Did you see the recap of September’s edition of Shut Up and Eat with Me at BAXO Cuisine and Bar? Check out the eye candy and read about all the fuckery that transpired here. Make sure you’re at October’s dinner event.
Having an extensive restaurant “to try” list is sometimes a bit daunting. Obviously I want to be able to pick through and prioritize the list in order to write about places that are tasty and worth going to and weed out the crappy ones is a hit or miss. Like trying to pick out a good Kinder egg – picking each one out of the box and comparing the weight of each one to try and pick out the ones with the good toys – honestly, how many times have you gotten the shitty toy that’s just a statue, nothing to assemble… it just sits there… does nothing. I mean hook a guy up with a sticker to put on or something.
La Fabrique is a spot on St. Denis has been on the list for a while now and just wadded not moving and I decided to get to it and try it out. We checked out their menu before hand so we went in with an idea of what we wanted to order. The menu seemed interesting to say the least.
First thing that stood out to me, was something that most restaurants don’t do often enough – complimentary pickles. Remember the last time you were at a restaurant, sitting in awkward silence and thought to yourself, “Man, if only there were some pickles.” Ok, so they weren’t really PICKLES pickles, more than they were pickled slices of cucumbers. Limp and woogity, the cucumber was sweet and tart; really got the salivary glands and appetite going.
We split the pork paté – served with pickled cauliflower and carrot. The pate was inherently sweet from the raisins in the pork terrine, and had a subtle hint of saltiness from the pistachios and hazelnuts. With the tartness from the vegetables, each bit was rounded out by the sting of dijon that accompanied this dish.
The lady had the braised beef with gnocchi in a vegetable ragu. Pillowy soft nuggets of flour and potato dumplings, gnocchi isn’t my thing and thus, my boat remains unfloated. Don’t get me wrong, the dish was tasty – the beef was tender and broke at the slightest pressure from the fork and lent a nice beefy aroma to the sauce of eggplant and carrots and gnocchi. Fresh grilled vegetables garnished the plate which included, zucchini, baby bok choy, and onion.
I had what was listed on the menu as, “Charlotte’s uncooked spaghetti”. The most unique pasta dish I’ve had in a while. Poached, skinless cherry tomatoes cooked in the pasta sauce that was made more of a vinaigrette – balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, basil, parsley and marjoram. The spaghetti took to the sauce well; the bright acidity of the balsamic and saltiness of the soy was balanced by the sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano that was shaved atop the dish. I took the scallop option, where you pay by the scallop to be added to this dish.
It piqued my interest, because I don’t know who Charlotte is and I don’t know how she has any business putting uncooked pasta on the menu. I asked the waiter and the first thing he said was, “it’s cooked”. Crisis averted. The “Uncooked spaghetti” was not uncooked – unlike the chickpea, where it is neither chick nor pea.
We skipped dessert – although there was a “Micro-wave homemadeJean Louis” listed on the menu that looked intriguing. However, a jar of pink cotton candy accompanied the bill.
The first thing you’ll notice when walking into La Fabrique is the kitchen in the middle of the dining room. Not only do you get a pretty good meal, you’re invited to a show as well to see the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen. Restraint and/or great friendships are probably heavily involved in this kitchen as there was no screaming or yelling or name calling – just two professionals bearing down and getting food out.
Now that I have finally been able to move La Fabrique from the list, the place and food is solid. I wouldn’t say slap-your-mother-super-fantastic or anything, but the food was good, the atmosphere unique and overall experience enjoyable. Check it out if you’re in the area, they also do brunch on the weekends.
Bistrot La Fabrique
3609 St. Denis