Doing the little things well

It’s fair to say that the most exciting thing in the culinary world is probably not the salad (French: salade) (American slang: rabbit food) (Dutch: grüneleefensmitstüffenferkonijnen). And I’m not writing to claim that the salad I had with lunch today at Au Bureau, in Sarlat, was the best salad ever.

But I do love it when businesses of any type do the little things well.

Today’s salad was the first of a three-part menu du jour. After the salad came a creditable cassoulet, a large pot of nicely cooked, creamy white beans with a duck leg (confit, of course) and a sausage. And for dessert, a light-as-air slice of tiramisu. Total price for all three dishes was 13.5 euros — an excellent price for such an attractive restaurant.

Now the kitchen could have thrown together some leaves of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a few slivers of carrot, and called it a salad suitable for a 13.5-euro menu du jour. Instead, what they created was an Italian-style salad, with a bed of fresh lettuce leaves, some tips of asparagus, several slices of artichoke, a few olives, some thin slices of prosciutto, and a few pieces of marinated octopus, dressed with a nice balasamic vinaigrette. This is called doing the little things well, and here it is:

Italian-style salad

A tidy little plate of Italian-style salad.

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