Since I've started to explore the French language, I've also become increasingly curious about the food, and culture in general. I've already (semi) conquered Japanese, so next up: French. I mean, who needs all that butter and cheese? The French Paradox says we do. So there.
Sunday was a rare shopping free day, so Mr. H and I opted to go out for la dejeneur in a new little French place in Wayzata. I've heard the space is formerly Chez Foley, and it doesn't seem completely French (they have a ranch chicken wrap), but it was affordable (which will be my biggest obstacle to truly experiencing French foods) had a few frenchy things, and was close by. So....off we went!
Volnay is a quaint little cafe type place. The interior is very classic, but relaxed. I dunno why they call it a bar, because there isn't one. But I cant wait until it really warms up, so I can sit outside on a small strip of sidewalk at what will no doubt be a small round table and be very European and such.
I knew what I wanted before I even got there (hooray internets) but Adam was undecided. As much as I tried sweet talking, eyelash batting, threatening, bullying and downright begging, he decided against the Lobster Club (lobster meat, house made aioli, lettuce, tomato, bacon and avocado on 12 grain - $13) and went with the Mussels Mariniere (Prince Edward island mussels, white wine, shallots, parsley, garlic and bay leaf - $15) and I stuck with my Bochees a la Reine (flaky pastry filled with chicken, chives, mushrooms, potato dumplings and buerre blanc sauce - $9), and la serveuse even told me my pronunciation of it was quite good, though I don't know what it translates to in English. Oh, and of course we needed soup, so we ordered a bowl of french onion soup as well.
French Onion Soup:
This is not your typical greasy, overdone onion soup. No. It was a simple soup, with a nice piece of swiss draped and semi melted over the top. It was savory, had soft spongy crutons afloat, and the onions were soft and melted in my mouth (this from a girl who doesn't like onions. I challenge myself!) It was a very good "lunchy"soup.
Bouchees a la Reine (how in the hell do I set up my international keyboard?!?!)
First off, I warily circled the salad, as a dog would another strange dog. Salads scare me. They can be so terrible. But this was NOT terrible. It was simple, crunchy, not over dressed, and perfect in every way. The Bouchees al a Reine...well, it's basically a Chicken Pot Pie. One that melts your FACE with awesomeness! Calling the crust flaky and buttery is a downright insult. This pastry is the true nectar of the pastry gods. I even ate the mushrooms in it, which were chopped and admittedly added texture only, but still. Baby steps! The filling was creamy without being TOO rich, and the chicken and the potato dumplings danced and sang in my mouth like they were happy to finally be eaten. In short - SO DAMN GOOD. (and like, a billion calories.)
I tried them. I don't like them. They remind me of everything I don't like about mushrooms. I know, I know. This will have to be conquered later. Mr. H enjoyed them though. The garlic seemed subtle, but I was surprised how much I tasted in my mouth and smelled on my hands later.
After looking in the pastry case, we HAD to get dessert. Yes, they have creme brulee. But our sights were set on the Mouche Ganache (light chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache mousse - $6.)
It was ok, if unremarkable. Big old dome of rich, firm mousse with an inch of cake underneath. It had an edible star - bonus!
We ordered coffee's after all this, and I don't know if my head was swimming from all the butter and cream and goodness, or if that really was the best coffee I have ever had in my entire life. Rich, strong, flavorful.. - PARFAIT!
I looooved Volany, and will go back and eat as many things as possible!
Not so greats: