Friday, May 27, 2011

Pistachio bread pudding @ Cafe Chloe, San Diego

Pistachio bread pudding
After our pre-lunch stop at Tacos El Gordo, we went to Cafe Chloe in downtown San Diego for a late lunch.  Cafe Chloe is a small French wine bar and cafe.  The European decor, wall-length windows and open doors leading to the sidewalk patio seating really reminded me of a cafe in Paris.  Even at 2pm this place was still bustling with patrons, some having a late lunch like us and others chatting it up with glasses of wine.  Cafe Chloe serves up an afternoon "urban tea" in addition to breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  Menu items that caught my interest included the savory custard, dungeness crab cake tartine, brie and herb omelette, and croque madame.  Mimosas scattered the tables and certainly seemed like a hit item, especially since the cafe offers four varieties - pomegranate, orange, lavender-lemon and asian pear sorbet mimosas.  We ordered 3 dishes and a dessert to share family-style: steak and frites, poached eggs, whole wheat pancakes and pistachio bread pudding.  The bread pudding was definitely the star of the meal and it was actually the first item that we devoured when all the food came out.  Topped with espresso caramel and vanilla ice cream, the bread pudding was moist and dotted with texture from the pistachios.  We had a corner slice so the top edges were nicely caramelized with a slight crunch.  The caramel sauce had a hint of espresso and was not overly sweet.  The vanilla ice cream (possibly homemade?) paired well with the warm bread pudding in texture, temperature and taste.  
Steak and frites
Poached eggs
Whole wheat pancakes

The steak and frites came out with a good portion of medium-rare cooked flank steak atop a mound of frites with a small side salad.  The steak was very well-seasoned and seared, especially flavorful with the pat of port butter served on top.  The poached eggs came atop a slice of french bread with wild mushrooms and sage-truffle beurre blanc, served with a small salad and asparagus spears .  The eggs were poached perfectly and the wild mushrooms were fresh and delicious.  The whole wheat pancakes were covered with tart cherry syrup and served with applewood smoked bacon.  The bacon was cooked to a nice crispness.  The pancakes were tasty, but on the thinner side and we should have asked for the syrup on the side.  The pancakes in the middle of the plate were soaked in syrup yet there wasn't enough syrup to spread to the outer portions of the plate.  All of our orders were good but the pistachio bread pudding was the most memorable.  I'll be having more of that dessert to accompany some mimosas next time. :)

721 Ninth Ave #1
San Diego, CA 92101

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