dishesandplaces

Posts Tagged ‘champetre’

a dinner date to pick up the weary

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

the past two weeks have been a little rough. well, the past two months have been hectic, but the past two weeks have been particularly so – which is why we decided on a nice, kinda fancy dinner. a datey date. 

we’ve been generally wary of dining french because we’re afraid the food might be to rich, heavy. but something tugged last night to champetre at the fort, and we’re glad.

first dish – a special of the night, an appetizer not on the menu. so following the rule of always ordering the special, we agreed to try the portobello mushrooms in cream and baked with an egg

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terrific mushroom flavor! tasted some thyme in there. the cream wasn’t heavy at all – just rendering a nice, silky base to the dish. underneath that, a perfect egg. unctuous and earthy. lovely way to start the meal.

then the main course – good thing we were told this was good to share so we didn’t order another main: algerian couscous with lamb chops and sausage

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served with a rich mediterranean soup (afraid i can’t recall what it was called)

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the whole thing worked together: with chicken and beef, and we saw onions, tomatoes, zucchini, cloves and chick peas in it – the broth was robust and, poured over the couscous, gave a wonderful flavor base that in no way contradicted the lamb. the chop itself was perfect – seasoning and doneness – although the sausage was a little on the dry side. the little bowl contained hot sauce, a delightful punctuation to the dish. inspired. washed down with a chateau saint jacques bordeaux. perfect.

dessert was homemade almond and honey ice cream

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deeeelicious. texture not as creamy as we would have thought ideal (ie, there was a bit of ice in there), but the flavors were really very very good. a bright, perky note to end the meal on.

the vision for this restaurant (i read somewhere before) was to provide french countryside cuisine. rustic and hearty. it does just that. french food that is not snobbish, but with all the flavor that the cuisine is famous for.

champetre: when even countryside food is elevated

In eating in manila on August 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

one of the restaurants we wished we could’ve visited more often was je suis gourmand at the fort. so it was with great dismay we found out it was closing. it’s a good thing it didn’t stay closed for long and reincarnated as champetre in the same location. the menu retains a lot of favorites. we started with escargot bourguignonne (P490)

the secret, people say, is in the butter used. and after tasting this, we believe it. the butter was flavorful but not overpowering, allowing the fresh parsley to burst through. the meat, very succulent.

camille’s main course was a chicken stewed in tomatoes and fresh vegetables (i’m afraid i don’t remember the name of the dish)

this dish was hefty. two quarter chickens and for under P400, great value. and it was very hearty. the restaurant is themed after country-style food and this dish is a great example of that. i can imagine this being done in french farm kitchens using whatever vegetables happen to be in season.

my main was the butter-seared beef onglet – butcher’s cut steak (P690)

this is one of the restaurant best sellers and it’s easy to see why. the meat is done perfectly – thick and tender. buttery and gamey at the same time. loved it. and those fries? perfection.

although quite full, we were still in the mood for dessert – and it’s a good thing we went for it. when we saw the menu, we noticed a number of ice cream flavors and decided to try the grand marnier with candied orange. the ice creams were priced at P120 and we thought we’d be getting a nice, dainty scoop. but no, we got a glassful.

and this ice cream was dee-licous! the find of the night. tip: unless you’re an ice cream monster, share this. it’s a lot.

we’re already figuring out when we can go back. we actually already know what to order. but whatever it is we’re having, we’re certainly having that ice cream again.