Quand l'appetit va, tout va.
Upon leaving rise, a quaint French restaurant in Dallas, the hostess hands you a small piece of paper with a unique quote printed on the inside. Written in French, my quote read: "When the appetite goes, everything goes." And here I am, writing this post 5 months after my last entry. It's funny how a seemingly insignificant piece of paper, a random luck of the draw, spoke straight to the core of me.
This past week, I had random encounters with three of my lifelong loves: French food, the French language, and friends (best friends). And so my appetite kicked in to reconnect with each. This past weekend marked the third annual girls' weekend. Each fall, my closest girl friends from college get together for a long weekend. And this year we traveled to my girlfriend's hometown of Dallas, TX. The Big D was awesome! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank her boyfriend who endured sharing one bathroom with 4 women as we paraded and primped in front of the mirror for hours before going out each night.
Girls' weekend is similar to the holidays for me. You're surrounded by people you love; there's always a lot of commotion, and I indefinitely gain a few lbs from the amount of food and alcohol I consume. And so the word appetite takes on a more literal tone as it relates to how much I managed to eat and drink in one weekend. And it was all worth it. But you better believe it's gonna be soup and salads for the remainder of the week.
Of all the wonderful restaurants we sampled this past weekend in Tejas, my favorite was rise. Hedda Gioia Dowd, a Memphis native (my home girl!), is co-owner and creative genius behind this charming salon de souffle. Known for their souffles, rise specializes in both the savory and sweet versions of this classic French food. I had the ever so scrumptious raspberry souffle. French music softly plays in the background. Fresh coffee is served in a French Press. All the dishware is unique pieces of pottery. And your water for the table is contained in recycled wine bottles - great idea for the home might I add. It just doesn't get cuter than this place.
Of course rise has a cookbook (Rise to the Occasion). And, of course, I had to have it. I feel the need to make a souffle of my very own in the near future! My copy was signed by the Chef and co-owner, Cherif Brahmi. He writes: "Le bonheur est dans la cuisine..." Happiness is in the kitchen. Well said monsieur.
Keeping in theme with all things French, I had to choose a song from Edith Piaf. I love her. And if you ever have any interest in learning more about this cultural icon, I highly recommend the film "La Vie en Rose" with Marion Cotillard. Excellent. Quite a depressing life Edith lived. But it's an amazing one at that.