yaaasss… i was all over their cheeses. all still fresh on my mind from france in the fall.
It had been a while since we last visited Chef Laurent Quenioux, and it’s good to see he’s running his Bistro LQ Pop-Up every weekend now.
His Pop-Up Bistro LQ is held at his own personal home, dining in a beautiful, relaxing backyard (covered), with an eclectic soundtrack playing (anything from cool tribal to trip-hop and calming electronic jazz).
A pic of his garden where he grows much of what is later cooked up.
Bread Lounge Bread, Carre des Huiles Olive Oil:
Excellent Olive Oil. The Bread Lounge Bread was a touch stale though.
Moulard Duck Prosciutto (Housemade) | Chervil & Sorrel “Vichyssoise” | While Asparagus Spring Roll | Live Maine Diver Scallops | Apricot Lane Farms Nectarines Ceviche | Pickled Nasturtium Berries:
While billed as “6 Courses” the first course is an example of some of the generosity and creativity Chef Laurent has in store with each visit. This could easily be 3 courses in a Tasting Menu, but they are combined into 1.
The Housemade Duck Prosciutto stuffed with the White Asparagus Spring Roll was delicious. The Duck was meaty, a touch chewy (but not in a bad way, just with a lot of substance) and the White Asparagus was fantastic.
But the highlight was the Live Maine Diver Scallops: They were so fresh and bright! And the Nectarine Ceviche showed off the creativity and awareness of seasonal ingredients.
The Chervil & Sorrel Vichyssoise was herbal, creamy, but not heavy.
Soft Shell Crab | Confit Pork Belly | XO Glaze | Miso Fava Beans Emulsion | Chimichurri:
@PorkyBelly they serve a whole Soft Shell Crab here. Imagine perfectly fried (so light, not greasy), crunchy Soft Shell Crab, topped with Pork Belly Confit so you get that luscious unctuous quality with a Homemade “XO Glaze” which is lightly briny and matches the Soft Shell Crab flavors. But then you get a bit of the Fava Beans in a Miso Emulsion and a Homemade Chimichurri Sauce that is so addictive and wonderful.
Highlight of the evening!
Dover Sole | Black Sesame Nage | Corn & Squid Buchujeon | Spring Onions | Basil | Homemade Morcilla:
This was a bit all over the place. The Dover Sole itself was delicate and light, and perfectly cooked. But there was too little of it (in pieces). The Corn & Squid Buchujeon was a bit too dense (like a savory Corn Cake), just a touch, and it felt like it overpowered the Dover Sole. By itself, it was fine.
The Homemade Morcilla was delicious. I don’t normally like Black Pudding / Boudin Noir / Morcilla, but Chef Laurent’s version was quite light and delicate. He could serve just the Homemade Morcilla by itself as one dish, and Dover Sole as another dish and be better for it.
Escargot Petit Gris & Oxtail Ramen Style Noodles | Oxtail Broth | Porcini | Chanterelles | Herb Infused Quail Egg | Young Turnips | Chard from the Garden | Poached Foie Gras:
This was an interesting take on a cross-culture interpretation of Ramen. First, the Oxtail Broth was cooked over 7 hours, repeatedly removing fat and sediment from the Broth (Chef Laurent applying Consomme technique to Oxtail Soup). The result is a stunning, fantastic Oxtail Broth that is so clear and clean tasting (like a Consomme), but still having a nice beefy, crave-worthy taste from Oxtail. It was delicious!
The Mushrooms and Escargot were fine as well, providing some textural contrast and providing some interesting flavor variation.
But the flaw was the Ramen Noodles. It’s a cute idea, but the Ramen Noodles were a bit overcooked, and the whole dish combined was just different. Not bad, not great, but different. But give me a bowl of the Oxtail “Consomme” any day. It was so good!
Iberico De Bellota Loin | Rocoto Crepe | Black Garlic Emulsion | Heirloom Squash from our Garden Confit with Anchovies | Eggplant, Sweet Peppers from our Garden | Apricot Lane Farms Ronde de Nice:
This was a beautiful dish. Where you might normally think the meat might be the star, here, Chef Laurent shows off his versatility and skills: The Heirloom Squash Confit with Anchovies was stunning! Perfectly cooked, tender, but still having some toothsome qualities, it was refreshing, lightly briny and arguably the best part of the dish.
But that Iberico De Bellota Loin was pretty stellar as well: Perfectly cooked, juicy, tender, satisfying. Fantastic Pork Loin from Spain.
(Supplemental Course) Cheese Cart:
And it was time for Chef Laurent’s famous Non-Pasteurized Cheeses from France. As a supplemental course, you can choose however many of these magnificent Cheeses that you want, with this being our 2nd time trying this, I can see why @J_L and many others have praised this Cheese Cart. The Cheeses just taste better (having not been pasteurized): They are livelier, funkier and just more interesting.
Chef Laurent just received an “extra special” Époisses from France, and WOW! You could smell the funk as he was rolling out the cart! This was on Durian-level biohazard invasion of your olfactory senses. I tried a bit of this and have to say this moved very close to the Pure Evil level of Natto.
Chef Laurent picked some beautiful Cheeses for me. My favorite was a Corsican Sheep’s Milk Cheese that was so interesting, fragrant, gamy, but creamy and light!
Be sure to ask for some of the Truffle Honey, made with real Black Truffles (not the synthetic Truffle Oil badness). It’s insanely aromatic and really accentuates some of the cheeses.
Dessert: Violette Blanc-Manger | Apricot “Flora Gold,” Timut Peppercorn, Galabe Sugar | “Tropic Snow” Peach Sorbet | Meringue | Almond Sable:
The combined flavors were great: The Violette Blanc-Manger’s creaminess, which matched well with the Peach Sorbet along with the Apricot and even the hint of the Peppercorns was brilliant.
Service was excellent, given that it’s just 1 seating per night, the servers are focused only on 1 communal table and just the diners that evening. Drinks refilled, plates cleared and new settings placed in a timely manner. At $65 for a 6 Course Tasting Menu (and it’s more courses than that usually (see above)), we left totally stuffed (even without the Cheese Cart); it remains a nice value given the price.
The Bistro LQ Pop-Up remains a fun, relaxing way to spend a dinner experiencing the creativity from an excellent classically-trained French Chef. What makes Chef Laurent Quenioux’s offering standout is the constantly changing menu, his exploration into other cultures’ cuisine and the great Cheese Cart (which also changes every time we’ve been).
Bistro LQ Pop-Up - “Ma Maison”
(See website for reservation times & dates):
That looks like a lovely meal. I go through your reports and photos the whole time I’m thinking I want this, and that, and that.
The cheese cart sounds amazing. He stores that all at his house? Did you try the Époisses? I wonder if I could go and have only the supplemental cheese course…
Thanks. It’s a fun time, and relaxing. If there’s something you crave, you can also email Chef Laurent and ask if he might be adding it on any upcoming menu (e.g., Duck Confit or Foie Gras, etc.).
Yah, he stores the cheeses at his house, it’s where he’s primarily prepping all his food at these days, even for catering gigs.
Yes, that Époisses was “special” . In all seriousness, it was very funky, really interesting but POTENT!
I think a friend of a friend of mine had emailed Chef Laurent to only show up for Cheese & Desserts and she was able to go, but this was last year? I’m not sure if the policy has changed or not, but you might email and ask about a more limited course, or just desserts, etc.
Époisses is so good. I’m craving to go back there soon with my girl. Really curious what license is allowing for him to do this at home.
Also, I think you need to have the whole dinner.
The servings of cheese are pretty small, so even if you could go for just the cheese you would want to eat beforehand. But the cheeses are so potent (that Epoisses was an incredible flavor bomb and perfectly ripe) that it doesn’t take much to satisfy the senses.
There’s no cheese until the fall. Also the cheese is just dessert.
What do you mean, there’s no cheese until the fall? Do you mean, à la carte cheese course?
I was wrong, LQ clarified, he said US raw cheese program resumes in the fall but the French one continues.
Poached Eggs Meurette in Red wine | Lardons | wild Mushrooms
This was sort of an Escoffier version of an Egg McMuffin. Great sauce.
A simple salad of “mache “ (Lamb Lettuce) | Poached Leeks | Gribiche Dressing | Bone Marrow | Fried Shallots
Must not have pushed the button for this photo. Leeks vinaigrette is my favorite starter for cassoulet.
The cassoulet to include tarbais beans, duck leg confit, “homemade saucisse de toulouse”, “homemade saucisson a l’ail”, Confit pork Belly, lamb shoulder baked for seven hours
So good. I liked the bean to meat ratio.
Selection of 20 to 30 non pasteurized cheeses imported from France
3 cheeses - $12 / 5 cheeses - $20 / 7 cheeses - $28
I ordered seven cheeses, five of them Époisses. That made the chef laugh.
Back when he used to include the cheese carts in the tasting menus, the cheeses were basically AYCE.
That might still be the usual policy, but he said the Thursday group ate so much that he was worried he’d have too little for tonight.
Looks delicious. Hope you had a good time.
It was fun. I wish I could go to next week’s truffle dinner.
This was posted on Eater today. Next event is on Friday, August 10th at Michel Richard. The menu looks great.
i dont get it… wouldn’t you rather just go to LQ itself?
Yah, Chef Laurent’s literal home cooking (since you’re served at his house, in the beautiful patio area) is very welcome. If I had to guess, maybe with the Summer heat, dining that way (right around 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) might still be too hot to be comfortable? (No A/C outdoors.)
i think he moves it indoors? i still need to take my girl there.