A Birthday In Provence
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.
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
some deliciously salty almonds, olives, and chorizo madeleines, then
each a bite-sized veal canneloni. This is the dish Shel was still talking about on the way home. For entrées we had
a potimarron soup poured at the table over shrimp and potimarron quenelles and with the shrimpiest-tasting shrimp I’ve had in years, and
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:
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
Roasted lamb with a lamb confit parmentier, and
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.
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
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.
where we watched the moonrise from our table, before 4:00 in the afternoon.
As luck would have it, we weren’t done eating. The mignardises that came with the coffee
were almost more than we could manage, but not quite. On the way back to the car we lingered by the fountain
and stopped for a birthday kiss by the dovecote.
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.