Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Food Week in Providence

This past week in Providence has been quiet and I mean that literally. There have been very few sirens screaming past our building in recent weeks, a most unusual phenomenon, believe me. I can't help but wonder: are personal tragedies on the decline or are the fire and police using a different route to help those in dire need of help?

As usual our week tends to revolve around, center on, find comfort in food. That goes without saying for the French Tarte, naturally, but I have to break free of my digital archiving duties during the day and seek out food experiences within a limited radius. So, I recently walked a couple blocks down Empire Street in order to purchase a rather unremarkable bean soup at AS220: lots of green leaves tucked in and among the beans and the bacon was a bit on the spongy side -- I suppose it was the broth, eh?

Later in the week Susie and I splurged on a Kermit Lynch wine dinner at Chez Pascal. It was a wonderful evening of delicious wines matched by equally delicious food, put on by the brilliant folks at Kermit Lynch. An importer of incredibly wonderful wines at a relatively decent price, Kermit Lynch has been one of those marques you find and never let go: you just know the product he selects and brings over here will be delicious and of good value. His organization has been a resource for us since we lived in Michigan.

During dinner we actually sat next to an Eisenhower, although she claimed that her branch of the family was very distant from the former President. There was really no resemblance, but still. . .

Unfortunately, the poor lighting and my mediocre photographic technique doesn't even begin to accurately depict the scrumptious food but I think you'll get the idea:

seared scallop with celery root, apple and saffron butter

beef short rib, white sweet potato gratin

pear custard gratin with bleu cheese
Our final dining experience for the week happened mostly by chance. One night we had to get out of the house for an hour or so right around dinnertime so we thought why not try the new Jacky's Galaxie in Johnston. (Jacky's is a small chain of Asian eateries in Rhode Island.) The service was very friendly, ambience neat and clean and the food, while tasty, was generally unremarkable. Still, the spring rolls were served with a very tasty crunchy peanut sauce rather than the ubiquitous orange "duck sauce." And the broccoli was just about perfect.

fried rice
The week ended, more or less, at the French Tarte's shop during the winter farmer's market. As usual there were plenty of goodies from the French and all sold before the market closed for the day.

vanilla bean flan

raspberry pistachio Breton shortbread tart
caramel nut tart
apricot flan buns
berry brioche
the three tartlets, or Lee returns from Paris 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Tarte's 3rd Saturday - another sellout!

Susie and Kelli Rae layout the table:


pear ginger financier

Matcha raspberry financier

croissant aux amandes

chausson aux pommes

apple tart

line for Tallulah's Tacos in the center courtyard of Hope Artiste

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

French Tarte's second Saturday

This past Saturday, the Tarte's second retail day of the farmers market season, went off without a hitch. Once again nearly everything sold -- except for four large tarts. Business was brisk and sales were better than last week. Not too bad at all.  And Kelli Rae was on hand to pitch in as well.

This Saturday was a special day, however, since Susie's sister Joyce dropped by with sister-in-law Dorothy. Joyce had driven down from her home in Maine the day before and the two gals came by the shop bright and early Saturday. Always nice to see their smiles poking through the door and after a brief chat with the Tarte they went off exploring the newly expanded market. Anyway, we would see both again later that evening at Dick and Dorothy's in Douglas, MA, along with Dick and Susan's Uncle Frank. Unfortunately, Aunt Cathy was still under the weather and had to beg off from traveling. Her wit and charm would be sorely missed.

Overall, the day went well and the Tarte put out most of her usual array of goodies along with one or two new treats.
apple tart right out of the oven
shortbread bar is open!
Susie, Dorothy and Joyce (l-r)

pecan caramel bun
raspberry pistachio financier

what do you get when you mix flan filling with croissant dough? a flan bun

sisters: Joyce and Susie around Dick and Dorothy's table
siblings: Dick, Joyce and susie

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Midweek in Providence

A few tidbits of my life in Providence. . .

the newly remodeled and reopened Arcade indoor mall (built in 1828)

alleyway on Weybosset

autumn on Weybosset - just a block from work

and autumn from our back window