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ile flotante, or floating island

aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 07:50 AM

does anyone know where i can get this french dessert in manhattan. i had it years ago in southern france and have been keeping an eye out ever since. the urge to find it has gottten stronger lately.

it was essentially a meringue floating in a sea of custard. so rich and delicious.


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  1. m
    marye RE: aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 07:59 AM

    I would try some of the old school french restaurants such as la grenouille

    1 Reply
    1. re: marye
      aahnnt RE: marye Apr 4, 2008 08:22 AM

      thanks for the suggestion - i took a look and i think "Les Oeufs à la Neige" is the same dish. but WOW - $28 for a single dessert - that seems fairly absurd!

    2. guttergourmet RE: aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 08:44 AM

      Mrs. GG's favorite dessert. Other than Le Petite Zinc in Paris I'm also thinking La Grenouille which in fact does have them but calls them "oeufs a la neige" literally snow eggs but same as floating islands.

      1. MMRuth RE: aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 09:04 AM

        Bar Boulud has a rose praline version, but I didn't like the rose part so much - a bit overwhelming, I thought. Still trying to think of where else. Maybe Balthazar? I thought I'd had it there, but don't see it on the menu.

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          ABT RE: aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 09:55 AM

          Pastis used to serve it, but that was years ago, so I'm not sure if it's still on the menu. But it's worth a call to ask them!

          1. r
            RGR RE: aahnnt Apr 4, 2008 10:04 AM

            I love Ile Flotante. Finding one, and particularly a good one, isn't that easy. Park Bistro used to have it on the dessert menu, but now that they have become Park Avenue Bistro, they've removed it. :-(

            Checking MenuPages, Le Veau D'Or has it. I've never been there, but from everything I've read about it, it's a total trip back in time.


            1. c
              coltrane RE: aahnnt Apr 6, 2008 08:50 PM


              2 Replies
              1. re: coltrane
                RGR RE: coltrane Apr 7, 2008 10:57 AM

                If you look at maye's post above, she suggested La Grenouille, and aahnnt replied that it was too expensive. I would guess the same would hold true of Le Cirque.

                1. re: RGR
                  MMRuth RE: RGR Apr 7, 2008 11:00 AM

                  For lunch, it's $18 at Grenouille - and I wonder if they might serve it at the bar if one asked nicely? Still a lot of money, and I'd make it at home instead, but better than $28.

              2. cassis RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 06:23 AM

                It is one of my favorite things to eat, but no one mentioned the caramel drizzled on top, so that you have three flavors and textures going on.......but please no variations, it's the utter simplicity of it that is so charming! I've had it many times in France, and I've made it many times myself. I have never seen it on a menu in the US, maybe it is just too delicate, the meringue collapses, the caramel weeps......but now I will look out for it, perhaps someplace like Balthazar?

                1 Reply
                1. re: cassis
                  RGR RE: cassis Apr 7, 2008 11:00 AM

                  No ile flotante at Balthazar.


                2. e
                  efhorton RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 07:33 AM

                  We used to get it when we went out to dinner with my grandpa at Le Boeuf à la Mode, an old school French bistro on the upper west side. I haven't been there in over a year but their menu was consistent for years.

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                    aahnnt RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 12:18 PM

                    thanks for all the suggestions - i'll keep my eye out for those places suggested (and maybe try to get someone to take me out to la grenouille ;).

                    since i posted, i did in fact track down a recipe online and made myself a version of the dessert - a simple version with strawberries instead of caramel (the thought of undertaking the task of making caramel, on top of the rest of the recipe, was a bit much!). it impressed my girlfriend and our friends though - still not as good as i remembered, and it occurred to me while looking for recipes that there are many ways to make this dish (poaching the meringues in milk, or baking them, etc).

                    i also did a bit of research into restaurants and found it on a few menus - bistro chat noir (e66th), tournesol (LIC), and serge (madison at 32nd). anyone have any experiences with any of those places? i hope to try at least one soon, and will report back.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: aahnnt
                      MMRuth RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 12:20 PM

                      If you want more tips on making them and/or making caramel - do post on the home cooking board. ;-)

                      1. re: aahnnt
                        rrems RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 12:40 PM

                        I have not been there, but Bistro Chat Noir has gotten some favorable mentions on this board.

                      2. r
                        rossinyc RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 01:25 PM

                        Le Perigord had it when I was there last

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rossinyc
                          seal RE: rossinyc Apr 7, 2008 02:01 PM

                          Had it at Le Cirque over the weekend

                        2. c
                          coltrane RE: aahnnt Apr 7, 2008 03:07 PM

                          LA GRENOIULLE 28$
                          LE CIRQUE 15$ NOT THE SAME PRICE(CHECKED WEBSITE)

                          1. k
                            kathryn RE: aahnnt Apr 8, 2008 09:06 PM

                            Danny Meyer hints that the Modern might be adding it to their dessert menu some time soon in a food diary entry for NY Mag (see the 31st):


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