I've written about Madeleine Bistro many times in the past, as I've been dining there since they opened, but this my first experience with their tasting menu. To celebrate a friend's birthday, we hit Madeleine's this past Saturday night and decided to go all out on the four-course tasting menu.
I started with a freshly-made Green Juice of kale, apple, ginger, and beet (hence its purple hue).
My first course was the velvety Butternut Squash Bisque topped with spiced apples and fried sage leaves.
Next up was a dish I'd been waiting to try for ages: the Green Papaya Salad with tofu, rau ram, peanuts, and chili-lime marinade. I feel confident in saying that this is the best dish I've ever eaten at Madeleine's.
This beautiful plate is the house-made Smoked Cheese with poached pears, spring mix, and candied walnuts.
While I really wanted to try their Caramelized Apples dessert, it wasn't available, so I ordered the Holiday Pie Trio (Pumpkin, Pecan, French Apple) with Cinnamon Ice Creme. At left, the pumpkin pie had a wonderful custard-like texture that I much preferred to the standard Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. It was very lightly spiced and actually made from kabocha squash that day. In the center is the French apple pie, which had a custard top that I wasn't expecting and really enjoyed. On the right is the pecan pie topped with (as the pumpkin pie was) a wonderfully light and delicious whipped cream. This pecan pie tasted like it was made of roasted nuts stuck together with maybe molasses and brown rice syrup or maple syrup instead of pecans suspended in the bizarre goop of a standard omni pecan pie that I never liked. It was rich and delicious.
We had an amazing conversation with the owners of Madeleine's that night. They took a generous amount of time with us, despite having a completely packed restaurant (including the owners of Millennium where I haven't yet had the opportunity to dine). When the conversation turned to some of the other menu items, they were so proud of the new Philet No Phish (from the menu: panko-crusted seitan, cheese, tartar sauce, whole wheat bun) that they offered to send us each home with one to try. I ate mine for dinner the next day and it was really good. The juicy seitan was nicely coated with crispy panko and there was just enough sauce and cheese.
Madeleine Bistro seems to get better every time I go, making me look forward even more to my next meal there.