This posting revisits Café Jules, a French-style Bistro on St Marks Place in Manhattan. It was a time when I relished the Wednesday walk across the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan and up Elizabeth Street to St. Marks and Café Jules.

 

Arriving after 1400 hours insured that the lunch rush was over and the staff and kitchen cooks could relax between services. Chef Laurent and I met a few years earlier at one of the other restaurants run by Jack and George (another story).

 

After a year or so my weekly visits became opportunities for Chef to try out something new. Ah, those were fine afternoons spent enjoying good food, conversation and in this case… beer.

 

Take a few minutes and join me in my reverie… It was a soft spring afternoon…

 

“Chef Laurent had a special on the menu that gave both the famous French cheese and popular French beer a chance to show off at their best.

 

The salad, posted on the menu as a “Half baked Camembert on Frisée” was to be my first course, as I like to do things backwards. (It would have made a fine desert as well.)

 

The baked Camembert was placed on the Frisée and dressed with diced apples and candied walnuts. It was as simple as that.

 

The traditional choice of a Cote du Rhone red wine was thought of but the flavors of the Jenlain Ambrée were even more tempting.

 

The rich creamy cheese had a slightly nutty flavor. Enhanced by the candied walnuts, the pallet-cleansing crisp apples and slightly peppery Frisée, the malty beverage (with hints of pear, prune and hop tang) complemented rather than overpowered the salad.

Not a half-baked concept at all eh?

 

N.B. – After a minimal amount of research to insure my spelling was correct and the accents properly placed, the following two items remain in my files for further research…

 

“No doubt the full truth about the invention of Camembert will never be known. The most important invention was that of the cylindrical box by Monsieur Ridel in 1890. Before this, Camembert was sold in a wrapping of straw and spoiled if shipped further than Paris.  The box made possible shipment over long distances. Thanks to Monsieur Ridel, Marseilles and Bayonne discovered Camembert and so did New York, Buenos Aires and Saigon.”

The Complete Encyclopedia of French Cheese by Pierre Androuet

 

I found the following information on the Jenlain web-site… also needing further research…

 

“Created in 1922… With 7.5% alcohol by volume, this unpasteurized beer is made with 3 different types of malt produced from French barley, and 3 varieties of hops grown in Alsace. It is roasted malt that gives the beer its attractive amber glow and great aroma.””