I headed in to Kiki's Bistro with a friend for my only Restaurant Week reservation of 2008. The interior is charming, very cozy and rustic. Perfect for a winter night. Sadly, by cozy I also mean the tables were packed together comme les petites sardines, n'est-ce pas? The restaurant was loud and frenzied, but our table's corner location, right near the kitchen, server station and 7,432 tables somehow managed to be the eye of this culinary hurricane.
We both ordered the French onion soup from the prix-fixe menu, served in the traditional ceramic crock with bread on the bottom and freshly shredded Swiss cheese melting over the top. Piping hot and delicious.
As his main course, my friend had the lamb skewers served over the most intensely buttery couscous I've ever experienced. The meat was tender and cooked to a lovely medium rare. Despite my temptation to stray from the prix-fixe and order steak frites (so. hard. to. resist.), I opted for the duck entree, with a sliced breast cooked to order and a little drummie of confit. Which I'd never tried. Which I want to be bathed in from now on. The accompaniments to my meal were a little bizarre, some caramelized beets and a sort of wild rice (and three, count 'em, little steamed veggies), but that only left me room for the dessert.
And it is the lemon tart that brings this otherwise ordinary meal up to its four-star glory. Get READY. It was just perfect. The custard was light and tart, served atop a delicate crust that all held together with perfect balance and unity. A generous drizzle of raspberry and possibly white chocolate sauce, along with some whipped creme fraiche and a strategically placed sprig of mint, completed the plate. Parfait, mes enfants. Parfait.
I want to marry that tart, I said. I want to make an honest woman of her. And just for that, I would return to Kiki's Bistro outside of R-week, get the steak frites, box up three-quarters of it and go to town on that sweet, luscious tart one more time.
Go there, and fall in love for yourself.