minutia press.

To celebrate the success of Wash U's role in the DARPA PCES program, James, Morgan, and Ed Pla (of Boeing) and I drove out to Malmaison this past Thursday for dinner.

The restaurant is in St Albans, which is about a 40-minute drive from campus. I usually describe the restaurant as country French, meaning that the portions are generous, the sauces flow like wine, and the prices are not as steep as you would expect at some 5-star haute cuisine French restaurant.

We split a set of appetizers, which included two mushroon dishes (one in a pastry shell, the other a portobello mushroon in an amazing sauche) and a generous slab of pate. We had various salads and soups. It was a slight setback that the restaurant had not prepared the duck gumbo that day, saying that it wasn't all that popular, when in fact 3 out of 4 of us had ordered it. But the french onion soup was incredible: a thick stock replete with onions and baked in the oven with just the right amount of cheese on top.

For our main courses, we ordered the ribeye, pork tenderloin, duck, and specialty of the evening (a roasted chicken with sauce). Reports on each dish were highly favorable. My ribeye was so generous that I could not begin to finish it, and saved the rest for dinner the next night. Desserts were splendid, and the wine was quite good too.

While Malmaison is quite a drive, sometimes you want the feeling of getting away, and this place really fits the bill. The food is amazing, and I can't wait to go back. Actually I waited about 10 years since the last time I was there, but I'll get back there sooner I hope.