Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cafe de Ville, what a thrill!

Yesterday I went for lunch with one of my oldest friends. Our visit was long overdue and we planned on a long lingering lunch, so I immediately thought of one of my favourite places, Cafe de Ville. It's such a cozy little place, complete with fireplace and little shaded lamps at each table. They also have wonderful coffee and that was the prefect pretext to allow us to take our time with lunch.

Looking at the prints of Paris on the warm yellow walls I realize that this place is one of the only morsels of the pink city that Edmonton's got. One thing that I love about this restaurant is the breadbasket that comes at the start of the meal. Warm croissants infused with orange and baked with lots and lots of butter, these sweet pseudo-brioches are what people remember about Cafe de Ville.

Our server brought us coffee from a fresh pot and milk and cream for each of us. He was very patient as we visited, neglecting our unopened menus on the table and gave us time to consider our options and the specials of the day. He returned when we were finally ready to order and I got a cup of the two feature soups - beef tenderloin broth with caramelized onions, pear, Pernod, and Sauvignon Blanc. The broth was rich with caramel and buttery fat from the onions and beef. The slivers of onion were cooked perfectly, firm but still soft. The flavours combined to make an intense start to the meal. The other soup of the day was a carrot apple.

For my main I got the pollenta soufflé, made with spinach, Stilton, herbs, feta, and a wild mushroom ragout. This is one of my very favourite things to order whenever I come here and I'm happy to report that it was every bit as scrumptious as always. The wild mushrooms were chewy and robust with aroma. The portion was large enough to be a main dish at lunch, especially paired with a cup of soup to start and one or two of those delectable brioches.

My friend-date had heard very good things about the build your own pizza here. The dish starts with a base of herb crust, Roma tomato and garlic basil sauce, and a blend of fontina, asiago, provolone, and sprintz cheeses. She ordered spinach and artichoke as toppings. The final product was very cheesy, as you might expect, and the dough crust was flaky, almost like a French flatbread. Neither she nor I could finish our meals so our server packed everything up to take away.

Though the restaurant does not have a set dessert menu they do have an in-house pastry chef and every day they present diners with an exquisite display of a dessert platter to choose from. It wasn't the chocolate mousse or the cheesecake that lured us. We went for the Earl Grey crème brulée. The custard was grey, almost lavender in colour. The hard candied sugar top was garnished with carved strawberry, blackberry, gooseberry, and mint leaves. The dish was carefully prepared and the custard was smooth, not eggy.

1 comment:

  1. I know where I am going for lunch! The Earl Grey creme brulee sounds absolutely divine. Another amazing post Ms. Roving Taster and I look forward to our next outing!