant earthy weight of the Chanterelles mushrooms and the smooth comforting texture of the white beans. It was like an eclectic garden farm remix dish.

GLASGOW: Because of my allergy to mushrooms, sadly I couldn’t partake in this dish but the look of content and satisfaction on David’s face said all I needed to know.

Grilled Octopus with Sunchokes Mousseline, Fingerling Potatoes, Espelette Pepper

DAVID: This was a melt-in-your-mouth freshness with a delicateness that octopus must have in order to be perfectly balanced with the fragrant charring. The sauces paired with it were savory and sweet adding nice opposing dimensions to the lovely neutrality of the octopus. The fingerlings added a nice familiar balance to the mélange of flavors with just a touch of creaminess.

GLASGOW: Every bite of this multi-textured appetizer was so flavorful. Octopus tends to be a bit gamey and chewy, but this perfectly grilled delight. I love the slight touch of nuttiness and sweetness the Sunchokes added to the dish, and the slight char on the octopus did not take away from its “melt-in-your-mouth” consistency. The Fingerling Potatoes added a touch of a rustic feel to the overall dish.

MAIN COURSES

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

DAVID: This dish was textural overload in a great way. The light crispy outer of the crab cakes fell perfectly into the soft sweet and tender inner. Take the sweet and briny notes and add them with tang and sharpness of the horseradish and pickled red onions for a refreshing tartar sauce remix that doesn’t overpower but adds a nicely artisanal element to this dish. The sea beans create a smooth edge to the briny properties of the dish. It was a lovely arrangement of accents for the crab cakes.

GLASGOW: Although I had one one bite of the crab cake (I was saving room for my own entree), the sweetness of the crabmeat will forever remain with me. Even now, my taste memory is remembering the perfectly crisp crust (not too crisp) and the light yet juicy interior. My favorite part? No sign of any oily or greasy residue was left on the tongue, just a mouthful of fresh, sweet crabmeat.

Grilled Lamb Chops

DAVID: This was a rustic yet refined dish that had familiar elements offered up in a refreshingly remixed way. The delicate coffee rub on the tender buttery chops lent the sharp vibrant and deep flavor of the coffee nicely to the gamey loveliness of the lamb. The grilling of the chop sealed the deal for a nice marriage of smoky flavors and aromatic textures. The fingerlings, tomatoes, and asparagus were pleasant and piquant and a good pairing with the organic nature of the grilled chop and the earthy rub that created an air of hearty elegance.

GLASGOW: I must say, the taste of this dish was not what I expected. The full dish includes Fingerling Potatoes, Green Asparagus, Coffee Rub, and Charred Tomato Relish. I was fully expecting to have the very distinct taste of coffee with every bite of this dish, but I was pleasantly surprised (I’m not really a fan of coffee but I was just going against my norm) to not even get a hint of coffee. The coffee rub actually gave the lamb chops a very rustic, earthy flavor, with the fingerling potatoes and charred heirloom tomatoes adding to its earthiness. Of course, the lamb chops themselves (which I got medium well) were perfectly charred and smoky. In a word – sublime!

DESSERTS

Warm Molten Chocolate Cake

DAVID: The softness of the cake is perfect and just airy enough to take on the smooth depth of the espresso ice-cream that created a rich creamy pleasantness when it hit the molten ebony center. The balance of bitter and sweet created a deep finish reminiscent of the espresso that often finishes a great meal.

GLASGOW: I always get chocolate deserts but wanted something different, so I passed on trying this dish but visually, it’s sinfully decadent, and David was very happy.

Bosc Pear Tartlette

DAVID: The tart is decadently sweet, creamy and smooth and a great compliment to the fragrant spicy cinnamon ice-cream and the nutty aromatic toasted slivers of almond. The indulgent pear and the woody accompaniments created quite a finish.

GLASGOW: An amazing and elevated take on the classic apple tartlette, this Bosc Pear Tartlette is a reward for your taste buds. It was heaven in every bite, not overly sweet, the crust not too crunchy or hard, and although we’re in full spring mode, I thoroughly enjoyed these fall flavors. The pairing of cinnamon ice cream and almond Frangipane with the pear gave the perfect nod to the fall season without being too heavy on the reference.

The stylish French Brasserie 8 1/2 is located at 9 W 57th St, just steps from Fifth Avenue. While satisfying and rewarding your palate on their sophisticated French cuisine, you will love the breathtaking original artwork by Léger, Matisse and others favored by the Louvre.

Brasserie 8 1/2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato