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Tuesday
Mar092010

Bacchus? They hardly knew us!

Location: Bacchus Wine Cellar & Restaurant, Grand Case, St. Martin

Rating:

OK, I know I said I'd use a standard 5 star rating system, and I meant it... until I met Bacchus. I've obviously been too easy of a grader, because Bacchus has now completely blown away the curve. 

Today we had lunch at Bacchus with our new friends Kristin and Marc, and ohmygod, I'm still recovering several hours later (and probably still slightly tipsy). I'm just blown away. 

We were first introduced to Bacchus by our Vermont friends a week or so ago, and even then we were amazed by how good of a wine store it is. It's behind the US Market (the large grocery store) in this completely unassuming industrial park, but it is truly a hidden gem.

Upstairs, they have an amazing selection of mostly French wine... but then you go downstairs, and it's like a greatest hits selection of everything. I expect a good French selection on this island - I mean, even the grocery story has extensive French wine. But this place had everything. They had Joseph Phelps Insignia - and Bakkus! They had 1997 Silver Oak. They had Justin. All of my favorite wines from California, and some of them were even reasonably priced since most people here just buy French wines (which means usually the CA wines are ridiculously priced). I know way more about CA wines than French, and am particularly ignorant on the question of Bourdeaux (though I'm working diligently on filling in that gap in my education). Based on their assortment of CA wines, I immediately trusted their recommendations for French wines, and I have been ecstatic with the results.

So then we heard that Bacchus is also a tasty lunch destination. C'est vrai? Oui, absolument.

First we shared the escargot, in all their perfect buttery sizzling garlic goodness. Then we devoured some of the best foie gras I've ever had. It was like spreading the smoothest of butters, with the perfect hint of french sel de fleur. There wasn't even a trace left on the plate. We then moved on to our main course. I had ordered cuisse de canard (duck confit). I never imagined something so decadent. Imagine duck fat and bacon seared and then baked on top of cream and butter - with slivers of meat and potatoes thrown into the middle to give you the illusion of nutrition. It was... well... unspeakably good. If I were still doing weight watchers, I think it would have counted for an entire week's worth of points... so thank goodness I'm not counting anymore.

Then dessert. We were all stuffed, but Marc succumbed to the advertising for their special brioche french toast dessert. I was skeptical, as I've commented before that our experience here has indicated French toast is not so French. So no, I didn't see it coming. Blindsided. Beyond amazing. Couldn't stop myself.

All I could think during this gastronomical brouhaha was how glad I was that we were also drinking several bottles of wine (a delicious Chateau Margaux), because the latest research shows that's going to save me from getting fat while I'm here. Phew! I hope it works quickly... though maybe I better swim tomorrow just in case...

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