The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Frenchifying the Pieholes

We had just come off a boat tour around Manhattan and decided to walk to the theater to catch Ghost – The Musical. I totally blew off didn’t have time to research some restaurants, so we were prepared to take a flyer on one of the places on the way.  I was a little leery of eating in the vicinity of Times Square as restaurants near touristy areas typically aren’t that good.  Either these restaurants know they’ll have a constant stream of customers and they get lazy or their menu has to be dumbed down and generic to appeal to the jeans, fanny packs, and white sneakers crowd.  For the 20 minute walk nothing was jumping out at us and we were starting to get worried about our prospects of getting a decent meal.

It finally came down to Marseilles (on the corner of 9th and 44th) and some Italian place across the street.   We went with Marseilles because I absolutely love French food and there aren’t any good places to get it here in Ann Arbor.  That, and I didn’t feel like going back across the street.  Overall, we all were really glad we went there; the Pieholes said it was some of the best food they’ve ever had.  That’s saying quite a lot, considering who usually cooks for them.

Off to a good start –  this place looked EXACTLY like many of the eateries I went to in Paris – the tile, décor, paint – even the fixtures in the bathroom. The most authentic touch was the middle pillar with menus handwritten on mirrors.

What We Ate

Bread with a hunk of butter in a pool of olive oil with herbs sprinkled on it. Yeah, it’s just your usual freebie bread.  But why the hell don’t other places do the oil and butter thing?  Nice touch.

Onion Soup- Pure perfection. Or at least that one spoonful I had was.  The Pieholes wanted to sample it, so I passed the bowl over to them.   And I didn’t get it back.

Grilled Salmon and asparagus, wheatberry salad, spring onion gremolata, spring onion puree, and olive oil emulsion

Steak Frites – Hangar steak, peppercorn sauce, and fries.  So simple. So damn perfect.  Yes, even better than mine.

Not  Pictured:

– Seafood (monkfish, scallops, shrimp, & mussels) with saffron tomato broth, leeks, potatoes, and couscous

– Pasta Pesto – Garganelli pasta with creamy basil, garlic, and almond sauce

– Crisp Apple Tart with crème fraiche ice cream and caramel sauce.

– Dark Chocolate Pot au Crème .  This one didn’t even make it around to me it was that good.

What We Drank

I don’t recall what the Pies had – probably Le Root Beer  or something like that.  Boom Boom and I split a bottle of red wine.  Can you guess which  region of France we ordered? Was it an elegant Bordeaux, haunting Burgundy, rustic Languedoc?

None of the above. It was a 2006 Crater from Canary Islands.

I’ve heard some buzz about wines from there, but have been completely unsuccessful in finding any around here.  If this is typical of wines from the Canaries, I definitely need to find some more.  This was truly delicious – dark, full-bodied, equal parts luscious and tannic with a nice long finish.

Before we went in, the Pies weren’t overly enthusiastic about it as they didn’t think they ever had French cuisine.  When they came out, they were complete Francophiles.  I guess I won’t mention to them that they’ve had it a thousand times before…

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

11 comments on “Frenchifying the Pieholes

  1. gojulesgo
    May 22, 2012

    Le yum! This place looks very familiar (I’m sure I’ve passed it), but I’ve never been. I’m so glad it was good, and you managed to avoid the tourist traps! I also don’t understand why more places don’t serve oil and butter (especially in a lovely dish like that one). There’s a French bistro I love in Jersey where they don’t serve oil, but they make up for it by giving you a sweetened butter and an herbed butter, and it comes in a dish with sea salt. Sprinkling the salt over the butter (on the bread) is AMAZING. (The dish also has their own toasted/seasoned nuts, which are incredible.)

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      May 22, 2012

      That does sound good. Jersey, eh? Now I’m wondering if the butter would’ve been better in a pool of rendered duck fat. Or bacon grease.

  2. Max D
    May 22, 2012

    Sounds like a amble that paid off handsomely. I’ve had to eat lots of mediocre meals while traveling because I didn’t do the requisite gastronomic research. Sme pleasant finds too, though.

    As for Canary Islands wines, Everyday Wines sells two, a killer rosé and a red one, the name of which escape me now but can retrieve later on. Plum Market also has one or two Canary Island reds. You’re right about the reds: luscious and tannic is a good way to describe e ones I’ve had. Oh, and here’s where being bilingual really helps. The name of the wine, Crater, is Spanish for crater.

  3. Max D.
    May 23, 2012

    Just stopped Everyday Wines. They’re all out of Canary Island wines. I still have a delicious pink wine, so if you want to try one, you’ll have to fly there or break into our house. I’ll check Plum Market. For what it’s worth, the rose one is 2010 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzerote rosado. The last red one I tried was 2008 Monje Tacoronte Acentejo Tradicional.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      May 23, 2012

      I’ve been meaning to break into your house for some of your others. I’ll add that one to the list…LMK how it goes with Plum!

  4. Max D.
    May 23, 2012

    I just clicked on your link. I remember reading the article, but I had forgotten that the top two wines in the taster’s panel were the two wines I had bought at Everyday Wines.

  5. michelleswordpressyay
    May 24, 2012

    If you’re still in NYC you should try to make it down to Sabor de Mexico for a burrito! (its steps away from the World Trade Center Site) =)

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      May 24, 2012

      I did look for it as you submitted that review a while ago, but couldn’t find. Got any more burritos for me?

      • michelleswordpressyay
        May 25, 2012

        aw man! check out pinche taqueria (mott st. and layfayette) or the calexico truck (on wooster i think) and the restaurant is in greenpoint, brooklyn

  6. Yum that food looks amazing! Nothing like a good wine to accompany the meal 😉

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2012 by in Ann Arbor, Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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