Thursday, May 15, 2008

718 - Mother's Day Lunch Recap

718 - 35-01 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)

718 was the place of our Mother's Day lunch. I was a bit disappointed (but knew ahead of time) that their famous brunch wouldn't be served. Nonetheless, I wanted to share it with my mom because she appreciates simple and classic French food.

The Mother's day menu was really just a regular dinner menu--fish, chicken and beef entrees and of course their signature dish, the Tarte Flambee. Although the entree dishes looked impressive, judging from our neighbor's plates, they looked much too heavy for lunch so we naturally gravitated to the Flambees. Below is a recap of our Mother/Daughter lunch.

Mami's Veggie Tarte Flambee: This flaky pie came with a beautiful medley of thinly sliced zucchini, diced portabella mushrooms and crumbled goat cheese. The combination was gentle yet also filling from the mushrooms and the cheese. I usually don't love zucchini as a topping, but this one was sliced so thin that it almost became one with the crust. Mami loved it too and she was in awe when she finished her entire serving.

Foodista's Chicken Tarte Flambee: I don't know what sort of magic 718 does with chicken, but it's damn good. Again, the presentation and the careful arrangement of ingredients was key--the chicken was sliced thin, had a lovely smokey taste and rested beneath a blanket of nutty Swiss cheese and pieces of bacon. The combination of the chicken and the bacon was wonderful, making the aftertaste oh so sweet. A green element was also incorporated on top--a mixture of leafy greens with a light house dressing. This was a nice touch that again didn't weight down the dish and unlike my mom, I had no qualms about finishing my entire portion--it was a cinch!

Crem Brulee Trio: This is my favorite dessert at 718 and I wanted my mom to experience it. You get 3 decadent flavors of sweet custard with a candy topping--chocolate, vanilla and coffee. They're embellished beautifully with a paper-thin butter cookie and a sliced strawberry--very refreshing. The great thing about this crem brulee was that despite being an indulgence, it felt light and airy. It was fun to keep reaching into the different containers of brulee and mixing the flavors together in our mouths. We also ordered cappuccino with our dessert and the pungent taste of the coffee actually enhanced the flavor of the brulee--almost like a good wine and cheese pairing, if you will.

In terms of cost, 718's lunch was pretty standard and we were thankful not to be faced with a bogus Mother's Day Prix-Fix, which happens a lot (even in Astoria). The Tarte Flambees were $11-$12 each, the dessert was $7 (as all desserts at 718 are) and the cappuccinos were about $3.50 each. I liked this place for lunch but love it more for brunch--they have a $22 prix-fix but you get a lot of food.

3 Mmmms

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