Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Clearing Up Some Confusion

In my last post I made reference to eating mussels at Bar Tabac, no matter what Anthony Bourdain says.  I did not mean to imply that Anthony Bourdain ever said anything bad about Bar Tabac.  It was in reference to an opinion that he has stated regarding eating mussels in restaurants in general.

In an article titled Things To Avoid When Eating In Restaurants he said:

"I don't eat mussels in restaurants unless I know the chef, or have seen, with my own eyes, how they store and hold their mussels for service. I love mussels. But, in my experience, most cooks are less than scrupulous in their handling of them. It takes only a single bad mussel, one treacherous little guy hidden among an otherwise impeccable group... If I'm hungry for mussels, I'll pick the good-looking ones out of your order."

You can read the article by clicking on this link:

Beware The Mussels

The article is an extract from his book  Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly.

Thank you Splunge for pointing out the possible confusion in my post.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Cinco de Mayo And Mussels

As promised, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and headed to Bar Tabac to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Kind of a tradition since we got such rude service trying to celebrate it at the nearby Pacifico several years back.  Bar Man has a long memory.  It takes a long time for me to return to a place where I, and others, received rude service.  As you may recall, on that occasion not only did the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I leave but four others didn't even bother to sit down because they were treated so rudely.  That was four years ago, and I haven't been back since.  Maybe one nice day I will give it another shot.  In all liklihood that same guy isn't there anymore.

But I like Bar Tabac anyway.  Just like a little corner of Paris in my own neighborhood.

As we were heading to Bar Tabac we passed a new place that has just opened.  I hadn't been in there yet so I thought I would pop in for a pre-luncheon beer.


As you might have guessed, you can find Two8Two at 282 Court Street. What is it with the run of restaurants incorporating their address in their names?

Alas, all we could do was gaze in wistfully because it doesn't open until 5:00 PM.

So Close, Yet So Far

Now, if they don't want to open until five in the afternoon, that is their business. Not a particularly good idea, in my opinion. They are located in a bit of a no-man's land, across from our local jail and next to a bail bond place. They are right around the corner from the lively Smith Street and diagonally across from a fairly new boutique hotel. I would think they would try to encourage as much business as they could from people who might just be walking by. But I really think you shouldn't put your little chalkboard sign out on the sidewalk unless you are actually open for business. That is just the protocol.

I Know, It Says Open At 5pm, But Still

Bar Man has lots of rules. but this is just a minor infraction so I still pop in and see what the place is like one day soon.

No big deal, though. We just continued on our way to our primary destination.

Bar Tabac

I hadn't been here in a while so I was glad to see that nothing had changed except some of the waitstaff. I decided to have a Ricard as an apertif today instead of having it after dinner like I usually do.

Ricard And Water Over Ice, Refreshing

We started off our meal with some Salmon Brochette. Kind of like little kebabs, and quite tasty. The Salmon was done just right, nice and moist.

Lip Smacking Good, The Brochette As Well

But the real reason we come here is to get the Les Moules "Bar Tabac" Proven├žales. A big bowl of mussels served in a white wine and butter sauce with plenty of bread to sop up the juice and a side of really great French fries.

The Mussels From, Not Brussels, Canada

Good eating, no matter what Bourdain says.

Although I usually eat my fries with Catsup or Ketchup (both terms derived from the Chinese ke-tsiap, a pickled fish sauce) I eat them with the homemade mayonnaise when I am here. You should try it, really good.

We split a bottle of a chilled white wine and and had a mighty fine and relatively inexpensive lunceon.

Bar Tabac, just one more reason that I love my neighborhood.

Bar Tabac on Urbanspoon