You had me at Bijou

By: Katie Croft

The thing I look forward to most on a trip is definitely food. I like trying things I wouldn’t have had in real, non-vacation life, and Bijou provided me four separate opportunities to do just that. When we got there, we were handed very condensed menus which at first made me anxious before I decided it was for the best (because it usually takes me a long time to make a food related decision). 

I picked the mushroom escargot tart, seared trout, and lemon posset. I’d literally never had a single one of those dishes and was feeling pretty ravenous – I’d only had an on-the-go Eggo on my way to campus before our departure and a bagel with cream cheese on a pit-stop prior to the border – so it was to my delight when the chefs brought out a surprise appetizer dish and bread dish prior to our ordered appetizers. 

The first dish was a hummus and pesto spread covered with greens, zucchini, and tomatoes which were lightly tossed in an oil. There were two dollops of a goat cream/cheese and bagels covered with everything seasoning. It was seriously the best thing I’d ever tried thus far in my short 26 years. The group of us eating from the tray I was munching on didn’t let the server take it until we literally cleaned it. We even used the bread from our following course to soak up leftover oil, goat cream, pesto, and hummus. Seriously. We were that hungry, and it was just that good. 

My favorite course by far, though, was the appetizer I ordered from the menu – the mushroom escargot tart. 

Never in my life did I expect to order escargot. I remember watching some kids’ movie or TV show when I was younger that had escargot, and when I learned it was snail I resolved right then and there that I would never opt in for that experience. Well, here we are about 16 years later, and I’ve broken my promise to myself. Worth it. From here on out I will always recommend escargot to anyone willing to try it, and even those who turn their noses up. Because I definitely was in there shoes a week ago! 

By the time our main courses came out I was STUFFED! But because I’d never had trout or kimchi slaw I knew I had to give it all I had and let me tell you what…it was definitely worth the stomach pain I felt until about half way through our walk back to the hotel. 

The kimchi slaw was kind of spicy for my weak taste buds, but I powered through because getting all of the flavors in one glorious bite was almost world-shattering. I couldn’t eat much of the main course, but I know I’ll definitely be forever grateful I did my best. At one point in the meal we had mostly all decided we died on our trip to Stratford and this was actually foodie heaven. 

Last but not least was tea and dessert. 

The tea was just a treat I gave myself because I knew coffee would keep me awake way later than I should be, and I overheard them say they had earl grey…sold. They brought me a whole cute little kettle! The tea was very good, especially with a small amount of milk added. But I found that I was so full I couldn’t drink much of it and I at least wanted to try the dessert I ordered. The lemon posset was almost like a lemon pudding, and it came with a small sugar cookie on the side. I put the posset on the cookie and that kind of was the final evidence I needed that I had, indeed, crossed over to the other side. I found the motivation to eat the whole thing. Oops.

After this, I think dining out will forever be ruined because nothing will ever live up to the experiences at Bijou.