L’Arpège: I offended the Food God?

I had dinner at L’Arpège last night. It was delightful of course, the highlight of which was an entrée of Lobster hidding under a paper thin slice of turnip in a slightly sweet/sour sauce, the chef’s specialty. Also wonderful was a roasted volaille de pâturage (pastured chicken) “grandmother style”,  and a superlative slow roasted Turbot.

But dear Food God….what have I done to offend thee???

I am proud of my ability to eat anything…anything I tell you, brains, tripes, everything…….Well, everything but beets, that is.

So what do you think appeared on the dégustation menu–in not one but TWO courses? Yes, ladies and gentlemen…beets. Batterave en gélée (Beet Gelly) and Batterave Rôti in a crust of Sel Gris from Bretagne (which is his specialty). I tried a bit of each, but really couldn’t finish. Beets have this distinctive aftertaste that reminds me of a taste you get in your mouth after a dip in a swimming pool, Chlorine in other words.

To look on the bright side, now I won’t ever to eat beets again, ever. Friends always encouraged me to try their beet recipes or dishes, claiming this or that would be the dish that changed my mind. Not wanting to offend them, I often obliged. No longer. Now I can tell them if Alain Passard himself couldn’t make a beet dish I like, no one else could.

Has this ever happened to you? Especially those of you who claim not to be a finicky eater (perhaps about McDonald’s and such, but not about certain types of food.)

Also, Anyone has offerings for the Food God you can suggest? I think that was a serious sign of bad food karma, and I’d like to rectify it immediately!

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6 Responses to “L’Arpège: I offended the Food God?

  • Raynickben said:
    August 20th, 2003 at 2:31pm

    I feel the same way about Lamb. I despise Lamb! I can avoid it very easily when dining in a restaurant but god help me if I’m invited to a friends house and the entree is moussakka or grilled lamb. And I don’t think I am in the minority not liking lamb so why do people make things for guests that has a high potential for being disliked?
    Anyway, for each food there is a lover and a hater. I recommend you cook your absolute favorite foods and ingest them all in one sitting. The food god will see how happy you are and never rain beets on you again!

  • Toliver said:
    August 20th, 2003 at 2:36pm

    You could try frying up some bacon to please the Food Gods, but it may not work. They have a notoriously wicked sense of humor and irony.

  • Pim said:
    August 20th, 2003 at 2:38pm

    Raynickben, I will be camping tomorrow in front of Pièrre Hermé’s patisserie on rue Bonaparte and ingest one macaron after another until I could no more.
    Should I be chanting something too you think?

  • Pim said:
    August 21st, 2003 at 4:15pm

    So the Culinary Almighty is still unhappy with me, I fear. I went to Pièrre Hermé today after lunch to perform my intended sacrement, only to find out the place is closed until the 25th of August. 🙁

  • josh said:
    August 29th, 2004 at 6:33am

    I am a Chinese and as someone from a nation that make sand-worm into a delicacy, I can’t resanate with your defamation on beets. 🙂 Have you ever tried beet juice, it should taste better.

  • janine said:
    March 22nd, 2005 at 9:21am

    I agree with you on beets, it’s that strange metallic taste, like munching on copper coins. I have a previously undiscovered phobia with cooked radicchio. Funny that you should mention l’arpege, because that was where I discovered my objections to radicchio. They have a dish, a whole baby radicchio baked in a mound of salt. Same odd tongue flattening aftertaste. Happens with improperly treated sea blubbers as well (I’m Chinese too)
    Your blog is lovely, keep up the excellent writing.
    By the way, have you been able to find out more on Marc Veyrat in Paris?

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