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.)
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.
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:
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.