When stuck in the unforgiving heart of winter, my craving for all things vegetal becomes almost insatiable. My conception of a perfect little lunch is a chopped spinach salad with bits of dried mango, diced cashews and a tart lemon vinaigrette; Bartek’s addictive red cabbage coleslaw; a small heap of gently reheated butternut squash risotto. Restorative, filling, and utterly simple.

The push towards self-care is an imperative; we’ve recently been overindulging on rich French food for a story that Adam is working on, and the gluttony doesn’t come without a price. But the meals, while not always perfect, have been a fabulous, decadent adventure. We’ve been eating at random downtown restaurants that we would normally never set foot in, including Le Pois Penche, an over-the-top, glittery 40s-era French brasserie, owned by the same people who run the showboat steakhouse La Queue de Cheval (what is up with these guys giving their restaurants such ridiculous names?).

I imagine that someone who knows very little about Parisian food culture would think La Pois Penche is very ‘authentic’ or ‘glamorous.’ It’s not my style, but we happened to have a ridiculous bender of a meal there… and the only photo I managed to snap was of this gargantuan seafood platter, which was wheeled over to our table in a highly ceremonial, solemn manner:

The thing had oysters, mussels, crab salad, an entire lobster tail, shrimp, king crab claws, clams and scallops crawling all over it. Oh, and that was on top of the tuna and salmon tartare they brought out; oh, and that was before we ate veal chops and duck confit… and then four desserts. And two bottles of wine. And a bottle of champagne. And a loaf of bread. Burp.


2 responses to “INDULGE / PULL BACK

  1. I love the idea of restorative meals – like your chicken consomme? – and the effort to mend ourselves. Nothing wrong with indulging, but it’s so important to know what our bodies and souls want and need. I’d take your spinach salad over the seafood platter. I crave dark leafy greens at every meal. xo

    • it’s true. my life tends to oscillate between the ultra-healthy and the ultra-decadent, and though it’s probably not the most practical of plans, it’s one that is so fun + delicious. really keeps me surprised and my day full of variety. i rarely prefer one over the other — it’s all in balance, the lobster tail one day, a spinach salad the next.

      as they say, variety is the spice of life! oh man, i can’t believe i just said that.

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