A Birthday In Provence

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Food Porn Alert: the food pictured in this post was even more delicious than it looks and is likely to induce lust and envy in viewers.  Your viewing discretion is advised.

Today was Shel’s birthday.  When I asked him what he wanted to do he said “go for a drive in the country and have a nice lunch somewhere.”  Okay, we can do that!

I took him to Les Baux de Provence, to a wonderful restaurant.

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We had the menu du jour, on which there were two choices for each course.  Naturally we had one of each, so we could taste everything.  But before the actual courses, they brought us

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some deliciously salty almonds, olives, and chorizo madeleines, then

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each a bite-sized veal canneloni.  This is the dish Shel was still talking about on the way home.  For entrées we had

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a potimarron soup poured at the table over shrimp and potimarron quenelles and with the shrimpiest-tasting shrimp I’ve had in years, and

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salmon with tiny vegetables, crunchy toasts, and avocado mousseline.

Then there was a fish course.  Mine looked and tasted like the sea had washed right over the table:

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dorade and incredibly briny clams with fennel shavings and a ginger foam.  Shel’s cabillaud with an eggplant confit and polenta was astounding, although a technical error on my part caused the picture to make it look like the cod was still swimming under ten feet of water, so I’ll spare you a seasick moment.

Then onto the meat course

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Roasted lamb with a lamb confit parmentier, and

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pork cheeks caramelized with honey and salsify chips.  That’s the dish I’m still dreaming of.  We went easy on the cheese course, saving room for dessert.

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Probably the most perfect Roquefort I’ve ever had, and an ash-covered chevre.

Shel’s birthday dessert is pictured up top, an apple soufflé, apple mousse, and apple french toast.  I had

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a millefeuille with lemon thyme mousse and the very first, just a bit too soon, fraises de bois and

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a fromage blanc ice cream marbled with red fruit and topped with candied lemon.

Being, as you might imagine, rather full, we decided to have a coffee out on the terrace.

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where we watched the moonrise from our table, before 4:00 in the afternoon.

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As luck would have it, we weren’t done eating.  The mignardises that came with the coffee

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were almost more than we could manage, but not quite.  On the way back to the car we lingered by the fountain

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and stopped for a birthday kiss by the dovecote.

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If you have a birthday coming up, and you know you do, ask to be taken to lunch at La Cabro d’Or.  Trust me on this.

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15 Comments on “A Birthday In Provence”

  1. Malarkey Says:

    What a fabulous looking meal, and what a fabulous looking venue.

    Happy Birthday to Shel, and many more!

  2. Wendy Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel!!

    That restaurant looks wonderful!

  3. Jan Says:

    Looks like a perfect birthday celebration!

    Joyeux anniversaire, Shel!

  4. Heinz Says:

    Have been in Les Baux years ago and had made plans to visit this restaurant. But unfortunately it was closed for holidays. Now I see what I’ve really missed. It looks like you both enjoyed this wonderful birthday meal very much.
    Belated happy birthday to Shel and all the Best.

  5. John and Kathy Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel. I know your year will be filled with many more happy memories of delicious dishes and stolen kisses. We love you. K & J

  6. Michel Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel!

    What a way to celebrate!

  7. Mikki Says:

    What a Happy Birthday indeed. Your pictures were exquisite. Thank you for sharing Shel’s beautiful birthday lunch.

  8. Klary Says:

    what a fantastic meal and gorgeous pictures! Belated Happy Birthday Shel! That appledessert looks like it was created just for you!

  9. Debra Lane Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel – I can’t imagine a more perfect day! Abra – you really need to turn this into a book at the end of your year. Deb

  10. Jeanne Says:

    Happy birthday to you… and what a way to celebrate! The bar is indeed high for YOUR birthday celebration, Abra! :) A great way to start the “new” year, enjoy it!

  11. katherine wienen-van den brink Says:

    happy birthday shel. What a way to spent the day !

  12. Jamie Lee Says:

    Happy birthday, Shel. We met once, I was so awestruck by your gentlemanly ways! :) Abra is indeed a lucky “femme”!

    Your B-Day repast looks divine. Good luck for many more!

  13. Lauren Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel!

  14. Pat Says:

    Oh I wish I had been there! Happy birthday to Shel. Abra your photos just get more and more spectacular. Happy New Year to you both. Love, Pat

  15. Ray Says:

    thank you Abra…c’est SI bon…SI magnifique.


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