Le Jardin

Le Jardin
841 42nd St.
Des Moines, IA 50312

So for my late birthday celebration, last night we went to Le Jardin. We would've gone Monday night, but they are only open Wednesday through Saturday. So when we went it, the biggest change since the last time that I had been at La Mie was that they were building a bigger kitchen on the other side of the restaurant. The restaurant is now sharing the space. La Mie gets breakfast and lunch and Le Jardin gets dinner. Probably a good business decision.

We were immediately seated in a booth, and went over the menu. We decided to split a cheese plate, get an appertizer, entree and dessert. We both shared a small plate of apples, a french cheddar cheese, and walnuts. I had a potato gnocchi in a spicy duck broth, seared duck breast and pound cake with strawberry rhubarb sauce and whipped cream, and Shannon had polenta fries, seared sea scallops, and a coffee infused pot du creme. I also had a nice bottle of gewurztraminer wine from the Alsace region of France (it was imported by a place in Wes Des Moines, which I found odd, since I've never heard of an importer from Iowa).

The cheese combined with the apples and walnuts made for a wonderful combination of flavors in the mouth. Even without the walnuts (since Shannon is not a fan of nuts in general), the two flavors together really complement each other. The cheddar wasn't the best I've had...but it was certainly up there...

The funny thing about the polenta fries is that I tried to make them just the week before...but I didn't think the polenta wasn't getting thick enough to actually cut into pieces to fry... I'll have to try it again. But it was very good. The duck broth in the gnocchi was fantastic. Along with the rest of it it made for wonderful dish. My boss did tell me that it's probably some of the best gnocchi that he's had (which means a lot).

Shannon's sea scallops were wonderfully done. tasting good. My duck was quite something. Seared with a nice edge to it, while remaining tender on the inside. It had this honey based glaze on it which was very nice. I've never really had duck with something that sweet before, but it was a really wonderful combination.

For dessert, Shannon had the coffee infused pot du creme. This was very good...the coffee flavor wasn't overpowering, which is good, since Shannon is not a fan of coffee (bitter). My pound cake...I gotta say that the strawberry rhubarb sauce good...maybe even better then my grandmother's. I don't say this lightly..but my grandmother is the best non-professional cook that I've ever had the pleasure of eating their food, and in all honesty, she is better then a lot of professionally cooked food that I've had. So of the best memories of my childhood involve eating things that she had prepared. This stawberry rhubarb was thicker and certainly tart, but it was wonderful. With the whipped cream and pound cake...wonderful. It was so good that I actually tried to call my dad to tell him about it (he wasn't actually home).

I made a point to complement Tag Grandgeorge on the way out.

I left there, felling full (but not stuffed), pleasantly intoxicated and very happy.