Alice and I decided that our big holiday present to each other this year would be dinner a Le Coq Rouge. We had gone there once before and were absolutely floored by the food. Le Coq Rouge is a French restaurant on Maple Grove near Franklin. I had called the day before (risky) for reservations and asked for our favorite table near the fireplace. I was told that would be alright. We arrived a half hour early and were promptly seated in some other table in between two huge tables. It was cramped and not very nice at all. The waiter (I don’t know his name but I imagine it was Jacques Pierre) went to bat for us and got us moved. The battle he had with his boss did not look pleasant and I will forever be indebted to him.
The Cock (as it will affectionately be known henceforth) has a wonderful french bistro menu that you can order from al la carte or as a $49 dinner consisting of an appetizer and an entree. We were both looking forward to the scallop appetizer that we had last time and were a bit saddened to see that it was not on the constantly changing menu that night. We decided upon the following:
pictured above: white truffle ravioli in sage butter with balsamic vinegar and escargot.
Alice went for the white truffle ravioli in sage butter. We had ordered this previously and were impressed. The pasta had just enough of a firm bite to it to balance out the smooth, delicious filling. The real star of the dish, however, is the sage butter. They bring a nice basket of fresh French bread to mop up all of sauce. At first I was wondering if it was uncouth to leave nothing on the plate but around halfway through Jacques Pierre-Jean-Paul brought me another basket of bread explaining that it was one of the most important part of the meal. I will always love him for that.
I, daring to face the void, ordered escargot. I have eaten snails before and was not overly impressed. Mostly because they came from someones backyard. They didn’t mention this until after I had eaten them. Yeah. Anyway, Jacques Pierre-Jean-Paul-François swore by them so I let fate take care of me.
They were amazing.
They had the texture of clams with out any of the rubbery chew that you would expect. They were served, in shell, in a scalding hot butter and garlic sauce. Fucking delicious. They fell apart in your mouth.
On to the main courses!
Canard with scalloped potatoes, some sort of of french bacon frittata and roasted mixed vegetables.
Before you read any further, I would like you to know that this is MY duck and you can’t have any of it. You may not have even a bit of the skin. The skin that dissolves in your mouth like little clouds of fat. You may not have any of the dark, tender meat coated in some sort of wine/fat reduction sauce. It is mine. The vegetables (even the Brussel Sprouts) that were perfectly roasted. They, too are mine. Move away from the plate. Now. Except for Alice. She can have a bite. One.
Schnitzel. Thy name is glory.
At first I was leery of Alice’s choice. This is a French restaurant, after all. I guess the Chef, who will be known as GOD, ran a French Bistro in Germany before coming here. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but I’m glad he did.
For those of you unacquainted with schnitzel, it is a prime cut of meat (pork, in this case) beaten flat, lightly breaded and fried or baked or, as in this case, kissed by angels until done. It was coated in a mixture of Gruyère and mushrooms. Now, let’s talk about the mushrooms. These are special mushrooms. When you bite into them they taste like bacon. I do not know how this was accomplished. I don’t care. WHEN YOU BITE INTO THE MOTHERFUCKING MUSHROOMS THEY TASTE LIKE MOTHERFUCKING BACON. Capiche? It was delicious. I never thought anything could top my duck. I was wrong.
We had some cake thingie at the end. It was fine. Alice enjoyed it. I wasn’t willing to relinquish the amazing taste still lingering in my mouth for chocolate. I’m sure you understand.
I have been sitting here for a while, trying to think of a way to sum all of this up. I cannot. The thoughts running through my head distract me from coherent writing. that is ok. I accept that.
If you have a friend and $100 plus to spend on dinner, please, go to the Cock. And tell Jacques Pierre-Jean-Paul-François-Gaston that we love him.