Monday, February 15, 2010
Brunch is one of those meals I almost never eat out, mainly because by the time I am awake and mobile, it is really lunch time and I have missed the appointed Brunch time menu. But yesterday's Valentine's Day Brunch at Comme Ca extended until 4pm, so I actually got to enjoy Brunch with a date who enjoyed eating and talking as much as I do. Being Valentine's Day, he greeted me with beautiful orchids, and the restaurant was dressed up in white pearls and pink feather boas (combining both a Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day theme).
This is one of the few places I trust the chef and meat purveyor enough to order the Steak Tartare ($14). It was fragrant and fresh, with just enough mustard and capers to cut through the rich meat without overpowering it. It is served under the salad section of the menu because it comes with a small frisee and rocket side. Even though we had a huge entree coming, I managed to eat every last bite.
Big holidays are made for big plates, and the Grand Plateau ($90) is the biggest plate of seafood I have ever been served on one platter (I have had big seafood platters, but they were served in three tiers). Our table for two barely accommodated this beautiful presentation, so we moved to a table for four so that two of the place settings could be cleared to make room for this truly Grand Plateau. As always the oysters here were fresh and clean, served in their natural juices (I hate it when they rinse out fresh oysters!) with sides of lemons, red wine vinaigrette and cocktail sauce (for the shrimp). We did not count, but I think there were about 4 dozen oysters, 1 dozen clams, 1 dozen mussels, and 1 dozen shrimp on a bed of crushed ice and seaweed. Definitely enough for two very hungry people or appetizers for four; we could not finish this with only two of us. I had a wonderful glass of Sancerre ($13) to ease my stomach into expanding enough to fit in just a few more oysters.
Somehow we managed to eat and talk through four hours and when we finally realized we could not finish the grand plateau, we took a look at the dessert menu. Since my date is a big caramel fan, we went with the Tarte Tatin ($8) done without a pastry crust, but with a vanilla bean ice cream that melted on top of the caramelized apples ever so slowly; he said the dessert was his favorite part of the meal and he would return just to eat dessert.
Comme Ca literally translates to "Like this" and every brunch should be like this every Sunday.
In honor of our 44th President (and today being President's Day), Comme Ca is offering cocktails for $4.40 today, just ask for a Nixon, Washington, FDR or Kennedy.