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Exercise in Excess: The French Laundry Part 2

Yesterday I walked you through the first part of my extravagant time at the French Laundry, and while everything I posted was definitely tasty, you guys haven't even seen the meat of the story (bad pun intended). Today I'll take you from fish course to beef and all the lovely bits in-between.

After the foie gras, the next course was either Filet of American Red Snapper with Summer Squash, San Marzano Tomato "Fondue," Cuttlefish and Arugula-Castelvetrano Olive Pudding (shown right) or Spanish Mackerel "En Escabeche" with Hawaiian Hearts of Peach Palm, English Cucumbers, Cilantro Shoots, Haas Avocado "Coulis" and Rangpur Lime "Gastrique" (shown above). I ordered the snapper, while Jimmy ordered the mackerel. When our dishes arrived I was envious of his dish - the presentation was so gorgeous - however after tasting both of them, his fell a little flat and I was certain I picked the winning dish.

To see what's up next (and believe me, the best parts are next),

Once the fish was devoured, they presented us with a selection of fresh baked breads. There were some delicious choices, but my favorite was definitely the pretzel bread. [Note to self: get recipe for pretzel bread.]

With the bread out of the way, we moved on to the lobster course, or as the menu said: Lobster Tail "Pochée Au Beurre Doux" with Caramelized Cipollini Onions, Oregon Hazelnuts, Sunchoke Purée and Valrhona Chocolate-Coffee Emulsion. I believe this was my favorite part of the meal, as it was perfectly cooked and paired well with the sauce. Also, whenever anyone asks how my experience was, I immediately tell them about the lobster, so this must've been my favorite part.

After the lobster it was time for either All-Day Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly with Brentwood Corn, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Piquillo Peppers, Fava Beans and "Pimenton Jus" (shown right) or Devil's Gulch Ranch Rabbit Shoulder "Farci Au Ris De Veau" with Jacobsen's Farm La Ratte Potatoes, Lovage, Celery Branch and Apricot Mustard (aka fancy pants rabbit lollipop that my fellow diners wished they ordered instead).

Finally, rounding out the main course, and pushing out my waistline, was the "Chateaubriand" of Nature-Fed Veal with Morel Mushrooms, Green Asparagus, Veal Cheek "Pierogi" and Madeira Sauce. This might actually have been the highlight of the feast. However, at this point I had way too many glasses of wine and far too much brioche to fully enjoy it. In fact, I'm ashamed to say, I actually had to GIVE 1/3 of it to my fellow diners. I also couldn't down all the pierogi, which was a crying shame because they were delicious.

Now wipe up your drool, because after a little breather (seriously, I had to get up for a minute and catch my breath and appetite), we'll hit the cheese & dessert courses tomorrow - so be sure to come back!

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