I’ll admit that I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a “blueberry pancake souffle,” except that I really enjoy a good blueberry pancake, and I have nothing against souffles. I also appreciate the idea of something different, so yesterday I ordered the dish pictured above, which is offered on the new breakfast menu at French Blue in St. Helena. In terms of its presentation, this “pancake” is as much a clafouti as it is a souffle, but being chock full of plump blueberries, this lighter-than-normal flapjack requires only the slightest drizzle of rhubarb maple syrup, which speaks strongly in its favor. Pancakes can often be laborious to eat, even for me, but the delicate interior of this “pancake souffle” provides an apt and addictive vehicle for blueberries, without being overly filling. Meanwhile, the Staub cast-iron baking dish, while charming as a piece of serving-ware, also ensures that the pancake remains warm, right until the very end. Bonus.
French Blue’s “fairly large” pecan cinnamon roll was another menu item that sounded interesting in print, and if you twist my arm — or even if you don’t — I’m pretty much a push-over for pastries. On a strict scale, this “fairly large” cinnamon roll is not as large as the standard doughnut shop cinnamon roll, of which I have eaten many, but the cream cheese frosting, tinged ever so slightly with orange, sets this roll apart by virtue of pedigree. Perfect for sharing, or for taking home.