To often restaurants have been the engines of eco-destruction. Chilean Sea Bass, anyone? And the eco-conscious diner often feels torn between the needs of her palate and the needs of Mother Earth.
So, it was finally a relief- no, more than that, a pleasure, to enter a green-friendly restaurant dedicated to sustainable cuisine.
“The Bichon Fricassee” is the first restaurant based on the eco-philosophy of architects, Brenda and Robert Vale, as expoused in their magnum opus, Time To Eat The Dog: The Real Guide To Sustainable Living.
Now, some Americans may shrink from the idea of eating their dog or any dog for that matter.
But as owner and head chef, Lars “Sunlaugh” von Herferdorf,
“Dogs are real eco-bastards. Don’t be fooled by their little puppy eyes and such tricks and lies. They are destroying Mother Earth.
As Brenda Vale, herself, says, ‘A lot of people worry about having SUVs but they don’t worry about having Alsatians and what we are saying is, well, maybe you should be because the environmental impact … is comparable.’.
You wouldn’t worry about eating an SUV, would you?”
Indeed not, I replied, but I’m on a diet. I’ll just have the Volkswagen!
Well, we all had a good laugh as we picked out our appetizer puppy from his cage and were seated.
Accompanying Ms naturalfake and myself on our canine culinary voyage were our good friends and fellow recyclers, Don and Bitsy.
I must say we were all impressed with the speed of the service at “The Bichon Fricassee”. Don barely had time to finish a hilarious anecdote about educating this poor, ignorant woman with four(!) children about the unsustainability of disposable diapers, when our appetizer arrived.
Ikizukuri is a style of Japanese cooking where a fish is cut into sashimi so quickly and cleanly that it arrives at your table with the head still alive.
Chef von Herferdorf did not disappoint. Our Beagle puppy Ikizukuri arrived with the eyes rolling in it’s head and it’s tongue lolling in it’s mouth. The raw, warm slices of puppy possessed a crunchy chewiness that matched perfectly with the apple-ponzu sauce.
But that wasn’t all!
About the time the beagle’s eyes stopped moving, his paws arrived.
Parboiled then flash-fried and served with a cantaloupe-peppercorn reduction. The paws were a revelation of rich, fatty goodness as the footpads burst like the ripest grapes with each bite and their decadent, creaminess spread throughout your mouth. Exquisite!
Our entrees, I’m sorry to say, were a mixed batch.
Bitsy found her Blackened Poodle Chops with Swiss Cheese Grits a mismatch. Both were good on their own but didn’t pair well. Between the blackened seasoning and the earthy Swiss, the delicate flavor of Poodle was lost.
Don loved the taste of his Mustard Glazed Great Dane Ribs, but was disappointed by their toughness and dryness.
Though Ms naturalfake ultimately found her Chihuahua Goulash both satisfying and delicious, she was initially disconcerted and confused by the inclusion in the goulash of both pearl onions and chihuahua eyes.
“I never know which is which until I bite into it.”, she said, “I’m not sure I like that.”
We all agreed, however, that I had the dish of the night, Grilled Blueberry Infused Golden Retriever Foie Gras. Three thick grilled slices of perfect medium rare foie gras served with a blueberry-jalapeno-meyer lemon relish.
However, the real surprise was the sweet, blueberryish flavor of the Golden Retriever’s liver. I felt compelled to ask Chef Herferdorf how this was done.
“Oh well, we feed them nothing but blueberries and soy cream.” he said “Too good for the little earth-rapers if you ask me.”
“So, dogs like blueberries? Interesting…”
“Well, they don’t really like blueberries. Or soy…..We just cram them down their throats till we can’t fit any more in. After a couple of months of that, they’re ready to go.”
A chef that reveals his secrets! How rare that is. It just lets you know the confidence Chef Herferdorf has in his green cookery.
Then it was time for dessert. Of course, we had to have “The Bichon Fricassee”‘s signature dessert, “Death By Chocolate”.
As Chef Herferdorf explains, “We cram chocolate down a puppy’s throat until he dies. Chocolate is poison to dogs, you know. The we cut out his stomach, sew it shut, and boil it in raspberry water. It’s kind of our salute to haggis.”
Delicious! The meaty flavor of the stomach blends perfectly with the earthy, sweetness of the chocolate. Should you dine at “The Bichon Fricassee”, you simply must try this. It’s the perfect way to end a meal.
We left the “The Bichon Fricassee” feeling satisfied in both body and soul. I can’t tell you the simple feeling of well, goodness and righteousness, one feels after exiting the restaurant. We ate a delicious sustainable meal and got a few canine SUV off the road as well.
I can assure you, we’ll be back.
UPDATE: The science is settled deniers! Eat up! (26DEC09)
Hat Tip: Lucianne