Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Children's Menu

Jack recently stumbled upon the dining deal of the year, the Neighborhood Friends’ Menu at Café Des Architectes. A prix fixe menu, $29 for adults and free for children under five, we qualify, we’ve got two under five! We spiffed up last night, the ladies and I, and met Jack for a lovely dinner at a recently celebrated French restaurant.

Our menu options were divine: Chioggia Beet Salad, Spiced Duck Confit, Macadamia Crusted Talapia. The girls were offered a terribly disappointing, but sadly typical children’s menu: peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, hot dog and grilled cheese. Really? Would it be possible for us to order off the regular menu? They were confused, “we have the children’s menu, perhaps you did not see that?”. Oh no, we did, thank you. Kindly they agreed.

Kate started with Cured Baby Coho Salmon with fingerling potato salad, watercress and lemon crème fraiche. For her entrée she chose a Swan Creek Farm Chicken Breast with oyster mushrooms and caramelized cipollini onions. Mary, the child who loves soup, ordered Cauliflower Veloute with brown butter, crème fraiche and pickled vegetables and then moved on to Roasted Root Vegetable with squash, parmesan gnocchi and lettuce. And for desert, reminding us that they are four, they both chose a scoop of vanilla ice cream. All of it enjoyed, and devoured. The only real negative, a meal of this caliber takes a bit longer than 60 minutes; thankfully knowing ice cream was coming helped them to sit in their seats, albeit a bit bouncily after an hour or so.

And with the joie de vivre with which they address each day, they dug into the requested grilled cheese at lunch today, savoring every last bite as if it was croque monsieur.

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