What a lovely event I just went to!
Tonight there was a tasting offered to the members of WhyLeaveAstoria.com and the accompanying Meetup.com groups. The newer-ish spot was Boite a Cafe (40-17 30th Ave) a small french restaurant amid the craziness of the all night cafes of 30th Ave.
Our organizer Ran, did a great job at securing an incredible price for the mini 5 course meal and it was BYOB since the restaurant doesn't have its license yet, which helped keep the price ridiculously low. I'd say there were about 30-35 happy diners out mingling as best as could be with the set up. The place itself is quite small but charming, the L-shaped room isn't very condusive to large groups socializing- but for reals- I was there for the food!
I'm quite new to French cuisine so I was looking forward to the taste test.
Let's not beat around the bush, here's the deets:
At 8pm we promptly started our first course with Cauliflower Soup. It was topped with Rosemary Cream and some delish croutons! I don't always like weird soups, but this was pretty good. I liked that it was served room temperature. I also liked that it reminded me of clam chowder, yum! I'd get this again if I were in a creamy warm my belly kinda mood, but ask for it hotter. I'll be back in the fall more a more extensive meal I think.
Soup is done, now let's get something we can chew on. Wild Arugula Salad with granny smith apple slices, dill yogurt, serrano ham and candied walnuts. Another dish that I wouldn't mind revisiting in its normal helping. The smidge we got was super yum and almost a tease! I'm allergic to apples but of course that never stops me, these were sliced sooooo thin, and they were still so crunchy- it was really nice. A very sweet plate, I don't mean in flavor- it just felt sweet :)
Duck Truffle Potato Gnocchi with crimini mushrooms, butternut squash & parsley puree. Hold the phone, this was my favorite. I wanted a heaping pile of these fluffy cushions of flavor! I had been talking about how much I am more of a fan of veggie duck then of real duck before this came out- ha! Well there is a plus and a neg here. I found no sign of duck anywhere. I like to think of it as "duck essence" maybe? Maybe the juices from a duck were used for the sauce? I have no idea but it doesn't realy bother me. Also I think the parsley puree was missing. Does any of this matter to me? Heck no- the gnocchi were fantabulous!!!!
Braised Lamb Shank with cauliflower puree, swiss chard, glazed root vegetables, cranberry and horse radish relish. Anyone who knows me, know how much i dislike lamb. I know boo hiss whatever- I can't like everything now people. Anyway, you know I was going to eat it just cause! So I did. I also looked for others opinions. People who LIKE lamb. We were all in agreement, meh. It was dry and alittle tough. Not enough seasoning and little to no horse radish (which I would have welcomed). The chard, puree and veggies were nice and flavorful though. Not a total loss. But yeah, I'm sticking to my dislike of lamb.
Crepe Sucree filled with pastry cream and cranberries & citrus sauce. Just the way I like it, not cloyingly sweet. I could have had a tall stack of these bad boys! I love crepes. Plain or filled, whatevs. The smooth pastry cream was refreshing as was the citrus kick. Very nice closing to an overall enjoyable meal. We skipped the coffee so I have no info on that front for you.
Would I recommend Boite? I think so. I'd like to try them on another regular night where they aren't rolling out bite sized samples and try the "meat and potatoes" of what they offer. I'm actually really intrigued by brunch. Maybe i'll have some updating to do soon, it is a long weekend after all.