Restaurants throughout France, as in so many other countries, are closed these days, as governments try to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. And much as my wife Jan and I enjoy restaurants in the Greater Daglan Area, we think the closures make a lot of sense. A necessary evil, if you will.
Some restaurants, however, are offering a special service by providing food to take out. And because of a phone call from our friend Rosemary, my wife Jan learned that Daglan’s own lovely restaurant Le Petit Paris is one of those. In fact, the restaurant is posting its daily dishes on a sign board in front. No entrées; only main courses (one per day); and a couple of desserts. Main dishes only 11 euros.
So on Tuesday evening, Jan and I decided we would try the main dish for Wednesday — lamb curry — and she phoned the restaurant, speaking directly with Madame Guilbot (Martine), the charming hostess (and wife of chef Sylvain), who knows us quite well. When Jan reminded her that the food should not contain any wheat flour (because Jan is allergic to gluten), Martine said that of course the chef knew all about it. Pick-up time was set for 12:30.
At precisely 12:30 on Wednesday, Jan headed out for the short walk to the restaurant — only to find that Madame Guilbot was walking down the street towards our house, carrying our lunch. Such service! I was in the kitchen at the time, and I could hear the two women chatting in the street below, and could tell that Madame Guilbot was apologizing for something, though I couldn’t hear the details. In any case, Jan came into our house in a few minutes, bearing a number of serving containers.
To kick off, here’s a look at my plate of lamb curry with rice, which I thought was well cooked and nicely flavoured, although perhaps not as spicy as the Indian food that Jan makes (quite often, actually):
As it turned out, there had been a mistake, and Madame Guilbot was most apologetic. It seems that Chef had forgotten about the no-wheat-flour request, and had indeed used some flour as a thickener in the sauce. So, what to do? Well, the restaurant not only offered Jan her own lunch — a slow-cooked piece of beef in a rich and dark, gluten-free sauce — but provided us with another lamb curry at no charge (which I had for lunch today). Here’s Jan’s beef and rice dish:
When Jan learned that she was having beef for lunch, instead of curry, she changed cutting implements and brought out one of our steak knives. As it turned out, the normal table knife was just fine, because the meat was so tender it virtually fell apart.
Now, for your interest, here’s a look at Le Petit Paris’s menu for the week, as it’s currently set out:
And if you’re new to Daglan, here’s a look at the front of the restaurant, in a photo I took this morning while out for a walk:
We’re pretty fortunate to have such a restaurant in our little village. Since 2005, Le Petit Paris has been listed in the red Michelin guide as a bib gourmand eatery, with two fourchettes (forks).
We have no doubt that we’ll be choosing from the restaurant again. In fact, I was pushing for tomorrow or Saturday. But Jan says it will be early next week, and so I’m pretty confident that’s what we will agree upon.