Ghyslain, on Market, is fancy. There were three kinds of salt on the table (including Himalayan salt, which according to Teacup’s miscellaneous bougie relatives is SO MUCH BETTER FOR YOU), and the coffee came in its own little French press. It was a lovely atmosphere, like a more refined, more FRENCH version of panera; Teacup and I were having Saturday brunch and we felt like real adults.
I’ve been told to try Ghyslain, tucked away across from Taco Punk in a little carriage house, several times, and we were in the mood for something quiet and less deep fried than usual.
This is how I know I’m not a fat kid any more: I went to Ghyslain (renowned for pasteries, cakes, chocolates and gelato) and my favorite thing was the salad. There is nothing in the world quite as amazing as a perfectly put together salad. Our food, which we ordered at the counter after seating ourselves, came our super quickly and super fresh.
People think of salad as this awful “eat it because you have to/are on a diet/watching your cholesterol” food, but if you think about it a good salad is among the finest foods ever. The crispness of fresh greens is a great texture background to showcase a fantastic combination of flavors. The roasted beet and goat cheese salad and Ghyslain was UH-MAZING. The spring greens and shaved fennel added a super crisp backdrop to the smushy roasted beets, and the strong flavor of creamy, smokey goat cheese. The carmelized pistaschios added crunch, avacado slices were buttery against the tart grapefruit segments.
Aside from the magnificent salad, we had a cup of french onion soup (not super awesome, basic) and lobster bisque, with real cream swirled through the seafood inundated depths. Teacup got the chicken salad on a croissant, and though the chicken salad was yummy it was sparse on the croissant. With a really heavily buttery, distinct taste like a croissant, there needs to be a lot of filling in a sandwich to compliment it, or it just feels like you have a mouthful of bread.
We ordered dessert because who could possible resist the lit up windows full of tiny pastries, cakes, cookies, hand made chocolates and gelato and sorbet glistening across the room like beacons of hope and diabetes. Teacup was boring and got some kind of lemon-lime gelato thing that tasted altogether too sweet for me, and I got…ZE SOLIEL LEVANT (the rising sun), a GORGEOUS, gorgeous mango pastry.
The dessert was a sweet and buttery tart shell filled with tangy custard and topped with an airy, egg yolk yellow mango mousse dome, filled with intense mango coulis. These desserts were gorgeous, little works of art, and it tasted exactly as good as it looked. Next time I decide to cheat on my diet I want to come to Ghyslain and get myself about eighteen of these pasteries, and cakes, and mousses, and delicate little chocolates filled with Chamborde, and blueberry sorbet.
Ghyslain was pricey, but worth it.