Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Brunch at Lacroix


rlibkind
 Share

Recommended Posts

For a special occasion, I took She Who Must Be Obeyed to brunch this past Sunday at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel.

What a treat, even if the tab did reach $117 before tip for the two of us (just one drink apiece).

The fish table was superb. Among the delicacies: House-smoked salmon, trio of American caviars (paddlefish, salmon and American white sturgeon, I believe), gigantic shrimp (I normally avoid "cocktail" sauce, but Lacroix's version zings with fresh tomatoes), smoked trout, whitefish salad, and peppered and plain smoked mackeral.

The hor d'oeurve table was even more impressive. A variety of salads (beet, potato, string bean with feta, etc.), Asian-inspired rolls, meatballs impaled on lemongrass spears, tiny savory fried vegetables cakes, savory frittata, mini ham and cheese in pastry, etc, etc., and so forth. Many of these treats were quite labor intensive, including the eggshell filled with scrambled egg, or a canape with incredibly thin layers of a creamy spinach spread between eight or nine sheets of even thiner wrapper.

We ordered the hot buffet rather than individual entrees. This meant a trip to the kitchen! Amid the immaculate stainless steel work stations and white-clad staff we had our choice of, among other items: bacon, a delicate breakfast sausage served in sauerkraut as if it were a minimalist choucroute, pain perdu, boneless quail with couscous, beef wellington, a cassoulet made with a particularly meaty French broad bean whose name I do not recall, veal ragout, rack of lamb, creamed leaks, various potatoes, assorted veggies. My favorite among the kitchen offerings: porc salé (braised pork belly) with a fruited stuffing.

And then there was the dessert table. Mocha opera cake. Coconut cream mousse. Lemon meringue, raspberry and ganache tartlets. Pistachio swirl cheesecake. Chocolate Irish coffee terrine. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream and mango sorbet, with whipped cream and raspberry sauces on the side, as well as fresh raspberries and blackberries.

Oh, did I mention the croissants and pastries in the bread basket placed on the table soon after you are seated?

Yes, there was lots of food. But its goodness did not rely on quantity (you can go to Old Country Buffet for that). The skill, subtlety and creativity of preparation is what sets Lacroix apart, and Sunday brunch is no exception. For example, the pastry chef found a way to infuse raspberry essence into the pâte brisée. The breakfast sausage was incredibly refined, but clearly still a breakfast sausage (is "delicate breakfast sausage" an oxymoron?). The combination of onion and grapefruit in the beet salad exceedingly well-executed. Everywhere, essential flavors were enhanced, not obliterated.

I shall return! Not too frequently (my budget can stand only so much extravagance), but I shall return.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So wait, I have a question: how did the $117 come about? I mean, is it a set price, or do they charge you a price for the buffet plus supplements for additional more expensive items, or is it a la carte, or what? Just curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Set price + drinks + tax. The "hot buffet" was priced at about $48 per. You could also order entrees rather than the hot buffet, with prices ranging from low 40s to low 50s, if I recall correctly. The two cold tables, desserts and coffee are included with all options.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Had brunch at Lacroix today and I have to say this is one of the best brunches I have ever had. Here is a recap of our experience:

Reservations were originally made via OpenTable for a weekday lunch, but since I wanted to try a variety of dishes, I changed the reservation to Sunday Bunch. This is what was available on the Brunch Menu

Started with the HORS D' OEUVRES and raw bar. While almost everything tasted great, the dishes that I think need special mention were the Quail Egg with Ratatouille, Salmon Tartar (not on the menu, but in the pic), Chicken Curry Dumplings and Asparagus and Veal Tongue with Truffle Vinaigrette.

gallery_21049_398_1104717025.jpg

gallery_21049_398_1104718550.jpg

We also tried the soup of the day, which was a root vegetable bisque. It was good, but not spectacular (wasn't expecting it to be). Then we went for the Hot Buffet, which is served in the kitchen (I would have got it anyway, just to see the kitchen). It should be noted that this is a section of the kitchen were the cooking has already been done and the food layed out, so don't expect the chef to be calling out orders in there....the pictures will explain what I mean...

Hot Buffet Station # - Soft boiled eggs, Quail Eggs with Braised Beef Short Ribs, Roasted Duck (I think) and wife (not on menu).

gallery_21049_398_1104718568.jpg

Hot Buffet Station # 2 - Sautéed Potatoes, and 2 other dishes I can't remember

gallery_21049_398_1104718605.jpg

Hot Buffet Station # 3 - Chicken Fricassée with Saffron and Escargots, Spelt

gallery_21049_398_1104718620.jpg

Hot Buffet Station # 4 - Roast Duckling with Seckel Pears and Cognac Sauce, Venison Cannelonis, Lobster Oeufs en Cocotte? (although menu says chowder, it was changed...for the better...more on this later)

gallery_21049_398_1104718647.jpg

Hot Buffet Station # 5 - Roasted Baby Lamb Chops, Carved Beef Wellington, Roasted Organic Turkey. The sauces are Lamb Au Jus (almost as thick as a Demi Glace and very tasty), Madeira sauce for the beef and Chanterelle gravy for the turkey.

gallery_21049_398_1104718667.jpg

Here is a close-up of the food on my plate (clockwise) - Lamb chops, Beef Wellington, Spelt, Venison Cannelonis, Roasted Duckling and Chicken Fricassée with Saffron and Escargots

gallery_21049_398_1104718693.jpg

Here is a close-up of the Lobster Oeufs en Cocotte? This dish had a smooth soft custard bottom, lobster (tail and claw) and what seemed with a light curry sauce....hmmmm...delicious....one of my favorite dishes of the meal.

gallery_21049_398_1104718709.jpg

Here is another masterpiece...braised beef short ribs with Quail egg. The sauce had a deep beef/veal flavor, and the meat was tender. Top that with a perfectly cooked soft boiled quail egg and I am in heaven :biggrin:

gallery_21049_398_1104718733.jpg

By this time, Desserts, as tempting as they are, required true determination to indulge in (wifey chickened out by then). I had planned for this meal by limiting the previous night's dinner and skipping breakfast (I also ended up skipping dinner tonight as I am still full from the meal, nearly 11 hrs later :wub: )

gallery_21049_398_1104718751.jpg

This place also makes their chocolates (which are the best in the city) and are only sold at the hotel/restaurant, so I had to get a box of these. If Forrest Gump is correct in saying..."Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you are going to get", then the person who is lucky enough to be eating chocolates from this box has nothing to worry about as each piece is delicious.

gallery_21049_398_1104718775.jpg

We both opted for the "Wine Duet", which was a house champagne (sorry, don't remember the name as it was not a mainstream one and your choice of their a Pinot Gris or a Hardy's Cab Sav. We got the Cab).

Service was as expected for a 4 star restaurant, attentive and courteous.

Overall it was a great experience and if I lived closer to the city, I would be coming here every Sunday (OK, at least 1-2/month) and weigh an additional 50 lbs :laugh: .

My Rating - Highly Recommended and I will be returning here soon !!

Hope this is helpful for those planning a visit.

Cheers

Percy

Edited to add: Jean Marie Lacroix (the chef/owner) was not in the kitchen today (apparantely recovering from a New Year party last night), but we did run into him on the way out.

Edited by percyn (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the hors d'oeuvres are included. The Hot Buffet is optional, and I would highly recommend it to eGulleters (my wife was not that crazy about it, as she did not eat many of the dishes on there... you can lead a horse to the water... :rolleyes: ).

Of-course the wine and box of chocolates were extra.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we had a place like this in Vancouver, I would certainly start saving my money today. The food looks fantastic! Really, I can't say how envious I am!  :wub: Are the hors d'oeuvres included in the buffet? Those look especially good.

Let me know the next time you are in Philly....my treat :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i mean, seriously, that menu is insane.

so anyway percy, come by and introduce yourself if you come. i'll be the nine foot tall gargoyle with thrashing worms for hair, clanking bronze gauntlets for hands, and giant frankenstein boots. i'll be wearing tattered rags and i'll be accompanied by a strikingly lovely young female mortal who was foolish enough to give up her chance at a normal life for an eternity of meals such as the above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was originally sold on Lacroix's brunch by the pictures, but today the City Paper (p50) published a blurb on January 6/6:30pm Wednesday reservations doing walkthroughs of the kitchen. I took a look at their website and they've updated it to include sample menus and prices for all their meals. Of note they're also offering the latest $$$$ trend of a chef's table:

"The Chef’s Table allows guests to dine in the heart of Chef Lacroix’s kitchen with a tasting menu up to 12 courses, priced accordingly, created that evening by Chef Lacroix. Up to 7 guests may dine at The Chef’s Table."

I'd really appreciate it if the $$$$ people going to Studiokitchen do a head to head face off with Lacroix's chef's table with photos + review. TIA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

holy moly, rlibkind, you were right on the money with this recommendation. brunch at lacroix is crazy, rich, and expensive and totally worth it.

to expand on the things mentioned above, the dish in the egg coddler was a lobster pot du creme.

what we had that i didn't see on your menu was a foie gras custard, which could very well be the richest thing i've ever eaten.

those little fried ravioli things were filled with pumpkin.

the vegetables at the serving station were sauteed potatoes, a root vegetable braise, and braised cabbage with apples and chestnuts (aside: if you ever get a chance to eat an entire braised chestnut in one bite: don't).

the one downside for me was that the creamed spinach with quail egg was overcooked from the heat lamps. the plate was really hot to the touch and the egg had gone rubbery. the short ribs were amazing.

oh and that thing on the metal spoon in rlibkind's pics, is a smoked duck breast with pine nut brittle. damn good.

one of the main highlights was chef lacroix graciously welcoming us to the kitchen and thanking us for coming, and serving up the chicken fricasee and spelt himself. obviously a guy who likes seeing people enjoy his food.

we gorged like i rarely do; dinner last night was a small bowl of potato-leek soup and a salad, and that was all we could handle, eight hours after the fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh and that thing on the metal spoon in rlibkind's pics, is a smoked duck breast with pine nut brittle.  damn good.

I'll take credit for starting this "Expensive, expansive, exceptional" thread, but not for the photos. The images were posted by Percyn and they are enticing me to make a return visit! After all, it's only been eight months since I was first there for brunch!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

holy moly, rlibkind, you were right on the money with this recommendation.  brunch at lacroix is crazy, rich, and expensive and totally worth it.  we gorged like i rarely do; dinner last night was a small bowl of potato-leek soup and a salad, and that was all we could handle, eight hours after the fact.

Echo that! We took my aunt yesterday and there is nothing I can add to the above. I had just about one of everything with the exception of a couple of Jamison Lamb chops. The meal will last you into the evening. The menu is really more like a combination of dinner and breakfast. We were trying to rename it as "brinner" or "deckfast". Man those oysters were fresh!

We're thinking chef's table next.

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you guys wanna hear something weird? on saturday night i got a call on my cell phone. the person said, 'lacroix?' i got kinda confused, thinking that maybe it was lacroix restaurant calling me. i said, uh, what? she said, is your address 220 w. rittenhouse square? i said, wait, this isn't lacroix. she said, is this (some mangled version of my phone number, which is apparently lacroix's number)? it wasn't.

but isn't that weird, that i'd get that wrong number the night before going there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      When my mother recently passed away, because we are a scattered family, one of my younger brothers had the great idea of setting up a private Facebook page for the immediate family to talk in – mainly about funeral arrangements but also just in general.
       
      One topic, which I inadvertently started, was about her cooking. It’s fair to say, and she would agree, that cooking was not her forte. She was able to feed us but it was never exciting. That’s me being respectful.
       
      So we were joking amongst ourselves about that when the subject of her two most ‘original’ recipes came up and we each tried to remember exactly what was in them. Here, to the best of our ability, is what we agreed on.
       
      Pasta Mish-Mash
       
      Ingredients:
       
      Pasta. This had to be Marshall’s macaroni, a Scottish speciality and the only pasta I ever ate until I was about 18 years-old, apart from tinned spaghetti, usually in the form of spaghetti hoops.
       

       
      Bacon. This would normally be unsmoked Ayrshire back bacon. Not American bacon!
       

       
      Onions. White onions. We didn’t know they came in other colours.
       
      Tomatoes. Scottish tomatoes are surprisingly good.
       
      Salt. Common iodised table salt. You know. Natural salt. None of your fancy sea flavoured salt nonsense!
       

       
      Pepper. Black pre-ground and stale.
       

       
      Method:
       
      Boil pasta according to pack instructions. Or a bit longer if you get distracted. Drain.
       
      Cut bacon into pieces. Chop onion approximately finely. Chop tomatoes into eighths. Fry bacon and vegetables. When ready add drained pasta and mix. Apply seasoning if you remember. Even if you remember, under season.

      Serve.
       
       
      Polish Salad
       
      During WWII, around 17,000 Polish soldiers were stationed in Scotland, first temporarily in the border areas but later in east Scotland where my mother lived. (Her elder sister married one of them). Family lore has it (from my mother) that she learned this recipe from one or more of those soldiers.

      I’m fairly certain that there was little if anything Polish about it, but suppose its possible it was those soldiers’ attempt to recreate something from home without really knowing the recipe and having to use whatever they could find in the way of ingredients.

      If anyone here is Polish, of Polish descent or just knows more about Polish food than I do knows of any Polish dish that this could even vaguely resemble, I’d love to know. It was memorably distinctive - bright purple. I'm sure it glowed in the dark.

      Ingredients:

      Tomatoes
       
      Onions
       
      Apples
       
      Hard boiled eggs

      Pickled beetroot (store bought and pickled in malt vinegar)
       

       
      Heinz Tomato Ketchup

      Brown Sauce, preferably HP Sauce.
       

       
       
      Method:
       
      Chop all the ingredients except the ketchup and brown sauce into small pieces and mix together.
       
      Mix ketchup and brown sauce in a 50:50 ratio, and fold into the other ingredients. If too dry, add a little of the beetroot pickling liquid.
       
      Serve
       
      Father's 'recipe' coming up next.
       
    • By Ling
      I've already polished off half a box of Harvest Crunch Granola today. I haven't really eaten cereal in years, but these crunchy granola clusters are hard to resist.
      What's your favourite cereal, and what do you eat with it?
      (Big bowl, big spoon, and 2% milk for me.)
    • By Kasia
      ALMOND CUSCUS WITH CRANBERRIES AND PINEAPPLE
       
      I hate getting up in the morning. My household knows that before 8 o'clock I'm unbearable, and because almost every day I wake up much earlier, I tend to be unbearable more frequently than I want. Every extra five minutes of sleep is priceless, so I appreciate a good breakfast that is not too complicated and is quick to prepare.

      Recently, I have been preparing breakfast with groats and flakes. This time I chose cuscus. This product is a cross between pasta and groats, and it doesn't need long to prepare. It is enough to add hot water or milk and leave for a few minutes. I added some fresh pineapple, cranberries and banana. I spiced it up with some hot chili pepper .

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      125g of cuscus
      400ml of almond milk
      1 tablespoon of honey
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      2 slices of fresh pineapple
      1 teaspoon of minced chili pepper
      150g of fresh cranberries
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 banana
      4 tablespoons of flaked almonds

      Wash the cranberries and put them into a pot. Add two tablespoons of water and the brown sugar. Boil, stirring gently until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened. Boil the almond milk with the vanilla essence. Pour the milk onto the cuscus and leave for 5-7 minutes. Slice the banana and roast the almond flakes. Peel the pineapple and dice it. Mix the pineapple, chili pepper and honey. Add the pineapple to the cuscus and mix it in. Put the mixture into two bowls. Put the cranberries and banana on the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      LUNCH FROM THE JAR, I.E. LAYERED SALAD IN THE OFFICE
       
      Most of us take lunch boxes to the office. Some lucky people can warm their food up at work The rest have to eat sandwiches. Sandwiches are great, but even if we absolutely love them we could get fed up with them in the end. Regardless of where we work we can save the situation with salads. Every day we can prepare a different one and we have an entirely new lunch. If we also take an attractive dish, we have something that is not only tasty but also glamorous.

      I would like to share with you the recipe for a salad which looks equally as beautiful as it is yummy. The chickpeas and groats make it a satisfying and balanced meal, after which we won't be hungry. I think that if you prepare your lunch in the morning and plan to eat it at lunchtime, we should keep the salad and the dip separately. Otherwise, after a few hours in the jar, we have an unappetising dish with squishy lettuce, which isn't what we want, is it?

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      1 beetroot
      200g of tinned chickpeas
      100g of bulgur
      1 carrot
      1 fresh green pepper
      4 lettuce leaves
      200g of natural yoghurt
      handful of minced chives
      1 small chili pepper
      salt and pepper

      Clean the beetroot and bake or boil it. Grate the beetroot and carrot. Cut the pepper into thin strips. Boil the bulgur in salty water. Arrange in layers in a jar the beetroot, chickpeas, pepper, bulgur, carrot and lettuce. Dice the chili pepper. Mix the natural yoghurt with the chives and chili pepper. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Add the dip to the salad just before serving.
       
       

    • By Lisa Shock
      I developed this recipe for a friend who wound up with many cans of Solo brand apricot filling and was wondering what to make with them. I adapted this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Sour Cream Coffee Cake, found on page 90 of the Cake Bible. The apricot filling works it way down through the cake and winds up near the bottom of the pan, making an attractive top later when the cake is inverted. Please use some sort of ring pan that holds at least 9 cups. You may substitute butter for the toasted almond oil, but remember that the oil adds flavor. I specifically developed this recipe with the home cook in mind, regular salted butter, and AP flour work well here. To reduce the sodium, use unsalted butter.  
       
      Ingredients
      113 grams (1 stick) salted butter
      26 grams toasted almond oil
      200 grams sugar
      6 grams vanilla extract
      4 egg yolks
      160 grams regular sour cream (do not use low fat or fat free)
      50 grams almond meal
      175 grams all-purpose flour
      2 1/2 grams baking powder
      2 1/2 grams baking soda
      12 ounces (1 can) Solo Apricot Filling
       
      12 Servings
      Preheat the oven to 350°
      Spray a 9+ cup tube or Bundt pan with non-stick spray or grease with an oil & soy lecithin blend.
       
      Lightly toast the almond meal in a frying pan on the stove top until it has a light beige color and has a mild fragrance. Allow to cool.
       
      Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, mix until the mixture is even and creamy. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the cooled almond flour and mix well.
       
      Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and mix until it everything is evenly incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
       
      Place 2/3 of the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Place the apricot filling in an even layer on top, keeping a small space between the filling and the pan's edges. Place the remaining batter on top and smooth to create a relatively even surface.
       
      Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350° or until the top is dark brown and springs back to a light touch.
       
      Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Cool and serve. Be cautious about serving this hot, as the apricot filling can cause serious burns. When fully cooled, cover or wrap in plastic wrap to store. Will keep for several days in a cool, dry place.
       
      Nutrition (thanks MasterCook!) 
      324 calories, 15g fat, (7g sat fat, 6g mono-unsat fat, 1g ploy-unsat fat), 5g protein, 43g carbohydrates, 175mg sodium, 101mg potassium,  58g calcium
      42% calories from fat, 52% calories from carbohydrates, 6% calories from protein
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...