Salade D’Endive with roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, arugula, caramelized pears, Roquefort cheese and a walnut dressing
Tomato Tarte Tatin with Tomato confit, bosc pears, bleu cheese, frisee on puff pastry
Far: The Baja Mussels Near: The Provençale Mussels
Side of Frites (French Fries)
Daily Special: The Halibut
Pan Seared Scallops with Lobster sauce
Weekly Night Specials Menu
I have had the opportunity to eat at many of the restaurants in Culver City. It seems that since the development of downtown Culver City, the upgraded enclave now has everything from high-end sushi (K-Zo) to easy Italian (Ugo). All of which provide me no particular draw to eat at any of them. Meet in Paris (Meet) elicited an enthusiasm in me that rejuvenated my love for the area, as it introduced me to a new part of the downtown that sits right outside the busy center. Meet in Paris, is a quaint French restaurant with contemporary and bold flavors. It takes authentic French food to a new level and left my mouth watering days after the meal.
My party and I decided to order a variety of dishes to share. We started with the Salade D’Endive (its absolutely pronounced awn-deeve), and Tomato Tarte Tatin. The salad contained roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, arugula, caramelized pears, Roquefort cheese and a walnut dressing. All the elements were chohesive, and while it had many familiar ingredients, I felt as though I had tasted them for the first time in the way they are supposed to be tasted. All of the ingredients were plentiful and fresh and when eaten all together in one bite provided the perfect blend of bitter, sweet and salty. Not to mention, the chewiness of the cranberries mixed with the crunchiness of the walnuts provided a contrast of textures that made each bite unique (this may seem like an extreme way to describe a salad, but let me tell you it was one of the best I have ever tasted).
The tomato tarte tatin is not a dish I will share in the future. While also delectable it was extremely delicate and hard to split equally amongst four hungry diners. I being a food blogger (lofty voice), had the first/best bite which was perfect. The filo dough was crispy, the goat cheese was salty and the tomato melted in my mouth. The pesto drizzled on the dish was a great way to add flavor to each bite. Not the best pairing with the salad because there was a lot of cheese on both but everyone at the table enjoyed the dish nonetheless.
While the menu at Meet has all the elements of a classic French restaurant like Fondue, Escargots, Paté, and Foie Gras it’s mussel dishes are a departure from tradition in the best way possible. Both the specialty of this restaurant, and the source of my adoration, the Les Moules Frites (mussels and fries) come in 12 different varieties each broth more sounding scintillating then the next (see the menu for a full description). For the main course we ordered the mussels to share, enabling the diner to order two separate bowls, each with a half a pound of mussels and a broth of your choosing. We ordered the Baja mussels which comes with chipotle, tomatillo, cilantro and tequila and the Provençale mussels, which consists of shallots, garlic, tomato, thyme, fennel, fresh tarragon and Pernod (a French absinth).
The mussels were “literally” (Parks and Rec reference) the best mussels, I have EVER tasted. I had an epiphany eating them when I realized that every order of mussels I have eaten up until this point have been over cooked and chewy. Each and every muscle in my dish at Meet was steamed to perfection and when dipped in the aromatic broth provided a bursting mouthful of flavor. When I asked our waitress how they could possibly achieve the impossible task of an entire bowl of perfectly cooked mussels she told me that each batch of mussels is made to order thus, ensuring the freshness of your dish. The Baja mussels achieved a balance of spice and tang that made me want to drink the broth with a spoon. It had the heat of the chipotle yet at no point was it spicy. The Provençale mussels tasted like a more traditional French mussel dish. What won me over was the effervescentness of the thyme and tarragon mixed with the garlic. I love garlic and you could definitely taste it in this dish.
In addition to the mussels my table decided to order the Pan Seared Scallops served on a tomato confit with lobster sauce. I have not tried Lobster sauce with scallops and I found that it added a nice heaviness to the lightness of the scallops. The scallops were perfectly cooked, however, I let mine get a little too cold before eating it because I was focusing all my attention on the mussels. Next time I think I will just stick with the mussels alone because they were more than enough food.
Speaking of next time, one of the best qualities of this restaurant are their daily specials. On Monday nights all Mussel dishes are 30% off and all beers are 50% off. On Wednesday’s, they have all you can eat Mussels for $25.95 as well as various other specials on the other nights of the week. So, if your mouth is watering as much as mine is after reading/writing this post this feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set a date to meet at Meet.
Meet you get Two Forks Up!