It was Mama’s birthday on Sunday and the family decided to go to Caribou Café to celebrate her
XXth birthday (After a certain age, women of a certain status remain ageless. They do however, still expect elegant gifts).
The suggestion was made by my brother and I have always admired the Parisian style café on the corner of 12 and Walnut for its warm lighting, colorful art décor posters and simple furnishings that was easy on the eyes. Our reservation was promptly confirmed at the door and we were seated shortly upstairs in a corner table.
My eyes lustfully wandered over the menu, so many choices, so little stomach space. I had already regretted eating that horrible spinach and cheese crepe at IKEA earlier. I really need to learn how to say no.
An aperitif to simulate my appetite, I order the Doubonnet fortified wine ($8), its light sweet taste reminding me of a good port and got me pondering whether to start with the cheese plate ($16 for 4 cheese) or the pâté du jour ($9.50). In the end, the choice was obvious. I got both. Stop giving me that you-are-a-fatty-look. I was going to share anyways.
The cheese plate was simple and to the point with a selection of cheeses that allowed us to sample a range of taste from sharp to creamy. The homemade pâté was a compliment and had a rough unprocessed texture which was nice because it differed from the usually smooth paste of the store bought version. The taste of the pâté was not overpowering and went well with the balsamic side salad that it was served with.
As lovely as the pâté was, what I really should have ordered was the rillettes de saumon ($10). The fresh salmon terrine along with the translucent thin cool cucumber slices was a joy to the palate. The dish’s elegant presentation coupled with its slight savory flavor set off my meal to an amazing start.
Sadly, our smooth flavorful journey stumbled on a rock with our main course the onglet a l’echalote ($22). The sliced beef fillet served medium, at the suggestion of the server, with shallot sauce was bland at best, even though I did enjoy the crispy fries it was served with. Ah well, cest la vie, you can’t win them all.
As I finished off my last mouthful of beef, I rushed to look at the menu again because what French meal is complete without dessert. I contemplated/struggled between the chocolate mousse ($7) and crepe bretonne ($6.50) before settling on the lighter of the two. The thin salty-sweet sugary treat really hit the spot and slowly sent me off into a blissful satisfied food coma.
Dear Caribou Café,
I know your waitress can’t really pronounce anything on the menu but I was really like her to at least try.
Overall rating: 4.5/5