3.16.2009

l'epicerie

sel I am absolutely head over heels sometimes, and I am not too prone to falling. But perhaps more accurately, I adore so many delicious things; and then I fall in love. And luckily for me, and all Calgarians (but I am being completely selfish at the moment), l'Epicerie caters to my every whim. Yes, yes, Jeff's too. I have to admit that when I moved back to Calgary, from New Haven three years ago, I was constantly saddened by the lack of variety and quality of food. Never mind the incredibly cold weather in April, but there weren't even tomatoes that ever tasted like tomatoes, even in the summer. It was sad. I didn't even realize that living in New Haven, I became absolutely spoiled rotten. I finally feel that Calgary's world of food is starting to keep pace with the number of people who live here, over one million. I dare say that these are one million well-informed, and likely well-traveled citizens. So some change is inevitable. Now I can feel as though I can go to France, through the world of food. Not the world of high-end Michelin France, but the simpler stuff. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the food and groceries of l'Epicerie are unrefined, but of a slightly more rustic feel. Slight. l'Epicerie is the brainchild, and darling baby of Dominque Moussu, the former executive-chef at Calgary's esteemed Teatro. He owns and operates it absolutely lovingly. The shop is quite cute, with all kinds of rare and unusual products, like green apple paste (I still don't know what I want to do with this!), fine sea salts, and products for the French-food connoisseur. But mostly I go to l'Epicerie for the food. The prepared foods. Accurately renamed the salivation department, and I just can't help it. Dominique is always giving a little bite of this, and a little bite of that. And soon Jeff and I are taking the entire store for dinner, with a scrumptious macaron for dessert. Foie gras terrine? Yes. Cheese terrine? Yes. Cornichons? Definitely. And so it goes. l'epicerie displays The main shelves of the adorably addictive shop. l'epicerie shelves Then one day, Jeff and I went for more than just shopping; but for lunch too. Or perhaps it was a snack. On the side of the plate was this gorgeous butter lettuce, with my favourite barral olives. It also had shockingly good olive oil, and a little bit of sea salt. Then there were my favourite little cornichons..... l'epicerie salad But this, as they say is the pièce de résistance. Le croque-monsieur. And it puts all others to shame. It is so ridiculously rich, sweet, salty, buttery, and then the cycle starts again. And again. Until, it is all over. Then I count down the days until the next beautiful sandwiche comes my way again. The outside of the sandwich is crispy and toasty. The bread hints of butter, but most noticeable is the bubbly cheese. But really, the goal is to get to the middle, to the absolute best bite. The middle of the sandwich is irresistible, where you can truly discover how the sweetness of the ham pairs with the creamiest mornay sauce. Oh how it lingers. my croque monsieur On another day, the salade came with this rich, flakey, and fantastically flavourful onion tart. l'epicerie onion tart I can't help but to love the chalkboard with the list of sandwiches. Jeff has even had the willpower to have sandwiches other than the croque. Although, I seriously do not know how! The sandwiches Jeff has ordered were all top-notch; it was very honourable of him to sacrifice himself in the name of food...especially since I have difficulty sharing the croque-monsieur. There are soups too, which I have yet to try. Although, knowing the ingredients from the sandwiches from our purchases for home; they all have to be good. But I am in love with the croque-monsieur; it is perfection in every bite. le sandwich Another shot of the display cases, where Dominique will ply unsuspecting customers with the most delicious foods imagineable. deliceux Haven't been to l'Epicerie yet? What are you waiting for?! l'Epicerie 1325 1 Street SE Calgary, AB T2G 5L1 (403) 514-0555 (sandwiched between Manuel Latruwe, and Bernard Callebaut)

15 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

What a lovely place!!

Jessie said...

what a great place! I wonder if there's a place here in nyc similar to this one.

The Hungry Mouse said...

Oh my goodness! This looks just divine! Wish I weren't so very far away! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

+Jessie

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

So lucky Gail you've France very near... lovely place :)

healthydelicious said...

ooh, I wish we had a place liek this!

Dietitian for Hire said...

looks lovely and what a write up they should be paying u!! he he

The Other Tiger said...

Wow, looks really delicious!

dlishfoods said...

Looks so adorable, I want to visit! There is definitely no places like that in St Louis, MO! :\

Cheryl A said...

I love it there. And he treat my Monster with such generosity - sneaking her treats like olives, those cornichons, and sweets. And I finally found Puy lentils there.

Andrea said...

I think I need to go there! Thanks for the info Gail!

The cooking Mostafas said...

What gorgeous food - I love the interestingly shaped cornichon and the sandwich - to die for !!!
I am going the next time I am in town :)

Kevin Kossowan said...

Oh, I've been. I share your enthusiasm for the products they carry. My only critique is that it's not for the faint-of-pocketbook!

gail said...

Kevin - true... but I sort of look at it as a place for a very special treat....and I guess I ummmm try to justify spending a little here and there on food - as I do not excessively drink, or smoke at all...or have a daily coffee habit... that probably doesn't sound the way I mean it to.... my apologies... Everyone has their thing, and occasionally I have a little to spend on food. I'm not buying everything in the store every week though!!

I do think the croque monsieur is a pretty delicious value.

are you gonna eat that? said...

Thank you soooo much for finally convincing to visit L'Epicerie. Went this morning and am still swooning... That Dominique is quite the charmer...

Max mickle said...

Wow!! croque monsieur sandwich.....they are just delicious. they are looking great and I am sure that they taste great too. The Photos are amazing... I am already feeling hungry.thank you for shearing your post.

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