Sunshine and (lunch) satisfaction

Another weekend, another chance to leave my room at the La Roseraie physiotherapy centre and head home. Not surprisingly, some yummy food was on the agenda, including a lunch at Daglan’s Le Petit Paris.

Late Friday afternoon, my wife Jan and our friend Suzanne drove to the clinic in Montfaucon to spring me. Back home, several chilled bottles of Champagne and some wonderful nibblies — from skewers of basil, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes to spicy shrimp — awaited. Suzanne’s husband Mark joined us, and the Champagne managed to disappear as the evening went on.

For Saturday, Jan and I had planned a quiet day and a favourite lunch of mine —  a nice helping of cassoulet (the great southwest French classic of white beans and a variety of meats). Jan had bought the dish at the shop of Fabrice le Chef in Daglan, and I have to say that his cassoulet was wonderful: smoky-flavoured beans, delicious sausage, fall-off-the-bone duck confit.

Sunday’s forecast was for rain, but as the morning rolled along, it became obvious that we were in for a lovely, sunny afternoon. In other words, a great time to enjoy lunch on the patio of Le Petit Paris, with friends Joanne and Chris and their two bright children.

Initially, the surprisingly good weather turned out to be a problem: the restaurant had (quite rightly) set up the reserved tables (including ours, for six people) inside, but then most people (including us) decided to eat lunch on the terrace. This led to a lot of shuffling of tables and slow-as-molasses delivery of apéritifs, but eventually things settled down nicely, we ordered our food, and went on to enjoy a long, sunny lunch.

Several of us started with the house-smoked salmon, and really enjoyed it, in part because it was a rather chunky piece of fish instead of the thin slices we had been expecting. Here’s my serving, with a bit of oyster flesh draped over the top and a nice slaw next to it. (The wedge of lettuce looked out of place, and I never touched it.)

An interesting approach to smoked salmon.

An interesting approach to smoked salmon.

For the entrées, we shared a couple of bottles of a favourite Chardonnay (unoaked) and then had a bottle of red Sancerre with our main courses. Most of us had ordered either duck or this Le Petit Paris classic — slow-cooked beef, somewhat like a pot roast, with a nice slice of seared foie gras perched on top.

A really tender piece of slow-cooked beef, complete with foie gras.

A really tender piece of slow-cooked beef, complete with foie gras.

For dessert, I had ordered one of the specials, and was glad that I had. It consisted of fresh strawberries pressed together, with a topping of whipped mascarpone and gin (!), and then a great selection of red fruit. Beside the fruit concoction was a small cake, coated in pistachios. Wonderful, refreshing, and very tasty. Here it is:

Red fruits gave the real punch to this dessert.

Red fruits gave the real punch to this dessert.

Upon reaching our home, I decided that it might be time for a short nap before we had to drive back here to the clinic in Montfaucon, for what I hope will be my last week of in-house physiotherapy. And it turned out that the nap was just the thing.

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8 Responses to Sunshine and (lunch) satisfaction

  1. Sam et Jill says:

    Mon Dieu! Two bottles of Champagne (chilled) followed by apéritifs (slow as molasses) and then two bottles of Chardonnay (unoaked) then a bottle of Sancerre (red) topped off with Gin.

    Respectfully Monsieur Chudy we posit that the clinic you need to check yourself back into is Betty Ford, not Montfaucon. Glad your appetite is back!

  2. loren24250 says:

    Well, don’t forget that I was sharing.

  3. so pleased everything is going well for you. I cant wait for my visit to Richard and Rose in June, and possibly enjoying the wonderful cuisine . hope the rest of your recovery goes well, best wishes Rosemary Stuckey snr.

  4. loren24250 says:

    I have no doubt you’ll enjoy the cuisine! Look forward to meeting you!

  5. Paul says:

    Loren,

    I’m glad to hear you are progressing with your therapy. I’m just so surprised that you were kept so long in the hospital. In the US you are whisked off to in-house therapy at a clinic or home soon after the anesthesia wears off if your vitals are near normal. Therapy is important; I’m sure you will continue your exercises when you return home. Hoping you will be back on your bike soon.

    I feel awful now after reading the description of your Sunday lunch at Le Petit Paris. We had reservations but I woke Sunday morning with chills and my stomach feeling awful. I waited until 11:30 before deciding I would not be up for lunch before calling to cancel. I not only missed a wonderful lunch on a splendid afternoon but also a chance to say hello to you.

    The day after I felt well, but it rained all day long. We went to Perigueux in hope the rain would let up. It didn’t but we at least found a tiny Restaurant/Salon de Tea for lunch, Au Temps de Vivre. It was quite good. Monday would have been a much better day to feel ill and lay about reading “Bruno, Chief of Police”.

    As for Bruno, we went to Le Bugue Saturday. We had just parked and hadn’t got out of the car and HE came strolling down the street. HE stopped to kiss every lady HE passed on both cheeks stopping occasionally at the cars that didn’t have the blue time display placard on their dash to leave a note. I know you said that you think that Tremolat was the model for St. Denis but perhaps Le Bugue might be it, or partially it. The description of the history of the market in the book and the real market history are close. The size of Tremolat as I recall is much smaller; we will see it tomorrow when we go to Le Vieux Logis for lunch. We also saw a bike shop in Le Bugue as mentioned owned by one of the characters in the book. That plus seeing THE REAL LIVE Bruno behaving as he is described in the book has us NEARLY convinced Le Bugue is St. Denis, until tomorrow.

    We leave the GDA Friday after nearly 2 weeks. And have enjoyed our stay in your play-ground very much. Our only let down was when I didn’t feel well enough to go to Le Petit Paris. It looks as we may try to fit in lunch there on Thursday. Amongst packing to move on to Pezenas we will go to the Martegoute store for some supplies to take to the Langedoc. If we time it right we will be in Daglan near 11 to check the vide grenier then have lunch.

    Thank you so much for the information you supplied via your blog, answering my questions and recommending the Bruno book series. We hope your life returns to the normal you want.

    Sincerely,

    Mary Belle & Paul

  6. loren24250 says:

    What a lovely message — and I’m so glad that you enjoyed your stay in the GDA. All best wishes for a continued great vacaton, and thanks for your insights on Bruno! (I”ve just started “Black Diamond” on my Kindle Fire — it’s about Bruno’s investigation of criminal activities in the truffle market of the Périgord!)

  7. Alix says:

    So happy to have you “back in the saddle” Loren ….enjoyed your recent posts enormously !
    Alix

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