Do you remember that scene from Get Shorty (1995) when Danny Devito (playing a mega-famous star) walks into a Spago-like restaurant in Hollywood (with a crowd in tow and without a reservation) immediately gets seated, refuses the menu, orders a bunch of stuff not on the menu (he actually instructs the waiter to tell the chef what he (and the whole table) wants: egg white omelette, fresh berries, no fat, etc.), then ignores the food and leaves soon thereafter?
That scene (like the entire movie) was one big inside joke about the way the movie industry stars and executives act in public and do business. One of the ultimate status symbols in status-symbol (LaLa)-land is always having a table waiting for you and never having to actually look at a menu. Even better is having the chef at your beck and call to take your off-the-menu order (and instructions) personally.
ELV hasn’t that amount of clout (yet), but he rather enjoys allowing chefs surprise him with whatever strikes their fancy (on or off the menu).
So we strolled into Marche Bacchus recently, refused the menu (Danny Devito-like), and let Chef Jean-Paul Labadie go wild. What he surprised us with was house-made pate de campagne with cornichons, sauteed duck foie gras (partially hidden), miso-glazed grilled eel, and a lamb burger with grilled onions. All accompanied by the usual fabulous pommes frites.
Not for the timid it’s true (and a bit weird), but each bite an umami depth charge of flavor that went perfectly with all kinds of wine.
We think even the calorie-eschewing Martin Weir would’ve been impressed.