Friday, February 03, 2006

another reason to love the french culinary institute

besides the fact that they order gillies coffee. . .

recently, the french culinary institute has upgraded itself, which is all good. alice waters is now a dean, for example.

and at their secret gem, l'ecole, where you can get a great 4- or 5-course prix fixe french dinner that mixes modern and classical elements, they have added a cheese course. at last.

long-time readers know i adore the little-known l'ecole. it's one of the nicest dining spaces in all nyc. airy, uncrowded, relaxing, relatively quiet, tastefully decorated in a rich maroon and sandy taupe. . .what's not to like?

not to mention that US$35 dinner, which would cost US$150 uptown. the only difference is a few months -- those same students will shortly be working uptown and charging uptown rates for basically the same food. so!

by the time 2 people order, have some wine, and maybe order a supplemented dish, the bill at l'ecole is honestly going to be about US$140. uptown, you'd be looking at US$380, really.

speaking of supplemented dishes brings me to that cheese course. for an extra US$8, you get 5 selections.

what did i choose from their list of 9 raw-milk cheeses? the list is heavy on the cow, and light on the sheep.

nonetheless, i think i did ok: a brebis fedou, a tomme de crayeuse, an hoch ybrig, an abbaye de citeaux and a charollais affine. mr. right ordered a salad with a nice large coin of fresh chevre, so i traded him a bit of hoch yrbrig for that.

so i think in the end i ended up with a fairly good balance of goat, sheep, and cow in different textures and range of taste. not to mention that l'ecole is really one of the few places in nyc where the bread is worth eating, since the bread students do a good job with the pain au levain.

actually, on the chevre front, i should be making my own; it's dead simple. where to get fresh, raw goat's milk in bklyn?

new york is a big dairy state; raw milk(s) must be available somewhere. hmm. must meditate upon this.

at US$4.50 a half-gallon, i need to spend US$9 minimum to yield about 12oz cheese.

whereas 1 lb. of fresh chevre starts at about US$16. this situation hovers on the edge of how much i just wanna be able to boast that i make my own cheese vs. actual cost savings. . .

posted by fortune | 8:58 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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