Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caprice Bistro

   It's time for the food highlight of last weekend's trip to Wilmington!  Louis and I are still dreaming of the food.  Caprice Bistro.  A tiny little French restaurant in the heart of downtown with a sofa lounge, of all things, on the second floor.  We did not go to the sofa bar, but I really want to on a future trip!  You are probably thinking, French... oh, it's probably stuffy and expensive.  Wrong.  The chef/owner Thierry Moity was born in France and knows exactly what a bistro should be: understated and relaxed with an air of elegance.  The food is beautiful and has options for every price range. 

   We started with the escargot.  The sweet, tender snails were swimming in the most delightful broth I can possibly imagine.  Roquefort cream with garlic, I believe there was a touch of tomato paste and a pinch of thyme.  Whatever it was, it was exquisite.  So good, that if they had forgotten to put the snails in, I wouldn't have cared.  Despite calling it a "cream", it is light and the flavor doesn't overpower the mild escargot.  Make sure you save the bread they bring first for this sauce!  I would have picked up the bowl and licked it if that were acceptable.
   For the entree, Louis had the Crepe aux Fromage.  It is a huge crepe stuffed with fresh baby spinach, swiss, gruyere, goat cheese, and parmesan.  Yes it is cheesy, but oddly, not too cheesy.  There is just enough spinach to cut through the quartet of cheeses (though, you can't see that in the picture.)  And the crepe: perfect, thin but fluffy, evenly cooked without a single brown spot... I don't even know how that is accomplished!
   My dinner was the Mussles Bruxelles.  Giant Prince Edward Island mussles in a beer cream with mustard, parsley, and bacon.  If I have a complaint of this dish, it is that the mussles were too large.  When mussles get larger, it is harder to properly clean them and grit or a bit of the tough beard (attachment mussle) can be left.  I only had one slightly gritty mussle in the pile; the rest were meaty and sweet and lovely.  Oh, and it should have been served with a hunk of baguette.  I ate all the mussles, then sat there slurping the broth.  Absolutely delicious.  I considered asking for a to go box for the extra broth.
  Nevermind the fact that we were getting full, on to dessert!  We split the chocolate mousse.  I like mousse, but I thought it sounded a little boring for dessert.  However, it was the dessert we could agree on.  I was SO wrong about boring!  The menu doesn't tell you that it is a chocolate trio: white, milk, and dark.  I guess they want to surprise you.  They also surprise you with the presentation.  Usually mousse is in a container of some sort, often because they may not have been made properly and it might fall.  Moiry boldy serves his like ice cream scoops.  We couldn't decide which was our favorite; the consesus was which ever you are eating at the time is the best.  All I can say is "heaven"!

The next time you are in Wilmington, please try Caprice Bistro!  There is something for everyone, even you non-adventerous, picky eaters (I swear!)
10 Market St.
Wilmington, NC

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