We decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out for dinner. We went to a new restaurant in the middle of town that is quickly becoming a favorite of ours: Entre Amis (Between Friends). We have eaten well there twice since our return in December and the last time we were there we learned that the chef was a woman – fairly uncommon in this area. In fact, Entre Amis is the only restaurant that I can think of that has a female chef.
The restaurant was offering a special Valentine’s Day menu that looked inviting. (Every time there is duck on the menu, I say the menu looks inviting.) The meal started with an “amuse bouche” of black olive tapenade on toasts. Their tapenade is very strongly garlic-flavored. I love it! The “amuse bouche” was followed by a “P’tite Pomme d’Amour” which was not an apple at all but instead a fat cherry tomato dipped in toffee and then rolled in crumbled nuts.
The Entrée was « Gravlax de Cabillaud agrémenté d’un Duo de Betterave et d’une Tuile aux herbes ». Raw cod served with tiny pickled beet tips and herb crisps. The seasoning was very delicate but savory. The herb crisps were like thin baked pesto crisps and were an attractive addition.
Question: Do you eat crisps with your fingers or with a fork? The French seem to know how to handle every food item without touching it with their fingers. – I used my fingers.
The Plat: « Magret de Canard aux saveurs Provençales et son Foie Gras accompagnés d’un Mélange Gourmand. » The main course was a duck breast with seasonings from Provence, foie gras served on a bed of couscous with vegetables. Again the flavors were perfect. The couscous was prepared with lemon zest and minced vegetables. The foie gras was warmed. (I prefer it cold.) The server said that the chef prefers to serve the duck breast “rose” (pink). It was delicious.
The dessert was: « Guimauve parfumé à la Noix de Coco et son Coeur Passion sur un Croquant de Spéculos » round marshmallows coated with coconut and served on a spice biscuit. This was a fun and light dessert.
Question: Why do the French (and the English) provide only a spoon for eating dessert? I have trouble picking things up with a spoon when a fork would work better.
The evening ended with a glass of Floraison de champagne – a tiny glass of champagne in which they had placed a litchi making for a perfumed drink to end the evening.
I had chosen a Domaine Martin 2015 Plan de Dieu red wine which is a mostly Grenache (60%) Rhone blend. It went well with the duck breast.