Today was our last day with Steven, and through the ACM budget we were treated to dinner at Le Pain Quotídien, an international restaurant chain but originally a restaurant group founded in Brussels in 1990 by Alain Coumont. The dinner was actually more of a light meal, since a lot of the items on the menu were at least half of the budget we were each given. We had a budget of £15.00 per head, so I decided to skip the wine and order a dessert with my main course.
For starters we were given . I decided to order a Tartine, one of the restaurant’s signature Belgian open-faced sandwiches on organic wheat bread. I chose the Prosciutto & Mozzarella di Bufala with sundried tomatoes and basil oil. The dish cost £9.90 so I still had £5.10 left for my meal budget. The dish was delicious, and I really appreciated the fresh slices of sweet melon that accompanied it.
The others did not just stick to open-faced sandwiches. For example, Cassia and Julia had the organic soup of the day, which ended up being Minestrone. One of the most beautifully-colored dishes of the day was the Roasted vegetables with Mozzarella di Bufala, beetroot hummus and basil oil Tartine, worth £9.20 and pictured below. The bowl of roasted vegetables was definitely one of the runner-ups.
Savitri had been to a Le Pain Quotídien before, so she knew to order Noisella Belgian Hazelnut spread. This jar of delicious hazelnut goodness puts Nutella to shame, BY FAR. I was so tempted to sneak out the jar (since it was half-finished by the end of the meal), but I didn’t really have a bag or pocket large enough…also, it would have been really obvious to have it missing.
For dessert I decided to try the Chocolate Bomb Slice, worth £4.60 – meaning I had £0.50 left to go to anyone whose food orders went over budget. The slice of cake was delicious – fluffy spongey goodness topped with twice the amount of chocolate mousse! I LOVE chocolate mousse so I was tempted to order another one – just of the mousse – but unfortunately that would definitely be over budget.
Other desserts ordered from my side of the table were a delicious looking Pavlova topped with berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and cream, worth £4.80; and a Tarte Tatin with cream, also worth £4.80. The Tarte was like apple pie x 100, and it went amazingly well with the cream, though I personally would have preferred vanilla ice cream.
Cassia and Julia decided to try a hot ‘dessert’ and went for a beverage – specifically, the “Belgian Style” Hot Chocolate, worth £3.00. It was definitely worth the money, since the drink came in a large cup. The hot milk was separated from the melted Belgian chocolate, so the girls were actually able to mix the chocolate in for themselves. I was lucky enough to have a sip, and if I had a spoon to scoop out the extra chocolate from the container, I would have!
Overall, the dinner was light but scrumptious, and though I know I’ll have to buy a snack or some other munchies after the theatre performance (hopefully not during intermission), I was glad to have a meal at Le Pain Quotídien.