For a long time now, we’ve wanted to meet and talk. In the mornings, when we see each other at work, our tables across from each other, our chats tend to be short, no more than a flash, since there is much work to be done. Sometimes we quickly summarize entire lifetimes of information for each other while making coffee. We’ve also perfected our non-verbal communication – a simple look tells us of the other’s mood. This state of affairs had been going on for quite some time until one day, when I came into work, I was met by Maya (the other Maya) who declared “enough! We must meet! We deserve to have one whole conversation!”
They say that great minds think alike, and indeed, I, on my way to work that very morning, planned on announcing that I have grown tired of the status quo and that something needs to be done. As opposed to (the other) Maya, I was practical and gave specifics in the form of an offer one can’t refuse: crab-month at Comme il Faut. She didn’t refuse.
“That’s how you look like without your uniform?” I laughed as we met on the deck, across the wooden tables of the restaurant. She smiled back and replied “and that’s how you look in the dark?” Okay, so we were over-dramatizing the event, but it really was a different experience, meeting like this, in a place where other people work.
We sat at one of the wooden tables and took in the sea breeze. A good start, no doubt. The waitress who approached us was happy to tell us about the special crab menu which contains a number of first courses and entr?es, as well as a recommendation of the proper (alcoholic) beverage. It was all so enticing that we chose to follow the rule that states that when in doubt about what to choose, choose (almost) everything.
Before the courses started to flow to our tables, the kitchen treated us to an “appetizing bite” consisting of a small mound of wild-rice with thinly-chopped tomatoes and purple onions, lightly seasoned with some ground pepper, salt, and olive-oil. This colorful combination was served over a thin slice of kohlrabi and with yoghurt on the side. This is an opportunity to state that the kohlrabi is a wonderful vegetable that has long stood quietly in line, waiting to be discovered by someone from the restaurant scene. Comme il Faut decided to take it out for a spin. The dish certainly got out appetites going and we eagerly awaited the next course. Meanwhile, we munched on some slices of country-bread, dipping them in premium olive-oil.
Next up on stage was the melodramatic entrance of the crab-bisque, whipped up with Coquille St. Jacques. The scallop meat was sliced and lightly roasted over the grill, giving it a wonderful, barely-charred flavor. The soup, which contained crab stock, wine, and cream, was somewhat-sweet and contained the rich flavor of the sea. Each spoonful of airy liquid went over like a wisp of cloud - a wonderful dish.
After parting from this pleasure-filled dish with sorrow, we were served a phyllo of crab meat and mangold, kashkaval cheese, and oregano over grilled kohlrabi (yes, again! Delightful!) and sour cream. The crispy phyllo pastry, the strong flavor of the crab meat, and the touch of the sour cream made for a dish that was a true joy.
The next course combined both land and sea, dry and wet: bruschetta with crab meat, zucchini, and roasted tomatoes. The diced crab meat and zucchini were gently saut?ed together which emphasized their flavor. The white crab meat was tender, rich in freshness and flavor. We enjoyed this Italian-style course with a nice glass of Chianti, which lasted through the end of the meal.
As we waited for our entr?es, we pondered how the dishes in Comme il Faut are served as though we were dining in a fine clothing store: items are placed on the plate, as though they were hangers on a rack. Each item is beautiful and of high quality, allowing the customer to select the combination which suits his or her own style and taste - so subtle, so c