Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Balthazar's onion soup

Goes down mighty well with a glass of bubbly.

In days gone by, when I was feeling sorry for myself, and in need of connection and belonging, I would take myself to lunch at Balthazar and have the onion soup and a glass of wine, or the duck and foie gras mousse...both are appetizers and reasonably priced, and affordable to one Starting Over, or for anyone concerned with how much money anything costs.

Given that you still enjoy the massive room, the comings and goings, the expensively suited maitre d's or Agnes B.-dressed waitresses, the flowers, the lighting, the foxed mirrors, the theatre of the plateaux of shellfish going by, the smiles at the table for which they are destined when they appear, I think that these small lunches can be a bargain.

Because it was a birthday we had champagne, so goodbye budget, and my mom unearthed a beautiful package for me, which I opened at the table. It's the kind of thing people do there, and it feels fine. Vince paid the barman $5 for the date on the retro calendar over the bar, and he promised to mail it. I've done this before for a friend's birthday, asked of a then-French waiter and now French maitre d', and it never arrived, so we'll see. I tend to trust barmen.

I had the onion soup AND the duck liver and foie gras mousse, and Vince helped with the cheese on the former, as you can see. Then we went home, and began to cook for dinner.


  1. Happy Birthday Marie! Looks like you had a grand day from start to finish!

  2. That onion soup looks perfect with its lovely strings of melty cheese. So glad you were able to spend this birthday with your mother and Vince!

  3. yum. made you a flower arrangement for your birthday, but never sure how to link up. enjoy when you have a moment.

  4. Oh, I could not think of a better thing to have on a birthday than eating that soup, drinking that champagne and sitting in that beautiful restaurant...


    Looks like you had a lovely birthday....

    Best Wishes


  5. happy birthday! very very wonderful way to spend it!
    (but what do you mean vince paid the barman for the date?)

  6. Thank you very much again - and flwjane - check your username, perhaps, as it's not linking to smallbutcharming. But I visited and the arrangement is beautiful, thank you so much :-)

    Bonbon...hmmmmm. Is that why he dressed up so nicely tonight?

  7. Oops! Between a dodgy landline, a few deadlines and a rather big birthday...I missed this one!
    Clearly, it was happy, and that's good. :)

  8. You have no idea how much I just enjoyed reading this blog post. I found your blog when I googled photos of Balthazar. I live in Memphis and my husband and I get to NYC about 2 times per year, Balthazar is ALWAYS on our list. And even though we live a ways away, I still have their reservation line programed in to my phone.
    Thanks for the post, as I could visualize these happenings and the bar calendar perfectly.


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