We started the morning by working. Suzette went to Home Depot to replace a sander and tools stolen by some of the apprentice thieves in the neighborhood. I worked at my desk on the new wine project.
At 10:30 I drove to El Super to buy produce and found the best prices on the most items in years. Sweet lemons were $.50/lb., yellow onions were $.20/lb., red onions were $.25/lb., a bunch of three huge leeks were $1.69, a 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes was $1.50, beautiful Roma tomatoes were $.50/lb., Napa cabbage was $.50/lb., cucumbers were $.25 each, Lovely eggplants for $.50/lb., Kabocha squash, bananas, and Granny Smith apples were all $.50/lb., red seedless grapes were $.77/lb. and fresh altaulfo mangos and bunches of green onions were $.33 each. After filling my basket quite full, I saw several meat specials and bought 2 lb. of lamb meat for $3.19/lb. and 6 chicken thighs for $.99/lb. plus 32 oz. of Lala mango yogurt for $2.77. A great day of food shopping.
At noon I went home and we stir fried an egg and then the PPI Moo Goo Gai Pan from last night.
Yesterday was an all Moo Goo Gai Pan day, also. I ate ½ of a platter of the dish at East Ocean for lunch and boxed the other half and for dinner.
We made a cup of rice and diced a rib steak, and added it and some beech mushrooms to the PPI Moo Goo Gai Pan to make dinner.
After lunch we packed up the print Suzette bought several years ago at Goodwill for $12.95 and drove to Santa Fe. As we usually do, we stopped at Stephen’s first. We looked at some silver Mexican perfume bottles and bracelets. I was not as interested in shopping as Suzette, but soon she found a fabulous Mannequin covered with an elaborate Huitchol thread painting in the bargain area way in the back of the store for $125.00. Here is a photo of it.
We then went to Peyton Wright on a high and talked to John for a while about current events. Then John looked at Suzette’s print that had been stored in the closet for three years and gave us his opinion that it was a Herbert Beyer woodblock print worth $1800 to $3,000. We were thrilled again by Suzette’s excellent skill in picking great art. She had bought the Beyer woodblock print for $12.95 at Goodwill.
At around 3:00 we drove to Canyon Road and visited several galleries including the Acosta Strong Gallery owned by one of our neighbors.
After a half hour of touring galleries, at 4:00, Suzette wanted a drink and came up with a great idea, to go to the Gruet Tasting room in the St. Francis Hotel. We are members of Gruet’s Classique level wine club, which includes two wine tastings per month, so we sat down on a banquette and drank five tastes of Gruet champagne, Sauvage Rose’ (a zero residual sugar 100% Pinot Noir champagne), Blanc de Blanc Reserve 2012 vintage (100% Chardonnay), a Blanc de Blanc non-vintage, a Blanc de Noir Reserve 2013 vintage that was 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, and a Daniele Grand Reserve that was 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir wine. Then the server poured a taste of the newly released 2014 Pinot noir still wine.
We had made a reservation for 5:15 at Chez Mamou for its three course $35.00 Restaurant Week as we drove to Santa Fe, based on its menu and the fact that we had not eaten at before.
So after we drank champagne we drove to Peyton Wright Gallery’s parking lot and walked the block to Chez Mamou. We were greeted by the wife/owner in French Bon Soir. We immediately felt that we were in good hands. We decided to order different dishes. For appetizers Suzette chose crab cakes and I chose escargot. My six escargot were served with one in a crisp puff pastry croute filled with a light cream sauce that also was drizzled over the other five large snails, a simple but pleasant presentation. Suzette’s crab cakes were fabulous, two moist mostly crab meat sautéed cakes laid on a lovely warm slightly vinegar flavored potato salad with micro-diced celery and shallot.
We sopped up the escargot cream sauce with buttered warm baguette. I ordered a glass of a Chateau Cristou Luberon Grenache/Syrah and Suzette ordered a French Sauvignon Blanc.
After the appetizers were finished I looked at two pastry display fixtures filled with beautiful pastries and realized that there was a master pastry maker in the house.
Soon the entrees were served. The Atlantic Lobster tail entrée and duck confit entree were the main reason we chose to eat at Chez Mamou and we were very pleased with our choice. Suzette’s dish contained four small five inch long lobster tails sautéed and served in a cognac beurre Blanc sauce that also covered the blanched and sautéed julienned zucchini and yellow squash, onion and fennel plus a few boiled pommes de terre. The sauce had a subtle fennel flavor and a very nice French way of combining winter vegetables both into the vegetable part of the dish and into the sauce.
My dish was also exactly what I wished for; two duck quarters of leg and thigh served on a bed of blanched and sautéed julienned zucchini and yellow squash, and strips of onion served with a triangle of a thinly sliced potatoes baked with cream and cheese into potatoes au gratin.
We shared the two dishes; to our delight, we loved them both. We ordered another glass of the sauvignon Blanc that had been depleted by sipping during the crab cake appetizer.
We knew dessert still awaited us so we packed the three empty and one filled lobster tails and last oz. or two of duck to take home to make lobster bisque. Since I was driving I ordered a cup of decaf coffee with half and half and sugar for the dessert course. Soon the coffee was served with two beautiful chocolate covered rectangles of chocolate gateau topped with a generous dollop of chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate Mushroom shaped with a convex circle top probably made by pushing a tuile tool into a small mound of chocolate. The dessert was so rich and chocolatey that we decided to take one home.
After dinner we visited the pastry counter and spent $20.00 on a globe of chocolate ganache covered with pieces of meringue and dusted with chocolate powder, a six inch classic long glazed pear tart with baked pear slices laid on a bed of pastry cream in a thin puff pastry shell, and two palmier that may had been made or flavored with almond.
We drove home at 7:15 after a delightful two hour meal verbally complimenting ourselves on the discovery of one of New Mexico’s best French Patisseries and a new wonderful French restaurant as well as Suzette’s excellent eye for discovering valuable art treasures at Goodwill and Stephen’s for a fraction of their value..