- Paul Mar 25, 2000 06:27 PM
That exquisite marriage of kidney shaped White beans, pork parts (various kinds), sausage, duck confit, garlic herbs etc. This dish usually appears on the menu as a special. Does anyone know who does a great Cassoulet? I believe it is the Thursday night special at Brasseire Jo (at the Colonnade hotel) but I have never tried it there.
On our recent visit to France, we did not go to the southwestern part of the country. I therefore did not get a chance to visit the home of Cassoulet. My wife did spot it on the daily specials blackboard of a local gin mill in Lemans. There was a rather inebriated woman with a small dog sitting at one of the tables. Four or five locals were having drinks at the bar. The Casssoulet and bottomless breadbasket were great, and the atmosphere was perfect. I would say it was the most "French" meal we had.
I had cassoulet at La Lucheonette and it was very, very good, but that was over a year ago. I ate at Miracle Grill on New Year's eve and had their Southwestern version of cassoulet, which was good if untraditional. (It had the white beans and sausage, but it also had tortillas and cilantro; and it was on the specials list, come to think of it.)
Tell you the truth, I like the cholent at the Second Avenue Deli just as well as any cassoulet; in the winter when the wind-chill is 30 below, that's what I crave.
If you seek cassoulet (or bouillabaisse, or soft-shelled crabs, or...) on your New York trip, try lunch or dinner at Le Jardin Bistro, just a few blocks from Lombardi's Pizza. They have excellent food and wine, friendly service, and a lovely trellised garden out back when the weather's nice.
I had Cassoulet at The Blue Room last January. I was disappointed after having had an excellent homemade Cassoulet at a friend's in London.
The Blue Room's version, if I remember correctly, was a little bit too soupy and didn't have much fat in it. It was good nevertheless, but the butteriness of the goose fat and crispness of the crust in my friend's version will make any Cassoulet pale in comparison.