NOTE 9/4/09: Due to popular demand, Julie & Julia dinner has been extended through September, Tuesday-Saturday. Check the Chef Mavro blog for updates (and see how George Mavrothalassitis makes beouf bourgignon. Thing of beauty).
Yeah, recessions suck. But they also spur all kinds of good (and delicious) things. Like last winter’s Souper Tuesdays at Town, Hiroshi’s insanely cheap $35 Locally Grown Dinner, and now Chef Mavro‘s Julie & Julia-inspired three-course dinner.
It’s no secret that I think Chef Mavro is the best restaurant in town. It’s not an anytime, after-work-impromptu dinner spot, but for something planned and kinda momentous, Chef Mavro is it. When my brother was last in town, I took him and his wife Eliette to dinner at Chef Mavro and Jim, who eats at top spots all over the world and oversees the world’s largest commercial kitchen, proclaimed (or mumbled, as he is wont to do) “This is the best meal I’ve had in a long time.” So if you think I’m full of crap, maybe you’ll trust him.
But I’ve always fantasized about having a homecooked French dinner by George Mavrothalassitis. And my chance has come! His wife Donna Jung has just announced Chef Mavro’s “A Taste of Julia Child” three-course dinners, which will be served Fridays and Saturdays starting Aug. 7—the day the film Julie and Julia opens in theaters. Chef read the minds (and cravings) of everyone who was at his special screening of the Meryl Streep film on July 20. Beouf bourgignon played a pivotal role in the movie and I’ve been hankering for it ever since—but not enough to actually make it.
And now I don’t have to, cause it’s the highlight of the Julia Child dinner. Says Mavrothalassitis in a press release: “After the screening so many people were craving boeuf bourguignon that something had to be done! I’ve felt a connection with Julia Child ever since I developed a love of home cooking for my wife when I come back from the restaurant every night. And everyone in my kitchen has so much fun cooking this style of food. When it’s delicious it’s delicious.”
Salade frisée aux lardons and the best dessert ever invented—tarte tatin (a caramelized upside down apple tart *sigh* the best one I ever had was at Café Lyrique in Geneva) round out the menu, which is just $59. And please, don’t say “Fifty-nine dollars?!” Three courses at, say, Alan Wong’s (they don’t include prices on the online menu…) or Roy’s (they don’t have the menu at all, because you’ve memorized it already) will put you out more than that. And you will not get food like this ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE STATE.
I’m so confident that Mavrothalassitis’ salade frisée (oh, I am already tasting that poached egg’s creamy yolk coating the crisp bacon) and beef stew will fulfill my Francojones that I am tagging this post with Instant winnah and Amazing dish alert ahead of time. (Hope I don’t have to eat my tags later.)
And if you haven’t been to Chef Mavro in a while, and you’re not dreaming of beouf bourgignon, the seasonal summer menu is a winner—the labor-intensive three-course tasting menu is just $69: abalone ceviche with a cod croquette (you’ll want a bagful of these fried balls), roasted lamb loin with an orgy of flavors (eggplant, garam masala, tamarind) and the perfect été ending—summer berries and hibiscus pavlova (find out what it’s like to eat a cloud).
The beouf bourgignon photo is from the website Steamy Kitchen, which covered a Hollywood Julie & Julia promo event, where dishes from the film were served.