Chocolate Truffles for the Holiday Season at Café Presse

Truffles Dec 2018

Our house-made truffles are dark chocolate ganache made with rich bittersweet chocolate, butter and cream, then
rolled in pure cocoa powder.

Chocolate-Chèvre or Chocolate-Grand Marnier

$1.50 each or 12 for $15

Try them at Café Presse while supplies last!

Gift boxes available with 24 hours notice.
Ask your server or call at 206 709-7674

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New Year’s Eve Take-out Dinner from Café Presse

Thinking of a romantic New Year’s Eve at home?
Let Café Presse do the cooking!

Ring in 2019 chez vous, away from the crowds
Choose dinner only or add a bottle of sparkling wine
Includes party hats, noisemakers and confetti!

Special Take-Home Menu for two:   $60.00
Menu with a bottle Sparking Wine:  $78.00

(Martinolles Blanquette de Limoux NV sparkling)

Available for Take-out only.  Not available through any home delivery service.
Pre-Order required

Order at  206.709.7674 before 4pm on Sunday December 30th.
Your dinner will be ready to pick up at the time you choose
between 5pm and 10pm on New Year’s Eve.

Menu for Two

Sardines grillées, salade aux endives et aux oranges sanguines
Grilled Spanish sardines, salade of Belgian endive, frilly red mustard greens, blood orange supremes, candied peel and blood orange vinaigrette
~
Poulet rôti, pommes frites et mayonnaise
Whole Washington State free-range chicken, roasted to your order, with pommes frites and mayonnaise
~
Truffes au chocolat faites maison
A 6 piece selection of our house-made chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa:
includes Chocolate-Grand Marnier, Chocolate-Chèvre, and Chocolate-Espresso

bottle and logo

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Ring in 2019 at Le Pichet

New Year's Eve 2018

Celebrate the New Year at Le Pichet!

Extended dinner hours from 5pm to midnight

Live dinner music beginning at 9:30pm
with  The Rosenblatt Duo

Festive appetizer, main course and dessert specials

Special selection of bubbly

Hats –  Noisemakers –  Confetti – Midnight toast

Reservations by phone only, call 206 256-1499

 

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Holiday Hours 2018

Café Presse and Le Pichet will observe the following special hours during the 2018 Holiday Season so that our hard-working team may spend time with their families.

Le Pichet:
Christmas Eve, Monday December 24             Open for breakfast and lunch, closing at2pm
Christmas Day, Tuesday December 25            Closed all day
New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31            Extended dinner hours from 5pm- midnight
New Year’s day, Tuesday January 1                  Closed all day

Café Presse:
Christmas Eve,Monday December 24             Open for breakfast and lunch, closing at 2pm
Christmas Day, Tuesday December 25            Closed all day
New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31           Open from 7am to 2am
New Year’s day, Tuesday January 1                 Opening late at 10am until 2am

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Roasted fish: quick and easy supper

Dorade Oct 2018 4

The Tuesday market offered up a beautiful dorade royale, from St.-Jean-de-Luz.

It is not that often that one really gets the chance to let what’s fresh in the market determine what’s for lunch. However, a Tuesday market day in Orthez, with no obligations and no plans imposing, offered just such a chance.

This Dorade Royale, also known as Atlantic Sea Bream, had the clearest eyes and reddest gills of all the fish on the stall at Poissonnerie Otano, a permanent stand in Orthez’s covered market.  With stands in both Orthez and Bayonne, Otano is family owned by a Basque family that sources out of nearby Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Lets face it, there is no substitute for really fresh fish. Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Cafe Presse and Le Pichet will observe special hours during the week of Thanksgiving so that our employees may be with their families.

Cafe Presse: 
Wednesday 11/21  Closing early at 3pm
Thursday 11/22 Closed all day
Friday 11/23 Open regular hours from 7am to 2am

Le Pichet
Wednesday 11/21  Closing early at 3pm
Thursday 11/22 Closed all day
Friday 11/23 Open regular hours from 8am to midnight

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Asador Extebarri

Etxeberri Oct 2018 3

Entrance to Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Vizcaya Spain.

We recently had the chance to have lunch at Asador Etxebarri, a restaurant that has gotten a lot of attention from the culinary press for its grill-centric take on traditional Basque food.  I had read how great the food is but had not realized that the restaurant is so isolated or that it was in such a beautiful place.  It is located in the tiny village of Axpe (in the commune of Axtondo) in the the Basque region of the Bizkaia, which is right on the edge of the Parke Naturala Urkiolako. And when I say right on the edge, I am not kidding; the craggy peaks of the park tower over the village and create a striking view from the terrace at Etxebarri, where guests are offered a glass of champagne before the meal. Continue reading

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Visit to Charcuterie Louis Ospital

Ospital Oct 2018 3

This ham has already been purchased by Restaurant Le Bibent in Toulouse.

En route with friends from Orthez to Spain, stopped for a morning visit to Charcuterie Louis Ospital, where we were welcomed by  owner/operator Eric Ospital.  As mentioned in a previous post, Maison Ospital has grown from a tiny storefront selling house-made charcutere (the tiny original store still exists by the way) into perhaps the most famous ham-maker in France.  The hams of Maison Ospital are featured in some of the best restaurants in France and around the world, with the notable exception of the good old USA, where tough FDA importation laws create too many barriers.

Jim with Eric Ospital, who has become a celebrity for the quality of his hams, considered the best in France

Jim with Eric Ospital, who has become a celebrity for the quality of his hams, considered the best in France

The unique element of the Ospital story is that their success in not about growing in size into an industry giant but instead about maintaining strict quality standards.  Eric’s father Louis was among the tiny group of Basque artisans who, in the 1990s, redefined the standards of excellence in making jambon de Bayonne, in the process developing a new appellation of quality, Jambon Ibaiama.  Every Ibaiama ham is made in accordance with a very strict set of standards, from traditional hog breeds, born raised and slaughtered in the Pays Basque, with no GM feed, no antibiotics and no growth hormones and raised by farmers who are paid a fair price.

However it was Eric who first brought the quality of his families hams to the attention of a wider audience during the time that he lived in Paris.  He met  chef Yves Camdeborde who featured Ospital hams in his ground breaking nouveau bistrot Le Regalade. Since that time, the reputation of both Ospital hams and Eric’s expertise in his field has continued to grow.  To the point where now Eric is asked to co-author cookbooks with top chefs.

In person, Eric is personable, very Basque and passionate about his craft. He talked non-stop for over an hour about the history, logic and technique of what he does, before offering a tasting accompanied by a bottle of Lapierre Beaujolais.

The house also makes a wide range of pates, rillettes, confits and more.

The house also makes a wide range of pates, rillettes, confits and more.

Today, Maison Ospital still only buys 10 hogs a week, which yields 20 hams (plus  a certain amount of fresh pork sold direct to restaurants and a myriad of other porky products including sausages, pâtes and rillettes), not nearly enough to meet demand. The result is that every ham they make is sold before it is hung in their aging room, where it will stay for 20 months before being delivered.

 

 

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Old and new favorite addresses in Toulouse

Bibent

Passing through Toulouse has become a habit, as it is the closest major airport to our house in Orthez. For this reason, magnificent main dining room at Bibent on the Place des  Capitouls has become our go-to first meal in France. After 16 hours in transit (more or less), its reliably plush banquettes, attentive service and simple but well done menu gr, filled with grand classics of the cuisine bourgeois, seem like a the perfect way to decompress.

Bibent has a storied history that began in the early 1900s.  Ideally located in Toulouse’s central square, Bibent was designed to be the most luxurious address in town. Its Art Nouveau moldings and hand painted frescoes endured for years but were finally painted over in gold to avoid expensive upkeep as the mode for Grand  Brasseries faded after the wars. It was the Grand Crise of 2008 that finally closed its to doors after more than 100 years in operation. Fortunately for Toulouse, Christian Constant, one of its native sons who had made it big with three restaurants in Paris, decided to reopen the space after a meticulous restoration.  Constant, who is often cited as the father of the Nouveau Bistrot movement in the 1990s in Paris because he trained a number of its adherents while he was the chef at the storied Ambassadeurs restaurant at the Hotel Crillon, installed a menu is an ode to top quality ingredients, simply prepared (as much as that sounds like a cliche now, it is still very rewarding when well done). Oeufs a la Meurette, blanquette de veau, hand chopped tartare de bœuf, baba au rhum.  You get the idea.

barallel

Not far from Bibent is new arrival (or at least a new discovery for me)  Barallel.  A wine bar featuring mostly organic, biodynamic or natural wines and specializing selections from the area around Toulouse (pretty much requirements for any up and coming wine bar in France these days), it also features 6 handles of beers brewed in its own mini-brasserie, visible through a glass wall at the back of the room.  A unique feature for a bar that only has room for 50-ish guest. Friendly people behind the bar, friendly pricing on the list and a selection of cheese and meat plates from local artisans. Not surprising that finding a seat is always a challenge.

Bibent
Address:  5 Place du Capitole, 31000 Toulouse, France
Tel: 05 34 30 18 37
Reservations:  Recommended at dinner for sure. If you arrive without one, you may be relegated to the downstairs dining room, which is a cosy vaulted cave, but still disappointing when you are expecting to dine in an Art Nouveau palace

Barallel
Address:  9 Rue Cujas, 31000 Toulouse, France
Tel: 09 82 50 43 58
Reservations:  Not accepted.

 

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Fall Desserts at Café Presse

Chocolate-banana beignets with warm rum bananas and whipped cream

Chocolate-banana beignets with warm rum bananas and whipped cream

The new Fall 2018 menu at Café Presse also featuresa whole slate of warm and cozy desserts perfect for Fall.  Check out the new dessert menu here.

Our Automn coupe glacee features butternut ice cream, candied mixed nuts, butterscotch sauce and whipped cream

Our Automn coupe glacee features butternut ice cream, candied mixed nuts, butterscotch sauce and whipped cream

Warm spice-ginger cake served with caramelized apples and whipped cream

Warm spice-ginger cake served with caramelized apples and whipped cream

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