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Noel Ermitano

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Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Noel Ermitano » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:28 am

Joaqi, my youngest, became a teenager yesterday and chose Brasserie CiÇou as the venue of his celebratory dinner (all my 3 sons will be teenagers only until mid-April next year). Aside from the immediate family, the celebrant invited his closest cousin, Zach, so we were six in all for dinner. Cyrille kindly took care of our reservations and made arrangements for a dish no longer on the regular menu.

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Joaqi watches the kitchen staff at work...

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...as the restaurant's secret chef monitors the front of the house.

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As usual, we started off with many appetizers and a bit of bubbly, the latter being some Perrier Jouët Grand Brut - even my two older sons immediately noted that this markedly accessible, plump, well-rounded bubbly had more sweetness in its fruit than those they are used to. I replied that I chose this because the restaurant had extended its promotional foie gras menu and, knowing Joaqi's fondness for foie gras, anticipated pairing the bubbly with dishes centered on the same.

Notably ripe, slightly honeyed, yet fresh and lively enough pear and apple with brioche nuances - almost (but not quite) like a demi sec. Its acidity adequate to keep it in balance, and even go decently with the above-depicted Fresh Oysters (one of the two orders we had).

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A bubbly birthday toast. Cheers!

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Upon our arrival, I uncorked the evening's red to let it breathe...

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...a 1999 Vieux Château Certan, from Joaqi's birthyear.

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CiÇou's always excellent Mini-Baguettes.

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Duck Foie Gras, Apple Jelly, Shortbread Wafer, Red Wine Salt (2 orders)

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Roasted Bone Marrow (2 orders)

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Steak Tartare

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Above is the dish no longer on the menu that Cyrille arranged for us to have: Grilled Scallop, Fricassée of Mushrooms, Duck Liver Cromesqui, Squash Soup - fantastic as always. Since Joaqi likes grilled scallops and squash soup, I knew a combination of the two would be right up his alley. There were only 3 orders available, and we could have easily had 3 more. Everyone loved it.

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Cassoulet (one order good for 3-4 persons)

Lorenzo is very fond of cassoulet and almost always orders this at CiÇou. One order is large enough for an entire family to share, which is what we did. The beans had melted into a sauce, but the flavors were superb.

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Tournedos Rossini on Cauliflower Purée, with Haricots Vertes (2 orders)

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Duck 3 Ways: Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Orange Sauce, Duck Leg Confit with String Potatoes, & Duck Pies (one order good for 3-4 persons). With the main courses I served the 1999 Vieux Château Certan - A couple of shades under full-bodied, this is an elegant wine with clean lines, good focus and definition, quite neat. Minty notes adorn a developing bouquet of violets, cedar, sweetishly-ripe black cherry, midnight plum, dark raspberry, and a bit of tobacco. These were mirrored on the palate without the overt fruit sweetness of the nose. Not a particularly powerful Pomerol, this is possessed of a stately, soft-spoken, patrician character. Notable balance. Respectable length. One of the best of vintage 1999 that I've had.

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Close up of the Duck 3 Ways.

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Joaqi & Zach dig in.

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My three teenagers. ¡Salud!

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Cyrille's famous Kouign Amann w/ Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

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Friandises of Chocolate & Vanilla Cannelés...

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...& assorted Macarons (dark chocolate ones with my double espresso).

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Brasserie CiÇou had an extra treat for Joaqi.

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Happy birthday again, Joaqi! Many, many more to come! Until the next!
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:38 am

Nice but I thought the boys liked escargots!! Mind you the foie gras looked delicious.
Noel, where do get the ducks from in your area?
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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Noel Ermitano » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:33 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Nice but I thought the boys liked escargots!! Mind you the foie gras looked delicious.
Noel, where do get the ducks from in your area?

Hi, Bob. Yes, indeed, they love escargots à la Bourguinonne, but, they didn't order any this time. I guess they just wanted more of the other stuff. It's at Marc Aubry's Champêtre that they never miss ordering the escargots.

We have local ducks, but they are pitifully skinny, bony little things. The restaurants I go to usually get their supply from France, sometimes the US.

Best,

N
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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:23 am

Nice choice of duck there Noel.
I guess your fine boys are getting used to the infrequent glass of wine, imagine they must have some opinions of food and wine match-ups? What is your wifes fave tipple? She must have developed quite a palate!
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Noel Ermitano

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Noel Ermitano » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:24 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Nice choice of duck there Noel.
I guess your fine boys are getting used to the infrequent glass of wine, imagine they must have some opinions of food and wine match-ups? What is your wifes fave tipple? She must have developed quite a palate!

Yes, the 2 older ones already have their own ideas about pairing (e.g., sticking with a German riesling for ravioli stuffed with foie gras and mushrooms instead of moving onto the red already poured, etc.), basic, but shows good instincts.

As regards Catha, she only really started enjoying wine regularly when we married (her parents hardly ever drink; whereas wine and booze of all types were staples in my father's house). These days, she's not really picky with bubblies, but, as regards whites, she favors certain Napa chards and the richer/bigger Burgundy whites - as well as Dönnhoff's rieslings. When it comes to reds, she really favors Bdx, and, to make her happy, a good Pichon Lalande usually does the trick (I do all the wine buying, but PL is the only producer she reminds me to buy). She also, among others, favors Cos d'Estournel, but I vowed a couple of years ago not to buy any of their wines again.

Best,

N
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by David M. Bueker » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:25 am

Happy birthday to your son!

'99 Bordeaux is a very good drinking vintage right now. I've enjoyed the Pichon Baron and Leoville Barton recently. Not much '99 right bank in the cellar though.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:20 pm

Cos d'Estournel, :mrgreen:
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Jay Labrador

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Jay Labrador » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:41 pm

Catha also seems to have taken a liking to Amontillado, Oloroso, and Palo Cortado sherry.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by David M. Bueker » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:17 pm

Jay Labrador wrote:Catha also seems to have taken a liking to Amontillado, Oloroso, and Palo Cortado sherry.


Smart woman.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Noel Ermitano

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Re: Friday Night Birthday Bubbly & Bdx.

by Noel Ermitano » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:54 am

Jay Labrador wrote:Catha also seems to have taken a liking to Amontillado, Oloroso, and Palo Cortado sherry.

You are certainly right there, bud. It was one of Miguel's palo cortados a couple of years ago that started it all.

David M. Bueker wrote:
Jay Labrador wrote:Catha also seems to have taken a liking to Amontillado, Oloroso, and Palo Cortado sherry.


Smart woman.

I agree (since she married me).

Best,

N

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