Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 2nd Most Extreme Friend Eats Dinner

Chef Mimi's Revenge
If you can believe it, there's more dessert out of frame.
Originally uploaded by reallyct
I'm so pleased that my father doesn't really know how to use the internet because this posting pretty much eradicates all the hebrew school and zionist summer camp foisted upon us children. It happened during my first visit to dbgb where The Boy works and where my former pastry chef boss now presides. I'll admit, when The Boy moved from Bistro to gb, I was sad; after all, I get pangs of something akin to love just thinking about the scallops and I'll admit, I did anything I could to get Mamadou and Ali to share their french fries on nights when the kitchen sent them down. So, my first impression was, eh, sausage.

Let me say that the sausage has won and I have lost (though when I bravely stepped on Herr Scale this morning, I was pleased to know that no long-term damage had been done). Actually, it might be safe to say that the graceful and noble pig, even in death, totally pwned me.

The menu at dbgb can be a mite bit intimidating, especially if you were once a child who refused all foodstuffs save grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with (yes) cheese, and some non-cheese-related items such as pb&j and broiled chicken breast with rice. Veal tongue? Pigs' feet? Duck gizzard (which incidentally, Ed, is esophagus)? These were not on offer in yon childhood. And, truth be told, while my diet is so preposterously more varied than I ever could have feared as an 8-year old (hell, I get nostalgic for the barnacles Antonio made us eat), I do fear that some things will still squick me.

But I had a point to prove. You see, recently Ed admitted that we may well be, devoted partner and I, his 2nd Most Xtreme Friends. This pleased me immensely and definitely made parasailing in Turkey a priority. Surely, a 2nd Most Extreme Friend would not shy away from head cheese (which has NO CHEESE in it). And Ed was really psyched about the head cheese which I was frankly terrified by. After all, while I have happily eaten beef cheeks, and possibly halibut cheeks, I felt certain that head cheese would look a little too much like head for my comfort.

Yeah, well, obviously I'm an idiot, and secondly, Etienne is sneaky. Head cheese? I've been eating that crap for years. Mushy porky bits tied together by gelatinous ooze? Yeah, the goddamned French have been surreptitiously feeding it to me for ages - I hope you guys got a good laugh out of that. So, turns out, I love head cheese.

But the 2nd Most Extreme Friend was not about to stop at a little mushed together boiled-off pig head terrine. I have studiously avoided boudin noir each and every visit to the aforementioned French. Vinie loves it, Etienne does not, and frankly, I wasn't so sure I liked sausage enough to want it bound by pork blood. But I hear things, one of which was that the boudin noir at dbgb was awesome so when Ed omitted it from his menu wishlist, I put it back on. No way was I going to let a little pig's blood get in the way of my Xtreme-ness. The verdict: not my favorite, but nothing to get worried about.

Finally, as we make our way down the pig, we got to his crispy trotters. Easy. Been there, done that, made the trip to Montreal.

In between there were other delightful things, most surprisingly the calamari salad which I a) ate and b) loved. I'm generally not a go-to squid kinda gal, but The Boy brought it to us, so I dutifully ate it and then went back for more. The sausage injected with cheddar cheese served atop an unnecessarily thick potato pancake? Yeah, that was a big win. Also I liked the pork and duck gizzard sausage quite a lot, and not just because it was like cassoulet in a tube.

But I knew there was more coming. I knew this because Chef Mimi told me to save room for dessert, which I knew could not mean anything good for the waistline. Sure enough, 7, yes 7 desserts came to the table: meyer lemon tart, blood orange chocolate cake, coconut pineapple kalamansi ice cream sandwich, mandarin souffle, and three ice cream sundaes, honey grapefruit, coffee bourbon, and mint chocolate. Needless to say only a couple of bites could be managed of each though all, under less stuffed circumstances could have easily been consumed in their entirety.

The 2nd Most Extreme Friend draws the line at boot and rally.


  1. I need to hang out with you guys. That sounds awesome. I've been meaning to go to dbgb for ages and this just makes me want to even more. Thanks for the report.

  2. The nice thing was there were a number of things I wanted to try but didn't get around to which will make a return trip just as exciting! But certainly for a man, such as yourself, who enjoys the less graceful parts of animals, you should put it back towards the top of the list. Hint: eat early - we were in by 6 and out by 8:30 and we beat the bulk of the crowd.