Stuff

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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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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Café Presse Fall menu photos

Salad of treviso, red frilly mustard greens, winter pear, walnuts and thyme vinaigrette, topped with house-smoked muscovy duck breast

Salad of treviso, red frilly mustard greens, winter pear, walnuts and thyme vinaigrette, topped with house-smoked muscovy duck breast

On Thursday October 4th, Café Presse chef de cuisine James O’Hern unveiled his new menu for Fall.  As always, the day started with a menu tasting for the waitstaff.  Here are some photos of the new dishes that feature the best from  the Fall farm tables.

Look for more photos soon of the new Fall desserts.

And don’t fret, the Fall menu also includes Oysters on the half shell and our famous Soupe a l’oignon gratinée!

Salad of escarole, roasted golden beets, parsley, hazelnuts and roasted garlic vinaigrette, topped with warm brandade croutons

Salad of escarole, roasted golden beets, parsley, hazelnuts and roasted garlic vinaigrette, topped with warm brandade croutons

Continue reading

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Bastille Day T-shirts still available

Tshirt

If you missed your chance on Bastille Day to purchase our limited edition t-shirt celebrating the 16th anniversary of Le Pichet’s Fête de Quatorze Juillet, fret not…Yes they are still available!

The shirts are 100% cotton, made in America and are available in unisex sizes S to XL.  The price is $20 and they are available at both Le Pichet and Café Presse while they last.

Come by or call to check size availability.

 

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Matches for Day 1 of European Soccer

EPL          Ligue 1

Day 1 of EPL and Ligue1

Settle in for the first day of European Football ’18-’19
S
pecial food and drinks menu during all matches

Friday 8/10
12noon Manchester Utd v Leicester City
3pm Olympique de Marseille v Toulouse FC 

Saturday 8/11
7am Hudderfield Town v Chelsea
9am FC Nantes v AS Monaco
11am Newcastle Utd v Tottenham

Sunday 8/12
8am Arsenal v Manchester City
10am Liverpool v West Ham Utd
12noon Paris Saint-Germain v Stade Malherbe de Caen
2pm Girondins de Bordeaux  v RC Strasbourg Alsace

Check out our weekly event calendar at www.cafepresseseattle.com for complete match lineup

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Now on the menu at Le Pichet

LP new tom salad

Salad of local tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, lovage leaves and brown bread croutons tossed with red wine vinaigrette, topped with smoky grilled eggplant purée

Last week, chef de cuisine Dave Cooper introduced 3 new summer dishes to the menu at Le Pichet. Hope you will enjoy these photos.

Crispy chickpea falafel served on a salad of watermelon, curly endive, feta cheese and lime vinaigrette, topped with our house-made harissa

Crispy chickpea falafel served on a salad of watermelon, curly endive, feta cheese and lime vinaigrette, topped with our house-made harissa

Our famous WA State natural free range roasted chicken for 2, with a Basque-style sweet pepper ragout

Our famous WA State natural free range roasted chicken for 2, with a Basque-style sweet pepper ragout

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Coupes Glacées at Café Presse

Our seasonal coupe with nectarine sorbet, crunchy meringue and summer berries.

Our seasonal coupe with nectarine sorbet, crunchy meringue, rose syrup and summer berries.

Coupes Glacées are one of the specialties of French cooking that tend to be less known to the rest of the world.  This relative obscurity may stem from the fact that the French didn’t invent ice cream (who did? You may well ask, as it is a topic of much debate. See Elizabeth David’s excellent Harvest of the cold months for what must surely be the definitive study of the question).  But the fact remains that one finds Coupes Glacées or ice cream sundaes in small restaurants across France. Continue reading

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Croque Provençal

Croque provencal

Our special du jour yesterday at Café Presse was  the Croque Provençal.  Our version, which is meat free, features the same bread we use for our Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame (made by our friends at Grand Central Bakery) along with cave-aged Comté cheese, béchamel sauce, basil pistou and sliced tomatoes. Yummy!

But why bother showing you if it was yesterday’s special and you can’t order it today?  Because it just might end up on our new Summer menu starting on July 12th, 2018

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We’re open on the Fourth

Both Café Presse and Le Pichet are open regular hours today Wednesday July 4th, 2018.  Come by and see us before or after your fireworks!

Le Pichet open everyday from 8am to 12midnight

Café Presse open everyday from 7am to 2am

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New to the menu at Le Pichet

LP June 2018 sardine

Terrine de sardines et de betteraves et sa crème fraiche à l’aneth
Sardine-roasted beet terrine, served with lemon-dill crème fraiche and grilled country bread

LP June 2018 bulgar

Salade de boulgour aux herbes et à la roquette,crevettes confites à l’huile
Olive oil poached wild Gulf shrimp served on a salad of bulger, soft herbs, arugula, red onions, and marinated sweet peppers

LP june 2018 pork

Escalope de porc panée à l’alsacienne, salade aux radis et aux herbes
Pork loin escalope, egg and flour dipped then pan fried, Alsatian-style Yukon Gold potato salad, grilled lemon, radish-herb salad

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