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Brunch at Lacroix


rlibkind
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Are you sure you have your dates correct? Saturday was the 4th and the Rodizio Meat Fest. Sunday was the 5th and the day after the meat fest.

I've seen you eat, but I can't imagine that you came to Rodizio straight from brunch at LaCroix.

Did you??? eek.gif

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'm not planning on competing with Philadining's photography, but thought I would add a few suplimental images:

Clockwise from 12 - Brochette of Garlic Sausage, potato and Mushroom, Sweet potato and Mexican Chocolate Barbajuans, Blood Orange and Uni Royale with Peekytoe Crab, Spring flower Demi-Tasse with Tapioca (or was that the Cauliflower and Baby GArlic Soup?), Monkfish Sous Vide with Sorrel and Fava Beans, Beets a' la Grecque, Quail Egg with Bottarga, Rainbow Trout with Horseradish and Crayfish, Rabbit Loin with Tapenade Provencale....wow..a lot on one plate

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In lieu of wine we ordered cocktails (2 bloodymaries and 3 mimosas). We also had fresh-squeezed orange juice and serveral pots of (french press?) coffee.

Next up..clockwise from 12 o'clock again -

Jambon Croissant, Chicken Curry Dumplings, Cauliflowe and Baby Spring Garlic Soup (I think), Chef Creek Oysters, Sushi maki rolls, Salmon Tartare, Jumbo Shrimp, Asparagus Tempura with Chestnut Mousseline - This is one of the best Salmon tartares I have had and wish I would have loaded up on that instead of the maki rolls. As for the Mousseline sauce paired with the asparagus, I could swear I tasted (and saw) tiny mustard seeds, but when I asked Chef Jean Marie Lacroix, he said there was not mustard in it...hmm...I think this deserves some more investigation...meaning another visit :biggrin:

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Next stop - Hot items from the Chef's table in the kitchen

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That trip resulted in a bounty of (clockwise from 12 again) - Veal Shortribs glazed with apricot and sesame seeds, Maine Cod Sous Vide with White Bean Parmigiano Broth, Quail Egg with Artichoke, Smoked soft eggs with Tuna Basquaise, Roasted Baby Lamb Chop, Green Asparagus Pot de Creme with Lobster.

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From the "Dessert Altar"- My favorite was the Coffee Creme Brulee and the liquid nitrogen station !!

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Are you sure you have your dates correct?  Saturday was the 4th and the Rodizio Meat Fest.  Sunday was the 5th and the day after the meat fest.

I've seen you eat, but I can't imagine that you came to Rodizio straight from brunch at LaCroix.

Did you??? eek.gif

I guess that would have been pretty hard-core, wouldn't it... I can't yet claim THAT degree of gluttony, I needed a few hours to digest. So, yes, thanks, it was Sunday the 5th at Lacroix.

Corrected to set the historical record straight. You know, for the kids.

Good play-by-play Percy, and I too was getting confused trying to remember which of the little soup-like doses were which... but I'm pretty sure the cauliflower soup was in the shotglass, and the spring flower demitasse was in the little white (demitasse) cups.

A couple of highlights for me: some of the little stuff at the start was most satisfying, especially the crispy Sweet potato and Mexican Chocolate Barbajuans, the tiny jambon croissants, pretty much everything on the spoons and in the shotglasses, (raw bars never thrill me too much, but the selection of different caviars was cool...) back in the kitchen, a slice of wild boar was nicely juicy and flavorful, and perked-up by the ginger jus that accompanied. The veal stew was simple but hearty and delicious. The gnocchi with fiddleheads and guanciale didn't look too impressive, but was actually a taste highlight for me. Even some of the simple breakfast things like french toast and waffles were improved by the high-quality accompaniments, like beautiful fresh fruit, Niman Ranch bacon, interesting sausages, and unusual combos. Some of the composed egg dishes were quite nice, and a change from what one normally gets.

I passed on many of the things in the chafing dishes, and reports from the table seemed to confirm that hunch, folks didn't seem too impressed with the shortribs, or the sous-vide duck, or a few other things that honestly didn't look too attractive...

But those less-impressive aspects were such a small percentage of the total, it's hardly worth mentioning, it's not as if we went hungry because the duck was no thrill...

Desserts were pretty universally strong. In the end a chocolate fountain is more fun than it is transcendentally delicious, but they use excellent chocolate, so there's not much bad about dipping anything under that cascade. We actually had to physically restrain Karen from just sticking her head under there, but the staff seemed ready for it, it must happen a few times each Sunday.

The liquid nitrogen relied somewhat on the gee-whiz factor, but as we've experienced with the anti-griddle at SK, that fast, super-low temp actually gives a very interesting texture to the frozen items, in this case a passionfruit foam, surrounding a more liquidy, fruity center. But I could have kept pretty happy with the remainder of the dessert area, everything I had was excellent.

I'm having a hard time imagining anyone not enjoying this brunch, there are fancy, creative, edge-pushing bites, there's simple bacon and eggs, there's premium chilled seafood stacked high on the serving table, there are somewhat conventional carved meats in the back, along with some more unusual preparations, and there's enough dessert to keep anyone happy by itself. We concentrated on the food, and just had one cocktail each, and otherwise stuck to the good coffee and fresh orange juice. As a result, we ended up owing $80 each, including tax and tip. That's a bit much for pancakes, but totally reasonable for over 3 hours of steady eating, featuring really rewarding food, and very pleasant service.

I'd do it again for sure. Maybe not the day after a Rodizio feast next time...

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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knock back a shotglass of blood orange-uni custard in order to serve the greater good...

what did you think of that? i'm trying to make myself like uni, but i can't help thinking that it tasted like low tide.

I liked that actually, although I'll agree with Karen that the uni was fairly subtle in that particular batch.

It may come down to one's general orientation toward uni, I was mixed for a while, but got some really amazing basic uni sushi (at Pod, of all places!) that really turned me around. That sample was indeed like low-tide, but in the best possible sense, like being almost physically transported in space and time to a childhood afternoon poking around in tidepools, JUST after the tide went out, while everything is still fresh and bright and alive. It strikes me that really great uni is almost more of an aroma, a sensation that feels like it's coming from outside your mouth...

So even just a hint of it resonated with me in this little shot at Lacroix, I thought it worked. Not the most profound flavor combo with uni I've ever had, but nice.

(The most profound one? oh come on, you folks can guess: that's right, StudioKitchen - uni custard with maple glaze and a roasted almond...)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I'm looking to get a current update of pricing and what's included. The website lists $46, is this accurate? Based on what I'm reading, cocktails aren't included, but are juice and coffee? There seems to be somehwat of a disconnect between $46 and $80, so I'm just trying to clear this up.

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The full-on brunch is $52 now, and most drinks, wine by the glass, etc, are about $11, so even with just one cocktail, or glass of wine, you're at $63, tax gets it to $67, tip boosts it to just under $80. But if you're not drinking, you're looking closer to $65 all-in.

I didn't really even think about it, but apparently coffee and juice are included.

If one feels like wine, they have a nice deal where one can get any two glasses from the suggested pairings on the menu for $18.

It's a lot of money, but it felt worth it for the quality of the experience.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Sigh. That looks amazing.

If Percy gets nicked with the nitrogen, I will represent him for free for the good of the order! That is provided he shares what he makes with the Liq. Nitro with all of us.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I didn't really even think about it, but apparently coffee and juice are included.

tea, too. they use nice tea (for bagged tea) and actually steep it in a pot, rather than bringing you a mug and little crappy pitchers of semi-hot water and a box of twinings.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
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It may come down to one's general orientation toward uni, I was mixed for a while, but got some really amazing basic uni sushi (at Pod, of all places!) that really turned me around. That sample was indeed like low-tide, but in the best possible sense, like being almost physically transported in space and time to a childhood afternoon poking around in tidepools, JUST after the tide went out, while everything is still fresh and bright and alive. It strikes me that really great uni is almost more of an aroma, a sensation that feels like it's coming from outside your mouth...

the first time i had it was at a sushi place in seattle, somewhere in belltown i think. it was a special that the sushi chef gave us that day because it was real fresh--or so he said; we'd been enjoying everything, and saying so, so he was like, i'll make you an uni roll (or whatever)--it's very special today. and when i ate it, it was as you described above, except after about five seconds i had to swallow because it was making me lightheaded and trippy and i thought i was going to fall off my stool. i wonder if anyone has explored the hallucinogenic properties of uni. anyway, i've had it several times since, but never had that intense an experience again.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
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Desserts were pretty universally strong. In the end a chocolate fountain is more fun than it is transcendentally delicious, but they use excellent chocolate, so there's not much bad about dipping anything under that cascade.  We actually had to physically restrain Karen from just sticking her head under there, but the staff seemed ready for it, it must happen a few times each Sunday.

Hey—I resemble that remark!

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Jeff and Percy, you guys do such a great play-by-play. And nice pics, Percy. I do believe that it was the cauliflower soup in the shotglass.

So I agree with Jeff in that I preferred the cold apps over the hot dishes. That’s not to say there weren’t stand-outs among the hot dishes. I bypassed the breakfast-like items (though I didn’t know there was a variety of sausage there!) as well as the carving station. The short ribs and duck, while good, just weren’t outstanding. I did love the asparagus pot de creme with lobster (such a lovely combination), eggs with spinach and sweetbreads (the sweetbreads were crispy, which gave a nice contrast with the eggs), and smoked soft eggs with tuna.

Desserts, of which I barely had room, were also great. Dessert altar indeed. Ice cream and sorbets are churned daily. The passion fruit sorbet was delicious. Other dessert highlights besides the liquid nitrogen and chocolate stations were Baba au Rhum, a little chocolate bombe with a cheesecake-like center, and a lychee-grapefruit cocktail.

$80/pp did seem at first like a little much for brunch, but considering that it included a cocktail, fresh squeezed OJ, and coffee (along with tax and tip), and I didn’t have dinner or breakfast the next morning, it didn’t seem as bad as we originally thought.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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NOW I'm jealous I missed this--gnocchi with fiddleheads and guanciale, yum!

It looks like the dark chocolate fountain is three times the size of the milk chocolate fountain...I approve :)

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Sunday’s brunch was my first meal at Lacroix. It won’t be the last. I won’t reprise what’s already been so beautifully covered in word and image, except to add my thanks to Percy for arranging it all and everyone for their good company. I will however compare our meal there with my experience last night at Atlantico’s minibar. I did a spur of the minute spin to DC to see the Cezanne and DADA exhibits. On a why not impulse, I called Atlantico at 5pm to find that they indeed did have a cancellation for the 6pm sitting.

If you’ll forgive the stretchy comparison, Atlantico was DADA to Lacroix’s Cezanne. For me, Andres’ food is exciting in a conceptual way rather more than sensual. Whether conceptual art or food, after the first direct encounter with it, I can get almost as much pleasure reading about it or looking at pictures of it as consuming it first hand. Don’t misunderstand, I’m glad I went to the minibar and enjoyed it. I’d recommend it to others. But I’m likely not to go back and I will live on the memory of it much as I live on the memory of Rose Selavy, seldom revisiting it in person. In the case of Cezanne, however, no matter how many times I revisit his work, there is always more to give pleasure. And photos of the paintings are not satisfactory substitutes. Despite the century that separates us from it, some of the work in this exhibit surprised me in some ways. (And if you go, don’t miss the drawings at the quarry and Chateau Noir which are in a little room off the main gallery.)

To the extent that one considers food as an art form (as many here do), Lacroix remains firmly planted in a great tradition which includes a response to the changes of time and its new materials and techniques, not merely a mindless redo of the past. Some of his dishes integrate innovative materials or techniques, but in a relatively unselfconscious way. The emphasis is not on novelty and surprise so much as on pleasure for the palate. Andres, on the other hand, seems intellectually determined to break with the past except in witty deconstructions of a a Caesar salad or Philly cheese steak. Indeed, several of his dishes are less cooked than constructed and use raw food intensively. It seemed to me that sometimes novelty and surprise was the primary pleasure, not the sensuous qualities of the dish. Where the food succeed most for me, was in the less self-conscious dishes such as the beet tumbleweed or the conch liquid-filled fritters. Atlantico’s minibar is great dinner theatre. Lacroix’s just a great meal I’d like to revisit.

Oh, I confess. Short of time, I skipped the DADA exhibit and checked out the Rothko’s and Turners. I’m sooooo retrograde. Maybe next time. After all, DADA’s history, too, now.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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Oh, I confess. Short of time, I skipped the DADA exhibit and checked out the Rothko’s and Turners. I’m sooooo retrograde. Maybe next time. After all, DADA’s history, too, now.

too bad--that exhibit was a lot of fun.

i think you really hit the nail on the head wrt lacroix. he's never (in my experience) inventive just for the sake of breaking boundaries--only ever for the sake of taste.

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  • 10 months later...

took my parents to lacroix for brunch this past sunday, and i'm here to tell ya that it may be even better than it was before.

the raw bar hasn't changed much. the cold appetizer area still focuses on similar things -- little bites of foie gras (in a candied kumquat half), tempuraed things in soups, salads of beets, quail eggs -- although the actual dishes have changed. there was a charred scallion and maitake mushroom salad with black truffle vinaigrette that was one of the rockinest things i've had recently.

the place where things have improved is the hot area. rather than beef wellington, it was venison. and it was ruby rare. lamb chops were not overcooked. a pork belly with orange-rosemary marmalade. wild boar loin with ginger jus.

and the sides were just as good. barley and apple pilaf. smoked scrambled eggs with tuna confit and piperade. creamed kohlrabi. mushroom and sweetbread gratin. a saffron custard with a mussel in it.

the dessert buffet was good too, but by that time i was just running on adrenaline so it's all a blur.

anyway: still $52, still a good deal. wines still very pricey. if you make even the slightest effort to do justice to everything, you won't eat till the next day.

if you haven't been, go back.

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yeah that's the part that hasn't changed much. still nice oysters (windy points this week, or so they said--i thought they were known for being big, but these were quite small, and all the better for it); giant shrimps in cocktail sauce, lumpfish, paddlefish and salmon roe, some maki rolls, smoked whitefish and trout, peppered mackerel, smoked salmon, and a red and white tuna tartare.

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  • 11 months later...

bump

Soooooo-- one of my friends has an upcoming birthday and I can push her in the direction of going to Lacroix for brunch. Worth doing so? Anyone been since a year ago? Feel free to make other fancy suggestions.

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bump

Soooooo-- one of my friends has an upcoming birthday and I can push her in the direction of going to Lacroix for brunch. Worth doing so? Anyone been since a year ago? Feel free to make other fancy suggestions.

I've been there twice in the past year. Still amazing, but one piece of advice would be to go earlier rather than later. I was in towards the end one of those two times, and a lot of the items were somewhat the worse for wear.

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Went in August and it was wonderful. As has been commented in the past, I preferred the cold dishes to the hot, even though there were some amazing cuts of meat in the kitchen. One of the more interesting from the cold group was a glass of guava juice garnished with a spanish olive dusted in white chocolate. Having also had dinner there in the last month, I think that Chef Levin's work with flavor combinations is really spectacular.

I also recommend going early, but if only to avoid the crowds around the food tables!

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