None of the pictures I took at Mon Plaisir turned out last night. I need a tripod... so you have to put up with one of my birthday champagnes for illustrative purposes. I've got to put away that box of napisan - it sneaks into so many pictures!
So - with 3 friends we went to Mon Plaisir for my birthday last night. There was a fair bit riding on this, because we have been raving to 2 of these friends for about 18 months about how good this restaurant was.
In a nutshell, the food surpassed expectations created by many fine meals; the service was not good.
We started with a bottle of Besserat de Bellefon rose champagne - one of our friends was running late, but she doesn't drink champagne so it was a pretty safe bet. After a considerable delay the champagne arrived after she did and we were unable to get any other drinks until after we'd finished our starters...
I had the most magnificent tomato veloute for my starter. It has replaced the pappa de pomodoro I had in Florence last year as the best tomato soup ever. But I still feel a bit annoyed, because a couple of people ordered oeuf en cocotte, which came in their own adorable little clip-seal jars.
There was another extraordinarily long wait before the main courses arrived. We'd sat down at 7.30 and at 9.30 our mains were nowhere to be seen. Irritating, as another friend was joining us for dessert and she ended up having to sit and watch us eat.
My pumpkin and scallop tarte tatin was outstanding though. An extremely crisp puff pastry base, with a thick smear of pumpkin puree, discs of beautifully browned scallops and a pile of wild mushrooms in the middle. I would never have thought to combine those elements, but it was just gorgeous in taste and texture. I think my husband thought he did pretty well with his cassoulet of lobster, shellfish and pigs trotter though.
I chose a fig and almond clafoutis for dessert. It came in a little cast iron pot, but it wasn't particularly hot. Still, the combination of preserved figs and almonds is always a winner, and the plain milk icecream on top was just what was needed. I think I need another go at clafoutis. Unfortunately a couple of people had ordered digestifs instead of dessert, and they were not served until after we'd finished, and one didn't turn up at all.
One of the waiters realised that the service had gone pear-shaped and we weren't allowed to tip and one of the bottles of wine was free, so excellent response to a bad situation, but I would still have preferred it all to be seamless! There is a sense of responsibility when you are hosting. But at least the food was above reproach!