balthazar: well done

I've been itching to go on a vacation for the past few weeks... the lure of foreign land seems to increase during the height of fall's romanticism.

Obligations keep me rooted in the same place for now but I guess there's no better city to satisfy my desire for a bit of adventure than new york. The sights, smells, sounds, voices at every street corner offers up the opportunity to be transported to a new country.

Off to France we go via Balthazar on Spring Street.

Onion Soup Gratinée

The infamous Balthazar's french fries.

Grilled Brook Trout over a warm spinach, walnut, and lentil salad

Scrambled eggs in puff pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus

Scrambled eggs: so iconically breakfast but so poorly done most of the time. Balthazar's version is an exception and I would say it's all in the seasoning. The best chefs will tell you that every layer of a dish must be perfectly seasoned. Most people seem to totally ignore that key ground rule that is one of the vital foundations of cooking and either leave it up to the diner to season as they please once the dish arrives (i.e. the food is incredibly bland) or they overcompensate for not seasoning a dish properly by throwing too much seasoning on at the end after it's already been plated. Both are not a good option. Chefs and cooks take note: befriend your salt throughout the cooking process! Your audience will love you for it!

The top layer of the mini puff pasty offered in this dish, that has such an inviting glaze, is really just a pool of melted, delicious, salted butter. No one understands butter quite like the French.