Eating at the bar back when I was fat and happy

An old unpublished post. Dinner at the bar at Lake Park Bistro in August.  A). Currently I am starving. This looks beyond fabulously delicious to me. B). I was dining with Carol and what could be better? And C). I mean seriously, those frites!!!

My Month of Pain has extended, unfortunately, into February. I have plateaued and while my pants are no longer implements of torture, the reports from my local scale have been less than boundless good news. I’m considering removing a limb.

But those frites…ah well, slop for dinner, again.


January, the month of pain, 1st week

And so it begins. The month of pain. OK, so it isn’t a full month. I start this diet/lifestyle change the first work day of January so I like it when New Years falls on a Thursday and we don’t start work until Monday. Conversely, it’s kind of a bummer when New Year’s day is on a Sunday and we start work on Monday. But I don’t call it a month of pain for nothing.

I finished up the 2014 holiday season with brunch at Lake Park Bistro tipping the scales at a whopping oh really like I’d put that in writing. Anyway, I don’t get brunch. It’s so much more food than I am accustomed to eating. And a bloody mary on top of it all. I spent the rest of the day regretting it all.

This year the first week of the MOP will be a no dairy/no gluten week. I want to see how this affects me. So far so good, but I’m still full from yesterday’s brunch, seen below. The lettuce is hiding a chicken paillard that, while not that big, was served after the duck liver mousse with brioche starter, and before the cheese plate final course. And the 3 croissants. God, it’s no wonder I’m so fat.

Lake Park Bistro, don’t order the duck

Dinner with my friend Carol this week at Lake Park Bistro. She smartly ordered the steak frites. You cannot go wrong with that. You can go wrong with the Monday night special, roast duck. I don’t mind eating rare duck. But I do mind not-crisp, flabby skin with un-rendered fat and the stink of wet dog. Can they not smell that when it is being plated or do they not care?

It was awful (this is leftovers brought home to photograph since taking a picture in front of Carol, when I knew I was going to complain, wasn’t as polite as I like to be. well, when I’m being polite.)

The service was better than usual. I put it at a notch better than mediocre.

Alliance Française

I give a little presentation about eating in France. It’s more of a how-to-survive-in-France-without-French kind of presentation sponsored by the Alliance Française of Milwaukee. The last 2 of them have been at the Lake Park Bistro. The venue is charming and the food is remarkably good. I say remarkably because I enjoy their food a lot but this was really great food. I had the pan fried chicken on mashed cauliflower and it was perfect. And the service was really good for a change.

My presentation, of course, was a miracle of humor and wit.

Lake Park Bistro

Friday night Ashish and I had dinner with my sisters (two of the 4 and one fiancé) at Lake Park Bistro. As I have said, I am leery about the place because I find the service lacking sometimes. More often than not actually. But last time I went it the service was really good. This time is was good, too. Our waiter, who looked like Clark Kent, was attentive and quite chipper. When he mispronounced the wine (the house haut medoc) as “hot medoc” I felt compelled to correct his pronunciation. I know this sounds asshole-y but he was new and if it’s the house red wine he really can’t be walking around mispronouncing it. He was very receptive and thanked me sincerely.

I, however, got mine. The manager Didier then came over and proceeded to speak to me in French. I can’t describe the panic that grips me when I have to speak French. With sweat pouring off my face I had a jaunty little conversation with him (he corrected my French, thank you very much) about really nothing. But I impressed my future brother-in-law so that’s really all that matters.

Patty had some fabulous curried carrot soup, Ashish had a small bird with foam on it. He liked it but that foam looked a little too much like something my dog herked up last week. I had steak.

Our meal was good.

Jay (future BIL) ordered bouillabaisse which is far more French than my speaking it.

And the winner is

Thursday night I had dinner at Lake Park Bistro. Ashish, my sister Ann and her boyfriend, Jay. It was very good. It cost $356 with a 20% tip. The service, which I usually find lacking at LPB was pretty good we did not have the 2 server—(which means each of them think the other is looking after you and hence, no server)—waiter situation they generally have. I had gnocchi and it was OK. The brown butter, if in fact it was brown butter was a little too browned. If it wasn’t supposed to be brown butter, it was burned. No matter, I ate it and it was fine.

Next night, 5 people at Las Botanas. The place was packed, we had no reservations, they said a 20 minute wait but seated us immediately. Margaritas were great. I had plate lunch. It was awesome. Service was good and the bill was $108 for 5 of us.

Saturday Ashish and I ate near the airport in Chicago at Carlucci’s since he was on his way back to Belgium. We had reservations for 6 pm which is early and dreaded eating in an empty restaurant but when we arrived it was reasonably full. By the time we left, an hour and fifteen minutes later, it was packed. The bread was awful. My meal was edible. I should know better than order cinghiale. Wild boar is not something we have here. Service fine. It was $120 for the 2 of us.

Give me Las Botanas any day of the week.