Delicacies from l’escargot

I have managed to get hold of some rarities to feature on this week’s menu, both are in high demand on the continent and at home in France: one being the spider crab and the other commonly called the shore crab, or green crab. This has taken me down memory lane.

I have only ever cooked spider crab once in Scotland; not because I didn’t want to, but because it was unavailable for obscure reasons or simply because it wasn’t fashionable. I believe they are caught and sent to big markets like Rungis in Paris, or to Barcelona, where demand for all types of seafood is very high. So, the reality is that most of the seafood caught in Scotland is sent away as it’s not consumed here.

All being well with the delivery of our spider crabs, they will be cooked on Thursday morning and dressed accordingly with a mayonnaise. It can be enjoyed as a starter or shared as a nibble along with a bottle of Touraine sauvignon blanc from our wine list. The other nibble this week is a whole St-Marcelin cheese, topped with crème fraîche and gomasio cereals; Pinot Noir will suit it perfectly as a nibble, or as a cheese course.

The green shore crabs will be cooked and served as a bisque, thickened with potatoes (meaning it’s gluten free) like Mamie used to do, to perfect it. Our classic boudin noir is also on the menu this week with caramelised apples, flambéed with Calvados. The smoked and unsmoked haddock brandade will be a treat with olive oil and fresh parsley; and the pork terrine de campagne à l’ancienne is being made with Herb Majesty pig.

North Ronaldsay mutton is back on the menu this week as a Navarin-style casserole with rosemary and thyme, served with a Merguez sausage. You will agree that the flavour is unique to the breed; a noticeably deep flavour with an extremely long length in the mouth. I love it myself and it’s a shame we can’t get it more often. The closest taste I can think of is of the Hebridean hogget we get from Jack at Ardoch Farm. Also a very distinctive flavour, and we have some coming our way in the next two weeks.

We are also making a pâté en croute as a main, using both shortcrust and puff pastries to surround chicken, rabbit and pork. Gratin Dauphinois, green salad and a sauce brune will accompany the dish.

The Aberdeen Angus brisket will be cooked very, very slowly overnight in a rich dark tomato sauce with tomato and olives until confit. And finally, the roe deer haunches that have been marinating in red wine since last Friday will be cooked twice until tender, then finished with redcurrants, blueberries, and garniture grand-mère.

The fish will most probably be hake as it is beautiful just now and will be served with a Dieppoise sauce made of mussel stock, and mushrooms.

Desserts are plenty for you to choose from. There’s duck egg crème caramel with vanilla, pear and almond tartelette, brioche and praline butter pudding, 70% chocolate petit pot with biscuits, and chocolate gluten-free nemesis with crème anglaise. You can now order extra crème anglaise if you wish, as many of you are asking on a regular basis.

We re-opened l’escargot bleu last Friday evening, the first time since December 2020, and there is something quite nice about it. The restaurant received a professional clean, and the full team were in two nights in a row to dust, brush, polish and wipe. The final touches of flowers and shiny cutlery make it a very welcoming and warm place, filled again with sparkle and happiness. A lovely change after being used as a prep room for our at home offer. We have moved all the prep areas to the downstairs shop.

Voila mes amis, c’est tout for this week.

THIS WEEK’S TAKE-AWAY

We are taking orders on Tuesday and Wednesday for collection and delivery on Friday.
The order line will be open from 10am – 1pm, then 2 – 4pm both days.
Call 0131 557 1600 to speak to Betty and Sophie!If you are having trouble getting through, please email us at lescargotbleurestaurant@gmail.com with your WHOLE order and your phone number and we’ll call you back. This email address is to place orders only and is monitored by Betty and Sophie during business hours.For all other queries, including speaking to Fred, please email us on contact@lescargotbleu.co.uk
COLLECTIONS – We invite you to collect your order from l’escargot bleu on Friday between 2 – 4pm.
DELIVERIES – Deliveries (£5) will be made on Friday between 12 – 6pm in EH1-EH12. If you live further afield please contact us to check if we can deliver to you.

View take-away menu 

L’ESCARGOT BLEU IS OPEN!
We loved seeing you back last weekend – thank you for coming.We are currently offering a blackboard ‘bistro-style’ menu that will evolve and change in response to feedback and demand. These shorter menus will place emphasis on quality and the seasons. We will carry on sourcing from around Scotland and France, always purchasing the best ingredients we can find. 
Friday 7th & 14th May
We are serving dinner only from 5 to 8pm with the last reservation time of  6.30pm.
Saturday 8th & 15th May
Lunch is served 12 to 2.30pm and dinner from 5 to 8pm with the last reservation time of  6.30pm.  These dates and times above are available until early June. As restrictions ease we will extend the hours, offer wine and alcoholic drinks, and close at the later time of 10.30pm.  Please be aware that due to restrictions, on the dates above we must close our doors at 8pm and we are unable to serve alcohol. We will perform a temperature check on all guests on arrival, and a face covering must be worn when entering/leaving or moving around the restaurant.  
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