February 8, 2008

The organic obsession

Posted in Food tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:34 am by Lauren

The single most amazing meal of my life was at Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco. Cafe Gratitude is a raw restaurant. I don’t normally eat raw, but my boss at the time was trying to, and we were in San Francisco for a conference. Washington, DC has many things, but it lacks raw restaurants, so this was the one thing Francis wanted to do while in San Francisco. (I, on the other hand, wanted to visit the Fossil store. And I did. And Allen and I have rather nice watches to prove it. But I digress.) Francis didn’t have to twist my arm to convince me to try out the raw sensation, though I wasn’t expecting any life-changing revelations. Suffice it to say, the food was like nothing I’d ever eaten before, and I won’t soon forget it.

France’s taste sensation is the bio or biologique movement, which is the equivalent of organic in the States. Like a sheep trotting blindly to the slaughter, I eat just about anything put before me – animal, vegetable, or synthetic genetically-modified food product. But I admire people who are committed to healthier eating through healthier treatment of the planet and its inhabitants. So with my unforgettable meal at Cafe Gratitude and my appreciation for the fresher things in life, I found my curiosity piqued by the Phyto Bar at La Nature A Paris on Boulevard Saint Germain. (This also falls into the category of “things I walk past several times a day.”) Here is the view as I’m walking by.

 La Nature A Paris

Looks somewhat intriguing, wouldn’t you say? I like the green. The yellow storefront is their organic food store.

Allen and I visited La Nature A Paris on Wednesday night. We’re trying to go out more – you know, for the benefit of those who read my blog. They had an enticing-looking lamb curry on the specials, but since it cost as much as a regular plate and dessert, I delayed gratification and opted to eat and have sweets. Allen chose an omelette aux herbes which came with a salad, and I decided on the assiette decouverte. I love the French word decouverte – the “discovery plate” just sounds like an adventure. Here is a picture of my dinner:

Assiette decouverte

What you see is vegetarian nems in the far back (not raw, in case you were wondering); the green blob next to them is a yummy seaweed and caviar spread (yes, really); then the blog on the other side is something like hummous; and the rest is salad and crudites. The beets look like a giant pile of red, but they are actually paper thin slices of fresh raw beet, and the cucumbers were similarly thin. The white on top of the salad is not cheese but sprouts. Allen and I both enjoyed the vinaigrette on our salads.

After (very slowly) polishing our plates, Allen picked a chocolate cake (“on its sauce of caramel”) and I salivated over the chocolate mousse. The mousse came out looking like scoops of ice cream and tasted delicious.

My overall impression of La Nature A Paris? Moderately priced (20 euros each for dinner and dessert, no drinks), friendly service, a 60/40 mix of French and English speakers, and fresh good food.

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1 Comment »

  1. AJ said,

    Whoa! There is too a “raw” restaurant in DC. It is weird that you bring this up because my coworker went to this place called “Everlasting Life” yesterday. I don’t think they have raw meats, but she did mention that it has a “raw” menu. I think it’s a Vegan place too, so I’m not sure what you’ll get out of it, but maybe you should check it out when you’re back in town.


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