By Peter Grant
When 2020 began, Mélanie and Xavier Delcourt had good reason to believe that they had finally achieved their dream of running a successful Park Slope restaurant.
After a rave review in the New York Times, Le Succulent, a bistro on Fifth Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets, was packed with diners. “People would come and stand in line outside because we didn’t have enough space,” said Ms. Delcourt, a native of Cameroon who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and specializes in the fusion of French and West African cooking.
Of course the pandemic changed everything. Like most Park Slope restaurants, Le Succulent is struggling to survive with takeout and sidewalk tables. “Covid came in and shot me down,” she said.
French toast is one of Le Succulent’s Saturday and Sunday brunch specialties. Ms. Delcourt makes two types of brioche, one with butter and the other with olive oil, and says she prefers to make French toast using the olive oil brioche.
Le Succulent serves French toast with a homemade compote. Diners often add syrup or confectioners sugar. Ms. Delcourt said it was a favorite of her and Xavier’s four children when they were growing up. “Everything is house-made and handmade,” she said.
The following makes about four to six pieces depending on bread size.
- 2.8 cups Whole milk
- 3 Eggs
- 1 ¾ ounces Cane sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla bean
- ⅛ teaspoon Cinnamon
Mix the milk, eggs and sugar, leave to infuse in the refrigerator for two hours.
After two hours, add the remaining ingredients, mix well.
Put the brioche in the mixture until the liquid is absorbed.
Place it in a frying pan with a little butter over low heat until the brioche is golden brown, cooking for 3 minutes on each side.
Serve with 1 fried egg and whipped cream.