Looking at Instagram and saw that La Boulangerie, a French bakery in Forest Hills, is having a French dinner event Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 13 with two seatings each evening. I have had their pastries and lunch but never a full meal. Since the lockdown, I have only eaten out during my short vacation in Rockaway Beach, so I decided it was close enough and I knew the food would be good and I made a reservation for the early seating (4pm) on Sunday.
You had to pay in advance (only $35) and choose your dishes. Since it was still the heat of summer, I chose dishes that would fit that weather. Of course, the day of the dinner, it was almost autumn-like, and some of the heavier dishes would have been a better choice. I wore a tank top and sandals because I was not ready for summer to be over but I did wear jeans. I did not have a sweater and there were a couple of times when a strong breeze came through and I wished I had one but except for those moments I was comfortable.
Since they do not have a liquor license, I could have brought a bottle of wine but I decided to go alcohol free for this meal.
Most of the crowd was couples. There was another woman dining alone and one table of five people.
First out was the bread and their butter. I was disappointed that the bread was cold – this is a bakery so they could have served us bread fresh from the oven. There were several choices and, as always, the bread was very good.
Then the gazpacho. It was bright and clean with a few finely chopped vegetables and herbs in the center. Once I mixed them into the soup it added a bit of texture. I am not a fan of tomato soups but I always make an exception for gazpacho.
The quail au jus was served with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and sweet carrots. The jus may have deglazed with some wine. Like a cavewoman, I tore the quail apart and ate with my hands. It may not have looked attractive but I wanted to taste every bit of meat and the various herbs and spices. You want the entrée to be a highlight and this definitely was.
Dessert was an almond-pear tarte. It was perfect. Not sweet except from what came from the pears. If you look carefully you can see three small dots of chocolate around the dish. I scraped the chocolate and ate it along with a piece of the tarte and it added just the right amount of sweetness.
What wonderful way to end outdoor dining for this summer.
By Carene Lydia Lopez