For me, escargot conjures up that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts accidentally sends a snail shell flying in a fancy restaurant. Only to be saved by a quick acting and smooth waiter. Fear not—escargot, with its French pronunciation and utensils need not be intimidating. It’s a dish worth overlooking the stigma as being unapproachable, unappetizing. In fact, these delicious, delectable little creatures become bites of heaven when paired with a properly-made garlic sauce.
So how do these shells transform into a cult like obsession (well, in France anyways)?
First, don’t go foraging with for local snails in your backyard. The process of preparing edible snails is quite lengthy. They are sent to their version of a day spa, being purged of any toxins through a fasting period that involves constant washing with running water. In fact, if they are fed dill during their diet, they’ll acquire that flavor, making them a sort of taste chameleon.
Once purged, prepped and cleaned for a week, they’re boiled in water, prepared and served in the shells. Often you’ll find versions with garlic butter, chicken stock, and a rich sauce. And to maximize your escargot experience, yours will be served with its very own tongs and miniature fork.
The best part of escargot? Soaking up the leftover garlicky, unctuous butter sauce with a slice of crusty baguette. C’est Magnifique.
Where to embark on your own escargot adventure in Miami:
- Le Boudoir Brickell 186 SE 12 Ter, Miami (305) 372-2333
- Café Bastille 248 SE 1st St Miami (786) 425-3575
- A La Folie Café 516 Espanola Way Miami Beach (305) 538-4484