There has been precious little blog-posting lately, because there has been precious lots of sweltering going on.
We are now stuck in the longest heat wave that my wife Jan and I can remember since we moved to Daglan. On our top floor, where I work away at my computer, the thermometer on our digitally-equipped fan was showing 28 degrees Celsius, which amounts to 82 Fahrenheit, when I started writing this. As I finish this post, it’s at 30.
But surely I can stay calm and cool enough to write a few words on a favourite topic — lunch. Let’s begin with a visit to the outlet of Fabrice le Chef, which started off simply as a shop selling meats, cheeses, local specialties and a number of prepared foods. But now Chef is offering actual meals, both lunches and dinners, on the patio next to the shop. (This is very easy to find, by the way, if you’re new to Daglan. It’s across the street from our post office, and just steps from the Mairie, or mayor’s office.)
Here’s Jan getting settled at our table, where we had lunch a few days ago:
As you may have figured from the sign behind Jan, Chef is selling lunches, including a dessert and a glass of wine, for 12.50 euros. The lunch is easy, pleasant, and tasty, and comprises a fair amount of food — as you’ll see in the photo of my lunch platter below.
Clockwise from the bottom right, there’s a delicious paté, slices of cold roast pork, a baked potato (okay — a “jacket potato” for English readers), a salad, a small container of panna cotta with fruit syrup for dessert (okay — “pudding”), some cold roast beef, and a basket of bread.
We haven’t had dinner there yet, but friends who have tried it say the food — and the choice — is quite good. So, it’s worth a try.
And speaking of “worth a try,” a few Sundays ago we thought we would again try Daglan’s Le Petit Paris. We hadn’t eaten there in some months, as we hadn’t been thrilled with some previous experiences. For example, in “Two hits and a miss: Lunch at LPP,” which I posted on August 9, 2014, I pointed out that our considerably overcooked and therefore dried-out salmon was garnished with (wait for it) chunks of raw white onion. Ugh.
Still, we had heard from various friends that Chef had pulled up his culinary socks, so to speak, and so we headed to the restaurant’s terrace. Here I am (in the red shirt at the centre of the photo), starting proceedings with a glass of Champagne, which was served nicely chilled, with no onion chunks in sight.
For our plat principal, both Jan and I ordered the lamb dish that various friends had praised. The lamb had been slow-cooked in a rich sauce, then shredded and rolled into a sort of sausage, and served on a bed of potato. It really was delicious.
But what’s with the bits of lettuce and other greens strewn around the plate? I’m in full agreement with our friend Judith, who (a) would prefer some actual vegetables and (b) thinks the lettuce is not really all that attractive as a garnish. Had the lamb been accompanied by a few spears of grilled asparagus, or a few roasted baby carrots, the dish would have been a real winner.
And so, tasty as it was, it wasn’t enough to make us want to rush back. Yes, the overall meal was “fine.” As in, “quite good.” But in the past, it seems we could expect more.