Le Soufflé Magnifique

by

Choc Souffle

Grand Souffle

Rushing back from the Castle at Versailles, 30 minutes late and dressed in tourist shorts with cameras in hand, the Le Soufflé maître d’ welcomed us with a smile pointed to our casual wear and said “Magnifique!” as he led us to the corner table in the air conditioned back room.  What’s more, they had ice water (a real treat in Paris).  And when I saw a 3-course, all-souffle dinner on the menu?  Well, I knew this was the France I’d come to see.

For my appetizer I ordered a simple cheese soufflé, which tasted a bit like brie with the earthiness of a good rind.  I’m not sure if it was actually brie (especially since I lost my notebook where I wrote down the name of it), but very similar anyhow.  My first impression of a true Parisian soufflé was that it had a light, uniform texture and was not too eggy.

For my main course I ordered Le Soufflé’s specialty, the King Henri IV soufflé.  This is a plain savory soufflé which comes with a small bowl of chicken and mushrooms in cream sauce.  When they set the soufflé down at your table, they take the spoon and make a well in the middle and pour in the sauce and chicken.  It had the perfect balance of light, spongy soufflé  and creamy, hearty sauce.  This one was definitely my favorite.

Finally, it was dessert time.  I ordered the Grand Marnier soufflé, but it was not at all what I expected.  I imagined that it would come out, they’d pour a little alcohol in it, light it on fire and then I’d eat it.  Instead, I knew I was in trouble when they came and dropped the entire bottle of Grand Marnier off at the table and walked away to get the soufflé.  They came back with the sweet, angel-food like soufflé, poked a well in the middle and started pouring.  After pouring a couple shots in, they put the bottle back on the table and walked away.  No fire meant there were still two shots of alcohol in my dessert.  Well, I have to admit this was a bit much for me and especially for my nursing son, so I ended up stealing a lot of my husband’s chocolate soufflé, which came with a boat of smooth chocolate sauce.  And really, that was not a bad way to end a perfect Parisian meal.

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