Le Philosophe

Le Philosophe

November 1st, 2015 Update:  Despite the mediocre mussels this time, still loving Le Philosophe.  Over the past few years it transformed into a fine neighborhood bistro.  The classics are still on the menu, but the numerous nightly specials must get some attention.  The Lobster Thermidor puts all other overly rich Thermidors we’ve had in the Caribbean over the years to shame.  The Tournedos Rossini is still a nice ode to the classic, and so are the frog legs with Hen of the Woods (aka Maitake) Mushrooms.  The mussels this time did not have the “Balls” of the old ones. Hope they didnt change suppliers.  But those Profiteroles, even if you are remotely into Profiteroles, you must get them.  Earlier this year, a new half sister called L’Antagoniste was born in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.  Hoping to get there one day, but considering the location its a tough sell.

 Post:

I don’t wear a single piece of jewelry.  For the same reason I don’t wear turtlenecks.  I have this thing where if I do wear anything excessive, I would constantly feel the need to free myself of it.  Every inch of my body needs to breath.  Every inch!  I used to wear a watch until I discovered the brilliant invention since the cell phone:  Cell phone that shows time.

The last of the Mohicans was a wedding band.  By law I had to wear it at all times including funerals.  Just in case I would get approached by someone – “Very sorry lady but you see this, I’m a married man”, “Good to know, but I was just wondering if you can spare me some change, as I haven’t eaten in 3 days”.

So with the wedding band, I had the constant need to temporary remove it from the finger and play with it while the finger breathes.  And occasionally I would drop it somewhere like in a movie theatre where I would wait until the lights came on in order to find it.  But I dropped it the most inside my couch while watching sports.  And every time I dropped it, it would take me 2 to 4 weeks to find the will time to get the flashlight and dig out the ring from the couch.  Occasionally, I would also find an M&M and a grape if I’m lucky in the process.  I remember we would have dinner somewhere where Mrs Ziggy would just stare at my bare finger and go “Inside the couch?” and I would just nod with embarrassment.  And so as soon as I got the ring out during the 4th archeological dig, I found myself staring at Mrs Ziggy’s angry hand.  She took the ring, and I haven’t seen a piece of jewelry since.

So whats your point Ziggy?  My point is I don’t need jewelry to remind myself or anyone that I’m married.  In 2 weeks it will be 20 years of being married to the most wonderful cougar woman on the planet.  And on her birthday last week, this classy lady deserved nothing less than a classy meal.  Hence, the longest prelude to a review on EatingWithZiggy.

The meal at Le Philosophe in Noho (near the east village) was one of the most satisfying of the year.  One of those rare meals where every dish offered interesting flavors and did not disappoint.  The menu consists of old school French classics that you don’t see in French bistros anymore.  As usual I did some homework on what to order and we (4 of us – Hummus Whisperer and “I don’t like to share” wife joined us) couldn’t be happier with the results…

Frog Legs –  Completely not the legs I expected.  More like a beautiful salad with hen of the woods mushrooms, sunchoke, deboned legs, and a very nice garlicky sauce

Mussels –  Fantastic Maine mussels, some of the biggest I’v had.  Along with potatoes and more great sauce which became the theme of the night

Escargot – Another classic that didnt look anything like the classic.  Major garbanzo presence and more amazing (black garlic, sort of curry’ish) sauce

Tournedos Rossini – Great dish.  Its essentially a Filet Mignon sitting on top of a brioche slice, and a piece of Foie gras on top of that.  Didnt care for the Foie much, but the filet was perfectly cooked (medium rare, more toward rare) and very flavorful for a filet, perfect with that madeira sauce.  I’m more convinced now that Filet Mignon can only be enjoyed with a nice Madeira sauce.  Asparagus was a bit too buttery

Duck a l’Orange – Had a few bites and thought it was perfectly cooked, nicely crisped, delicious duck.  Not too orangy, more of an orange hint

Black Bass – Another winner.  More incredible sauce with dill and mint, perhaps the finest of the night

Maine Lobster Thermidor – Ordered by the “no sharing policy” member of the group who enjoyed it.  It did not look like the messy Thermidor I’m accustomed to.

Profiteroles – Awesome

Chocolate Mousse with Passion fruit – Awesomer!  Lately I shy away from the Mousses (Mice?) but this was different and with that bitter hints of the fruit absolutely delicious.  Although the women didn’t care much for the bitterness.

On one of the walls there’s a mural depicting various French philosophers.  From what I understand if you guess all the philosophers you get a free flu shot.  We only guessed Voltaire, so left exposed but very well fed.  Happy birthday Mrs Ziggy.

Le Philosophe - Frog legs Le Philosophe - Mussels Le Philosophe - Escargot Le Philosophe - tournedos rossini Le Philosophe - Duck l'orangeLe Philosophe - BassLe Philosophe - Lobster ThermidorLe Philosophe -tournedos rossini

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