I’d mentioned Cafe du Pays last year (see link below). Since then, we’ve eaten there a couple of times and my opinion of the food has improved. The foie gras terrine on a recent visit was more sensibly paired with softly stewed prunes (but was served a little too cold, a slab of solid fat; it improved a lot after it lost its chill), and the bavette steak was full of beefy flavor, as bavette should be, and was also the tenderest version of this cut I’ve had. I remember a comment in the New Yorker from some years ago about bavette from Quality Meats in NYC where they said “to eat it, you must chew, and chew.” That was my previous experience, too, with this cut, till the one at C du P. The pea soup was as good as ever, but slightly different – a hint of “curry”? – from previous tries.
Our razor clams were very tasty – and I mopped up the juices with my bread – but were chewy in parts, and there was a hint of grit. The unlikely knockout dish was a bowl of tapioca-based crackers (similar to an Indian snack), made with concentrated mushroom broth. I could eat those not just by the bowl, but by the barrel.
I have really been wanting to get here but just haven’t for some reason. I’m still a little sad it’s not Hungry Mother anymore. The menu doesn’t always appealed to me when I look at it online. However that is often the key to an enjoyable meal for me, go in with low expectations and get blown away. It looks like the kind of place I should get to you before the weather gets too hot.
I, too, miss Hungry Mother, but Cafe du Pays seems a modestly reasonable replacement. Our last meal there was our best, and I’m hoping that wasn’t a fluke. Plus, they continue the helpful Hungry Mother practice of getting you your movie tickets if you’re doing dinner+movie.