An Annual Treat — Bistrot La Minette’s Bastille Day Velouté

It seemed only fitting to dine at one of my favorite Philadelphia restaurants – Bistrot La Minette – on Bastille Day.  Last night, my party of three dined at Philly’s top bistro to celebrate La Fête de la Bastille.  Atop the special four course prix fixe menu (of a very reasonable fixed price of $40), Chef Peter Woolsey shared that this is his favorite meal of the year, and I understand why…

A myriad flavors were possible for a Kir Royale, but we chose the traditional cassis for our bubbly apéritif.

It was unanimous that the most intriguing taste of the evening was the Velouté Glacé de Petits Pois.  This chilled pea soup served with a drizzling of lemon crème frâiche and truffle oil was  refreshing with an earthy undertone on a humid summer night.  The fact that the soup was chilled was a special treat as the Bistrot’s dinner menu typically offers a hot pea and parsley soup.

The second course consisted of an elegant buffet including a variety of French appetizers.  This was the ideal way to sample the culinary talent at the Bistrot.  Some of our favorites were…

  • Rillettes de Canard (duck confit)
  • Terrine de Campagne (country style paté atop toasted brioche)
  • Salade de Lentilles (Puy lentils with mustard vinaigrette)
  • Poivrons Rôtis (oven roasted peppers with olive oil and garlic confit)
  • Salade de Tomates (sliced Roma tomatoes with basil, sherry vinegar and olive oil)

Then, we selected three of the four main course options…

  • Poulet Rôti (half roasted chicken with tarragon jus)
  • Pavé de Saumon (pan seared filet of salmon with beurre blanc)
  • Côte de Porc Sauce Vinegrée (pan seared pork chop with sherry vinegar jus)
  • Each was served with a gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes), tomato Provençal (slow roasted tomato) and haricots verts (French green beans).  The chicken skin was crisped to perfection while the salmon and pork were seared to the same degree of excellence.  The fourth option, an exotic mushroom tart, was also appealing…but will be atop the list of choices for next year.

Our trio allowed for a tasting of each of the three decadent desserts…

  • Tarte aux Pêches (peach tart with almond cream and cassis sorbet)
  • Mille Feuille aux Framboises (puff pastry with vanilla cream and raspberries)
  • Gâteau Mousse au Chocolat (chocolate mousse layer cake with pistachio)

Until next Bastille Day…although we are sure to visit our friends at the Bistrot before then!

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