But I was still telling about our birthday adventures! We had decided that none of us wanted to spend the money to get into California Adventure on a high-demand day just so we could pay more money for a fancy lunch (although I'm sure it would have been delicious). Gaston had spent all week trying to find a restaurant that looked like it would be worth it for him and us, but he hadn't come up with anything, so we just started heading towards the coast in the hopes of finding something. At some point along the way, Alice suggested "that place with the flatbread," which apparently didn't narrow it down very much, but eventually Gaston remembered one such place that he decided to go with, so by the time we got there, we had reservations (as in, a reserved spot at the restaurant, not as in being nervous about going there).
See, Gaston and Alice wanted to make sure our birthday was special, and since we couldn't figure out how to get an appointment for the Zag Store, Gaston decided to go with the next best Miraculous-adjacent option, which was to eat at a French restaurant. (There would have been a restaurant either way, I'm sure.) He found a place called Maison, and that's where we went for lunch. When we got there, it wasn't time for our reservation yet, so we spent some time at the fish tackle place next door, because Gaston's recently gotten into fishing. It kind of looked like a craft store, with beads and thread and sparkles all over the place, but with a very different kind of hook than a crochet hook...
Anyway. Then we had lunch! It was really good! Since Miraculous has us so obsessed with France, Gaston suggested we do the French thing and order the cheese platter for appetizers. The chef there usually has three different kinds of cheeses--a cow cheese, a goat cheese, and a sheep cheese. Gaston was able to correctly classify all of them, but I can't remember which was which--only that one of them had a little more of a kick than I tend to like, another one had way more of a kick than I like, and the third was mild enough that I could eat it. We still didn't really like it, but we ate it all while Gaston and Alice ate the rest. I did like the salted almonds. (I feel really bad saying all this. I promise it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the food and everything to do with our abnormal taste buds.)
For the main course...Athena and I ordered pizza. I'm sorry! We haven't leveled up enough is the problem, although I did consider the linguine, which is what Gaston ordered. The pizza was margherita style, but we requested no tomato slices. It came with some kind of yogurt? or something? It was a creamy dairy product, and it mostly tasted like butter, but the texture was too much for us, so we handed it off to Alice, who said it was a really great addition to her beet dish. There was also a bunch of arugula, which Gaston and Alice promised we would not like, so we picked most of that off, too. Our server came by and saw us picking stuff off and was like, "Oh no, is everything okay?" And we had to assure her everything was fine, it's just our five-year-old palates, and the fact that we didn't think to request the pizza without it. (The menu warned us about herbs, and we figured a few would be fine; there were just more than we expected.)
BUT! what we did eat of the pizza was really really good. And we also ordered a croissant, because of course, and it was delicious. Gaston and Alice both loved their food, too. But the best part was the dessert! The desserts were amazing! They had six listed on the menu, and except for the one we're told us just coffee with ice cream in it (which Gaston said is a drink and not a dessert anyway), they all looked interesting to at least one member of the party, so we did what we usually do for birthday lunches and ordered one of each.
We let Gaston handle the one with fruit in it, and we shared all the others. There was a flourless chocolate cake which was so chocolaty and amazing, as well as a chocolate mousse that was oh so good. The chef did not skimp on the chocolate and was not afraid to commit, which we really appreciate--no sour cream or cream cheese here. Just good old fashioned chocolate.
There was also The Cookie, which had us all very curious about what kind of a cookie warrants being called "the" cookie. It was, in fact, a chocolate chip cookie, cooked in a little dish (like a pizookie, but with a prettier dish) and served hot with ice cream on top. We all agreed that it did deserve that "the." It was quite yummy.
That reminds me of the tableware! Very little of it matched, but that's okay, because it was all very charming porcelain. Alice got one (when we were all given little plates to put our own helpings on from the cheese platter) that had little scenes painted all around the border. Very French (we all decided, none of us really knowing that much about France).
And finally there was the butterscotch budino, which I mostly saved for last because Gaston's reaction on trying it was so great. It's like it was the best thing he'd ever eaten in his life. I used deductive reasoning to determine (and Wiktionary to confirm) that budino is the Italian word for pudding. So it was a butterscotch pudding with cream on top and caramel garnish, and it was so interesting, because it had a savory taste to it. That was brilliant on the part of the chef, because butterscotch is a flavor that tends to be too sweet, even for us sometimes. But it wasn't a sour kind of savoriness like you'd get from adding some kind of cheese--it was just pure savoriness, and it blended with the butterscotch really really well. It was a pretty amazing dessert.
Nevertheless, Athena and I still liked the chocolate ones the best. I want to go back there just so we can have some of those chocolate desserts all to ourselves, instead of having to split them four ways.
And one of the other things that makes this restaurant so great is that we told the server it was our birthday, but we didn't ask for anything special--we just ordered like it was a regular meal. But at the end, the server told us that the chocolate cake and The Cookie were on the house. We also didn't individually order the desserts--Gaston ordered all of them, so it wasn't like, "These two are for the birthday girls." The restaurant people decided that on their own, and put candles on the two dishes they put in front of Athena and me. They also happened to be the most expensive ones...except for maybe the one with fruit, come to think of it, but that one was definitely only for Gaston. So we thought it was extra nice of them to give us the most expensive desserts for our birthday.
It was a really nice restaurant with really nice service and really great food, so I would definitely recommend it!
And that's not the end of our birthday adventures, so stay tuned!
Today I'm thankful for Gaston and Alice treating us to a great lunch for our birthday, charming French restaurants, the amazing people at Maison, the not-afraid-to-commit-to-chocolate desserts, and getting to try something a little bit new and different.