Monday, October 25, 2004

"L'Etoile Me" Revisited

by Tom Bozzo

Thinking of "Super Size Me," longtime readers may recall that this blog started off with a link to Jeremy Freese's pitch for a film in which he would eat at L'Etoile, our premier fine dining establishment, exclusively for a month.(1) I averred that this sounded good to me, but that I wasn't sure that my mid-thirties constitution was up to it.

Having seen what happened to Spurlock, and contemplating our (sadly, too rare) recent visits to L'Etoile, I'll update my previous post to say that I am more optimistic than I was in August that the exercise needn't lead to a health disaster.

1. Portion control has been quite good of late. By that, I mean that three courses plus the amuses bouches has left me feeling Just Right. The one meal I've had there that fell short of being special failed mainly in that we were provided so much food in the early courses that we couldn't contemplate dessert. (For possibly interested reader[s], this was early in Eric Rupert's tenure. Rupert is now corporate chef at Sub-Zero.)

2. The L'Etoile dinner menu provides a semblance of a balanced diet. Note the presence of green vegetables, including the superior Brussels sprouts afforded by the south central Wisconsin climate, and the absence of ingredients resulting from industrial production.(2) Certainly, the L'Etoile diet includes a bit more of the foie gras group, and (not explicit in the menu) the butter group than an ideally balanced diet. On the plus side, the wine pairings may help counteract the deleterious effects of the fats.

3. As for the other meals, I favor a savory and sweet pastry combination for breakfast. The soups and salads at lunch would appear to be no worse for me than the sandwiches I usually tote to the office. (And Farmer John's provolone raises healthy babies. Scroll down for photographic evidence.)


(1) If the bakery/cafe counts, it's possible to take all three meals there Tuesday through Saturday. Presumably, the cost of a workaround for Sunday and Monday would be a small fraction of the film's production cost.

(2) A DVD extra interview with Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser points out that even the natural-looking stuff at McDonald's actually is heavily processed.
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