Tuesday, July 2, 2013

L'Assiette au Boeuf in Metz, France

July 2, 2013. A day that will be marked in our minds and heart. It will be marked for the good and the bad. The bad. This morning, we received the sad news of the passing of MR's grandmother. After several years of lung problems, her body quit cooperating - the unfortunate disease of aging. She lived a long life filled with love, laughter, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren! Under any circumstances, it is always painful to watch another light fade out. I will surely miss her laughter and her voice, which was what she was known for, but I'll also miss the only grandmother figure I've ever really had in my life.

We made plans several weeks ago to go out tonight. Which brings me to the good news. It's my sister's, DO, birthday today and after 18 years we're finally celebrating it all together. But celebrating on a day like this, after the news we got, is really hard to do. But we put on smiles on our faces and remembered that this is also a celebration of life.

I chose the restaurant L'Assiette au Boeuf in Metz because of the great reviews I read online. There were also other restaurant choices, but what got my attention was that it was said that they prepared "the best Boeuf Tartare in town". Knowing that this is DO's and Dad's favorite dish, my mind was set.

As soon as we sat down, we were given two complimentary plates of Bread Croutons with a Creamy Tomato dip. This was great.

Dad thought we could get a bottle of Champagne, but we all wanted to try their Mojitos. Some took it virgin (4,00 Euros) , others alcoholic (7,00 Euros). Either way, I thought it was overly sweet. But I loved the freshness of the lime / mint combination and I must say the bartender was not stingy with the white rum.

The menu was very limited in choice. But I thought that it was a good strategy on their part. It boils down to quantity vs. quality. I'd rather have a few but delicious dishes, than a list that won't quit that just passes the standard of correct food.

For the fixed price of 16,90 Euros, we had a choice between their beef specialty, 3 kinds of tartare, a surf and turf dish, and a fish-seafood choice. With these choices, we had a salad as a starter. Mixed Greens, Walnuts, Parmesan, and a House Vinaigrette. For 2,50 Euros, you could have a slice of Foie Gras too, which my nephew, JO, and MR did.

Mixed Green Salad with Foie Gras.

Without the Foie Gras.

Then our main dishes arrived. Service tonight was pretty good.

MR, TH, and JO ordered the house specialty, Le Boeuf Sauce Paradis - The Beef in Paradise Sauce.

Sliced beef steak served with their special Paradise Sauce - made of herbs, mustard, lemon, and house secrets to make a sublime sauce. This came with unlimited homemade French Fries.

I have a tendency to go for the sea when I dine out, so I ordered the Mixed-Grill Marine plate. Scallops, Salmon, and Gambas grilled on stick, with their special Paradise Sauce, a cocotte of fresh vegetables (squash, zucchini, and carrots) and their homemade French Fries.

The grilled seafood was simple, but perfectly grilled. Nothing worse than overcooked seafood. I was worried about the sauce. Not a lot of sauces go well with meat, as well as fish / seafood, but this one definitely did.

One of the many paintings hanging on their wall. They are certainly proud of their special sauce, which is pretty good! :)

Now, dessert. Whatever they lacked for in their menu for main dishes, they certainly made up for with the desserts. Thirteen choices at 5 Euros each. And if you weren't tempted in ordering a dessert, perhaps you might be after reading their chosen names. Black Desire, Devil in the Body, Torrid Night, Week-end in Rome, Temptation confessed and...forgiven, Red Kiss, Garden of Eden. Now, tell me you weren't tempted!!! A Torrid night, please! ;p

MR's Diable au Corps / Devil in the Body - vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and macaron.

DO's Jardin D'Eden / Garden of Eden - white chocolate ice cream, raspberry ice cream, red fruits, raspberry macaron, and whipped cream.

JO's Vertige Flambe / Vertigo Flambe - crumble, vanilla ice cream, caramelized apples, whipped cream, salted caramel ice cream, and brown sugar.

...and the most innocent dessert of all. My Boeuf de Glace - 3 scoops of ice cream (Blackcurrant, Apple, and Mint).

This place is a good choice if you want to avoid the formal French meal, but want something better than a cafeteria or menu rapide. It's too bad that road works are happening outside the restaurant so passers don't get the see the stunning location with its view on the river. Inside, I couldn't help but feel the chic young trendy ambiance, a feeling I guess I share with a lot as the restaurant was jam-packed all night long.

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