Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dining in France: What Restaurant Should We Try Next?

Add to Google Reader or Homepage“Well, I can no longer say that I’ve never had a bad meal in France! “

This was Ellen’s pronouncement as we left a small vegetarian restaurant – and she was right: the vegetables were over-cooked and without the advantage of herbs, the cauliflower sauce was gummy, the pasta was bland and there was nothing memorable about the food or the presentation. I could have sucked on old tennis shoes with more flavor. It made me think of the contrast of how wonderful were the vegetarian meals we had in Cairo over the Christmas holidays where they know how to use spices and herbs to enhance flavors.

Our friend Cindy pointed out that no one in the restaurant was overweight – an observation that was easy to comprehend because no one would have wanted to  “clean the plate.” It was a waste of time to have spent a meal there but we had walked out to the “lunch only” restaurant called “Auberge de la Brocante” and it was “complet” (sold out). Since we passed the veggie restaurant on our way back, I agreed that we stop there when Ellen said she had always wondered how the food there was so we decided to try it. . . It turned out to be a BIG mistake--BIG. We all agreed on that. (My bad!)

In contrast to this disappointing experience, we went to La Lyriste  in Vaison la Romaine for Ellen’s birthday and chef Benoit created another menu that was superb. After amuses bouches of hummus and olive tapenade, we had an entrée of his foie gras with salade frisée and a crème brulée . The main dish was salmon with sesame seeds en brochette and shredded fennel in an orange sauce. Cheeses came from the Vaison cheese shop – the best of which was the Reblochon. Dessert was a parfait of pear mousse, chocolate mousse and a final layer of pear mousse and pear chunks.

Happy birthday, Ellen.


  1. Bonjour à vous et Bon anniversaire Ellen!

    Next year when you make it to France, you must come over in autumn, it looks beautiFUL and we'll go to the "Courbet" in Ornans (my favourite, locally speaking!)

    Tomorrow will be very special in our place as the French President is visitng a lycée (the only one specializing in watch-making + a firm re-located and a come-back from China!)

    Useless to say that all roads will be blocked!
    and quite a lot of students, lycéens and teachers+ workers will be on the road ... the helicopter will probably be looking naggingly...

    Well, I will tell you more about it and the press will mention it - You may find the latest developments on Est Républicain

    Bon anniversaire Ellen, if the number feels "heavy" just remove one of the numbers, it should work alright!

    Take great care!


  2. I really mean THE FRENCH PRESIDENT in person

    soit un millier d'agents de la sécurité