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The New York Times. She ate that steak tartare like a caveman. I glibly thought, ‘There’s the feminist movement right there.’ But after three days talking about feminism with her, I decided, ‘She’s right.’” Brasserie’s tuna tartare is molded into a cylinder, studded with capers, and topped with a layer of chopped chives (“a buzz cut,” as Paul put it.) “You’re looking at it and wondering, ‘How is this going to taste?’” he said, “but it’s good, really fresh.” As for the cocktail fruits de mer, a cold spicy mix of lobster, octopus, shrimp, oysters, clams and avocado in a chipotle and cilantro-infused tomato sauce, Paul simply called it “the perfect lunch dish.” Crepes can be disappointing because they sometimes obscure their main ingredients with heavy sauces, becoming “mayonnaise-y,” as Paul described it. In Brasserie’s local shrimp and crab crepe, though, he said, “the seafood really comes out.” To be honest, “comes out” was one of several verbs we tested. In retrospect, I’m not sure it does the job. “Transport?” Paul asked. “Convey?” Food writing is a tasty job, but tricky. Dessert arrived. Brasserie calls them “minis” because they are tiny confections — chocolate peanut butter pie, New York cheesecake with blueberry compote, crème brulee, to name a few — served with miniature spoons in what looked like shot glasses. Paul took a bite of the carrot cake version and ruminated for a moment. “Now,” he finally said, “we’ve gotten into the profane.” Homes of Hope recently launched a new Web-based fundraising site,, which serves as a template for individuals wanting to raise money in their own creative ways. He also published an e-book, MicroSaving the World, which offers simple instructions for successful fundraising. For now, Paul returns to India once a year to visit Homes of Hope’s sites and check on the construction of new orphanages. “To do something like this is more fun than anything,” he told me. “What do you really need at my age? You need a reason to get up in the morning and to say, ‘This matters and I’m gonna go for it.’ What else would I have done? Sit at the beach? Shoot me!” b For more information on Homes of Hope, visit Brasserie du Soleil can be found at Dana Sachs’ latest novel, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, is available at bookstores throughout Wilmington.

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November 2013 Salt  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2013 Salt  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington