We should have started with dessert! Vatel International Hospitality School
Imagine being told that you can sample as many desserts as you would like after you've already eaten three courses of delicious food. Do you:
a) Say "thank you", but I've had more than enough.
b) Ask for a small serving of fresh fruit.
c) Remember that you're celebrating the upcoming one year anniversary of your blog and throw caution to the wind.
d) Wish that doggie bags were a common practice in France.
While I managed to show a bit of restraint, Stéphane requested four items and charmed the young pastry chefs at the Vatel International Hospitality School by telling them that we should have started with dessert!
With hindsight, Stéphane had a better strategy than I did on Tuesday evening because he opted for the Menu Vatel for 35 euros, while I went with the more expensive Menu Grand Vatel at 47 Euros. As dessert is clearly the main event, I'll know better next time.
In between courses, Stéphane and I enjoyed talking with the students from Italy, Mauritius and France about their reasons for attending Vatel. Naturally, he couldn't resist asking why they chose a French hospitality school over a Swiss one, while I wanted to know if they're required to learn English. All of the students agreed that at one third the price of Swiss hotel schools, Vatel was the better option for them. In response to my question about language training, they explained that all second year students are required to do an internship in an English speaking country.
Highly attentive, the students were quick to notice as soon as a glass needed to be refilled or a plate removed, even if one of them had difficulty remembering the name of the next course and another wrestled with the wine bottle while trying to open it. Knowing that the servers are learning the trade is part of the charm of dining at Vatel. Fortunately, they didn't make the mistake of trying to remove our dessert plates until after we had finished every last crumb!
Thank you, Stéphane, for selecting the perfect place to celebrate and for organizing the entire evening.
Vatel International Hospitality School (Open for lunch and dinner)
122 rue Nollet
Reserve at: 01 42 26 26 60
Please click on any of the photos that you would like to enlarge. Stephane's meal is on the right and mine is on the left. It's shown in reverse order because we didn't really start with dessert!
I would've been in your exact shoes and ordered the more expensive meal. I also have a hard time turning down the cheese plate which I think is my biggest downfall when it comes to saving room for dessert!ReplyDelete
Turning down the cheese plate is something that is nearly impossible to do in France. The waiters always give me the funniest looks of disbelief when I don't follow the norm - like not taking coffee after my meal. Come to think of it, It's the same look that they give me when I ask for ketchup for my french fries! ;)Delete
This looks so good! Great to see photos and wow those desserts! I might even go for more than one ;) Thanks again for the reco of this spot in the 17th.. I'll have to bring Sir L.ReplyDelete
I have a feeling that you would have liked Stephane's starter - it was different colored carrots with dates, goat cheese and tuiles. It was very healthy and light.Delete
Those look incredible---they're making me hungry for dessert at 7 am! :)ReplyDelete
You would have loved the dessert selection, Bridget. My favorite was the orange polenta cake with saffron cream. It was incredibly light and the combination of flavors was perfect.Delete
Looks sooooo good and interesting to hear the student comments!ReplyDelete
Good on ya and happy almost-one year anniversary to a great blog(ger)!!!!
Thanks, Carolyn - almost one year of blogging feels like a significant achievement!Delete
Talking with the students and hearing about their plans for the future was one of the best parts of the evening - that and seeing their obvious pride when the dessert trays were rolled out.
I'd go with option c!! Throw caution to the wind and enjoy a special occasion! Here an early Happy Blogaversary to you and Out and About in Paris! how great does it feel to come full circle? Congratulations. : )ReplyDelete
Oh and that cheese plate looks absolutely incredible. Yumsville...
As they say, Ella - Great minds think alike! ;) Thanks for the early Blogaversary wishes. I'm hesitant to say how it feels until I make it to April 1. I don't want to jinx anything! When your blog turns one, we need to take our toddler blogs out for a celebration!Delete
And the cheese was absolutely amazing. I thought that my menu included cheese or dessert and was surprised to get both. Surprised but happy!
oh for heaven's sake, MK.... I'm salivating over my keyboard and I had asparagus with a delicious dip with tons of herbs and garlic, a Swiss purée de pommes de terre (mashed patatoes) for dinner... :) your cruelty knows no limits! :)ReplyDelete
happy anniversary - good girl!
this really looks absolutely delicious - will have to keep that address nearby for a future visit.
have a good weekend! bisous, kiki
Thanks, Kiki! Sorry that you were salivating over your keyboard. If it's any consolation, I'm now craving asparagus with herb and garlic dip. It sounds delicious!Delete
I hope that your week gets off to a good start. At least the sun's still shining in Paris. xx
Ah, nice. I often go to the French Culinary Institute for lunch when I'm in NYC and go to a Cordon Bleu school here in Chicago too when I think of it. They both offer lunch and dinner service, the FCI offering the better food generally. Of course I love watching service at both places and have lots to say about it. The thing that made me laugh about this post is the idea of Swiss hospitality--I think of Swiss reserve before I think of Swiss hospitality--no insult intended as I love reserve, restraint and grace. Anyway--give me the cheese!ReplyDelete
I can imagine that it would be interesting for you to observe the service. Knowing that the students are in training, Stephane and I found that it was almost like having dinner & a show. We studied the crumb removal technique of a student who was working on her master's degree and agreed that she didn't use the right flicking motion.Delete
As for Swiss hospitality, I agree that it most definitely lacks the warmth of other places. SInce we used to live near the epicenter of Swiss hospitality schools, including the world's "best" in Lausanne, and know quite a few current students, we were curious as to the differences in curriculum, job placement, internships, etc. I hope to have lunch at the school in Lausanne in the near future. I'll let you know how it goes.