A lovely dish from the Vaucluse

Today I’m continuing with a theme — let’s call it “How in the world did the chef do that?” —  that I started a few days ago in the posting “Clever food in Cahors — Dish No. 1” (January 10).

That’s when I showed off an amazing entrée that I’d enjoyed for lunch at Le Marché in the town of Cahors. The entrée featured an egg yolk that had been cooked inside a seamless sphere made up of a crunchy coating, possibly including very fine breadcrumbs. Here’s a picture of my dish, with the crunchy sphere split open:

The "surprise egg" is opened.

The “surprise egg” is opened.

This prompted a comment from our friend John, who also happens to be a faithful reader of RFD: “This is similar to a dish we had in October in Vaison-la-Romaine…” he wrote. “I was intrigued, so I asked the server how it was made. I still don’t know. My French? Their secret?”

In case you’re wondering, Vaison-la-Romaine is barely on the fringes of the Greater Daglan Area. It’s in the département known as the Vaucluse, and it’s about 52 kilometres northeast of Avignon (a lovely city, by the way). That puts it a healthy 541-kilometre drive from Daglan (according to Google Maps), if you drive to Daglan from Vaison-la-Romaine via Montpellier, Narbonne and Toulouse.

John’s restaurant in Vaison-la-Romaine is called Le Bateleur, and it’s listed in my copy of Le Guide Michelin 2013 on hotels and restaurants (although the restaurant hasn’t earned a star).

As John described the egg dish he was served, he said the enclosed “soft-boiled egg” was sitting in a heavy cream sauce, decorated liberally with edible flower petals. It’s quite lovely, so have a look:

That's a covered egg yolk in the centre of the dish.

That’s a covered egg yolk in the centre of the dish.

Obviously the people at Le Bateleur put a lot of artistry and effort into their food. However, they could be paying a bit more attention to other aspects of the business. When I visited the website, I found the restaurant’s name at the bottom of each page, along with the address and phone numbers. Unfortunately, they spelled the name of their own restaurant wrong — as Restaurant le Baleteur. (Hey — it’s what editors are for.)

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