Friday, February 5, 2010

A "Fraiche" start, a perfect dessert

There are few words I love to hear more than, “Would you like to see the dessert menu?”

Partly because it’s a question that I can easily answer – “Yes,” but mostly because I consider dessert the perfect way to end a meal and day. It’s like the kiss at the doorway after a really good date where the guy does all the right things and doesn’t talk about his ex-girlfriend who was formerly a stripper.

Or at least I imagine it’s like that since it’s been so long since I’ve been on a good date. Or bad one for that matter. Which is of course why I choose to go on dates with my parents instead (neither of them have exes who were formerly strippers and if they did they wouldn’t talk about them in front of me).

Approximately three weeks ago, after my significant parents helped me move from a three bedroom duplex that I shared with two roommates into a one bedroom apartment that I share with no one (aside from the occasional cockroach), we went on such a dinner date at one of my favorite special occasion spots – Fraiche in Culver City. I’d dined at the rustic French-Italian restaurant three times before and knew that it would be the ideal place for us to unwind after our long day of dealing with movers, Time Warner Cable, the Gas Company, and seven boxes full of all my kitchen stuff.

We settled into our table on Fraiche’s enclosed patio exhausted and ready to ease our tension away with a nice bottle of wine from the restaurant’s extensive collection. As we sipped our white wine and noshed on the impeccably prepared baby beets salad, albacore tuna tartare, monkfish francaise, and striped bass, the chaos of the day suddenly seemed a distant memory. More important, the chaos of my former life with roommates seemed impossibly remote as well.

The momentous occasion demanded to be capped with dessert, and when my favorite question, “Would you like to see the dessert menu?” was finally posed, I greeted it with an enthusiastic, “Yes.”

While the crème fraiche cheesecake with graham cracker streusel, mango, and blueberry sorbet ($11) put up a compelling fight to win a place on my fork, I only had eyes for the chocolate coulant with toffee spiced bananas and peanut butter ice cream. The coulant contained all the elements I look for in a dessert – salty and sweet; warm molten cake contrasted with cool ice cream; and chocolate – wonderful, bittersweet, “life is but a dream” chocolate.

It seemed destined for my lips, and destined to be my final bite at the end of a day that signified the beginning of a new page in my life. A page that didn’t contain someone else’s dirty dishes or moldy block of cheese.

As I wiped the dessert plate clean with my fork (which incidentally didn’t have much competition from my parents’), I imagined I was wiping the slate clean on that former life. The night was a “fraiche” start, and the chocolate coulant kiss couldn’t have been a more perfect ending.

9411 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2616
(310) 839-6800


Jenn said...

Another place I need to visit. Your parents have really good taste.

Esi said...

Devoured! I think Fraiche is already on my list, but now I want to go even more.

Marie said...

Hilarious and sweet! I haven't been to Fraiche in a while, I went a couple times early on. Good dessert menus are not crucial for me, but I am a sucker for peanut butter!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

That sounds like my kind of kiss and my kind of dessert! I love sweet and salty and I especially love anything molten! I haven't been to fraiche yet...maybe you can take me on a date =)!

Lauren said...

ha! significant parents. you silly. Fraiche has an AMAZING cocktail called the Grape. And normally I don't fuck with cocktails, I like my booze straight up, no bullshit. The Grape. Do it.

Diana said...

Jenn - My mom read your comment - it made her smile! :)

Esi - It's really good. And the pasta dishes are quite reasonably priced! Hello bacon risotto...

Marie - I feel so sorry for people who don't like peanut butter. It's one of my non-negotiables.

Nastassia - You can totally be my date!

Lauren - The Grape? That sounds suspicious. What if I turn into a grape like in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory? Cocktails and me do not agree. But fine, maybe I'll listen to you because you speak wise words and wear a pancho.

Gastronomer said...

That was a really sweet post. You always end on the perfect note.

yutjangsah said...

Eating with the parents is the best. You'll get the best of everything and their forks will lay down on the table while yours can dance the night away. Good stuff