Our odd Easter lunch

Jan and I did have some doubts about ordering the take-away menu from Daglan’s Le Petit Paris for our Easter lunch. The main elements — foie gras, slow-cooked lamb, and a Caribbean-sort of dessert — all seemed fine. But there were some odd touches that were, well, odd.

As it turned out, the odd touches did detract from the meal, considerably.

To begin, there was a terrine of foie gras — which we usually enjoy a great deal. But with the Le Petit Paris version was to be “houmous au tahini de noix,” which seemed distinctly unlike the more usual “sweet” accompaniment, such as a fig chutney. And indeed the savoury hummus with walnut tahini added nothing to the foie, and I left mine on the side of the plate. The other problem (which might not seem like a problem) is that the serving of the foie gras was simply too big. It was certainly moist and tasty and so on, but hard to finish. Here’s my serving (with a piece of the soft, salty roll that came with the dish):

Very good indeed — but just too large a portion.

Next came the plat principal, lamb that had been cooked for seven hours. I thought the lamb was tender enough, but it was accompanied by a “caviar d’aubergines relevé aux anchois.” That accompaniment was, well, simply too odd for me. For one thing, the plate looked like a large pool of brown goo, and so I’m not going to disturb you with a photo of it. I did eat the lamb, but I’m not sure I got beyond a tiny taste of the eggplant and anchovies.

Finally, the menu promised a crème caraïbe chocolat/pistache, which again sounded pretty good, since I enjoy both chocolate and pistachio flavours. But this time it was the construction of the dessert that was odd. The main part of the dessert came in a bowl, with the pistachio cream on the bottom, and a thick chocolate ganache sitting on top. Then, on the side, there was a soft (and very good) chocolate sponge, like a cupcake. Once I had eaten most of the ganache, I wound up dunking the chocolate sponge into the pistachio cream. All in all, it was good — except for the odd, and not very attractive, construction. Here’s my plate:

A dessert that didn’t quite hang together.

Our final verdict: Jan and I probably should have made a roast leg of lamb lunch for ourselves, and the chef at Le Petit Paris should rein in his wilder excesses.

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