When you think of beach food, French pastry probably doesn’t usually come to mind. While I certainly love fried scallops, chowder and s’mores, sometimes I want something a little more refined. For those instances, PB Boulangerie fits the bill perfectly.
Croissant and pain au chocolate
I’ve been interested in getting to this spot for a good number of years, however, the queue has always put me off. This year, though, the gods conspired (Quinn got up early, we needed to take a quick run out to Provincetown and there was a severe weather warning which limited traffic) and we found ourselves there before 8:00 a.m., meaning the line was manageable. While Quinn and Jeter rode the storm out in the car, windows open natch, I took in the selection and settled on 4 croissants, 2 almond croissants, 2 pain au chocolate and 2 jars of apricot jam. Total price: $46.00.
Without exception, everything I tasted was outstanding. The almond croissant (my favorite!) was terrific – flaky, buttery and deliciously almond-y. It was big and I struggled to eat the entire thing, but, you know me, I’m a trooper and managed it just fine. The pain au chocolate was beautifully punctuated with small chunks of chocolate and the traditional croissant was everything a croissant should be.
The jam has been a revelation. Apparently the chef/owner’s mother, Pascaline, visits periodically to make and jar her special preserves and she has a deft hand with the 4 ingredients included – apricots, lavender, vanilla and sugar. So simple, so delectable.
I’m already thinking about sampling the Croque Monsieur I saw on display, as well as expanding my jam collection. PB Boulangerie is the real deal.
Back in May, I chaperoned a middle school field trip to Montreal. It was an exceedingly long day and somewhere around hour number 16 the acoustic Colin Hay version of Men at Work’s song “Overkill” got stuck in my brain. It seemed appropriate.
When I finally got home that night, close to midnight, the guy and I spent some time You-Tubing Colin Hay while sipping bourbons sours. As Saturday became Sunday, things began to improve and I finally felt removed from the smell of pre-teen feet, and the sound of pre-pubescent voices. I credit the guy, the music and the bourbon in fairly equal measures.
The very next week I saw that Colin Hay was coming to play in my very own pretty city. Unable to find anyone else willing or able to attend the show, I hesitated about buying a ticket solo until 97.7 WEXT offered some up with a pledge. I made a contribution and scored a single ticket – done.
In my heart, I was going with the express hope of hearing Colin sing “Overkill,” however I was a bit delayed in arriving at the show due to a different sort of overkill, namely of the wining and dining sort. You see, some friends and I met prior to the show to take advantage of both the pasta and wine specials offered at The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark. And, we don’t like to do things halfway when it comes to terrific food and delicious wine…
So, I was about 15 minutes late in arriving at the show and, according to the ladies I spoke with later in the bathroom, Colin did “Overkill” prior to my arrival. Despite missing my one “must hear” song, I absolutely loved the show. Colin Hay is a very, very funny man and I spent as much time laughing at his banter as I did applauding his music. I was completely unfamiliar with every song he played but enjoyed each of them. I hadn’t been in the Swyer Theatre (the smaller of the two venues in The Egg) in a long time and had forgotten how good the sound is, so different from larger or outdoor venues.
Hay signed merch (there was a good assortment of cds, vinyl and such) and shook hands post-show and the line was impressively long. Maybe I’ll catch that song next time. It certainly wouldn’t be overkill to see Colin Hay again.
1. Eat and drink at Nine-Pin Cider’s Dine’n
2. Dinner at 15 Church Street.
3. Paddleboarding on Saratoga Lake
4. A day hike in the Catskills with my camera.
5. Host a party on my new and improved deck
6. Get to a Soul Cafe dinner
7. Volunteer to prepare a meal at the Ronald McDonald House
8. Check out local Farmer’s Markets more often.
9. Get away for at least one night with the girls
10. Take the train to Hudson for an afternoon
11. Figure out what to do with my weedy, unappealing backyard
12. Watch one of those series that everyone talks about but, I’ve never seen.
13. Make it to at least ½ of ARE’s Summer Trail Runs.
14. Repurpose my spare bedroom into something more useful.
15. Enjoy these last couple of months of having all 3 of my boys home.
🎶 I love Paris, that’s the song (Ella Fitzgerald version) that has been playing incessantly in my head for nearly the last week. Such a cliché, right? Limiting my love to merely Paris, though, would be unfair to the rest of the country. There’s so much to love!
In previous visits, I’ve been smitten by Alsace where the blend of French and German cultures has created a region of friendly residents who enjoy terrific wines and a hearty cuisine, all in setting of rolling hills fragrant with lavender.
This trip to Normandy, my first, has been a wonderful experience. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so proud to be an American while traveling abroad as I’ve been these past few days. The appreciation for the accomplishments of previous generations of our armed forces remains tangible in this region. Our flag is flown alongside those of France and Normandy and honored. God bless, America, incarnate.
My favorite moments have been small, tiny little jewels which will continue to sparkle when I take them out to remember. Savoring the local cuisine – the cheese, pate foie gras, apple tart, kir Normand and oysters. Laughing with my son when I couldn’t recall the phrase to request our check (l’addition, s’il vous plait) in the bistro after indulging in my first ever calvados. A late afternoon soaking in the sun on our little patio, accompanied by a book and a bottle of cider. All gems of France to be treasured.
So…this Wednesday, 12/17, is the 7th anniversary of the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark. Yes, that did go fast! I’ve been onboard for the last 4 years and consider myself fortunate to be able to continue having a presence in the local food scene in such a special spot, especially since my availability is generally limited to a single night of the week.
Lucky me, though, – I work Wednesday nights and will be on hand to celebrate our milestone. And you know what? You should be, too! We’ll be featuring a few items from the original menu, at the original prices, and selected bottles of 2007 vintage wines will be available at a 50% discount. See? You’re lucky, too!
That’s a date then, right?
I sampled my first pomegranate about 40 years ago. I was spending the night with a school friend who had hippy parents who joyfully exposed me to all sorts of new things – like a water bed, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, an unusual musky smoke wafting around and pomegranates.
Although I have owned a copy of Rumors pretty much ever since, years went by before I began dabbling in pomegranates. I don’t recall if I found them to be expensive or intimidating, but I just didn’t really get into them until recent years. And now? I am obsessed with them!
I’ve been going through two or three pomegranates a week. My favorite way to consume one is either in yogurt or oatmeal. I can’t believe I ever balked at the seeds’ slight crunchiness since I now completely enjoy their firm juiciness. Extracting the seeds remains a messy, but minor challenge. Maybe you have some secrets to making the task neater? How do you take your love apples?