In light of our forthcoming move back to California, this month’s goals include:
1) eating out as often as possible 2) depleting the larder (both comestible and alcoholic)
We made good progress on both today.
We started our afternoon at L’Anais, a restaurant in nearby Ginestas. When we arrived at 12:30, there was more action at the zinc bar than in the dining room…..we were the first (but, by far, not the last) to arrive for lunch.
The restaurant was charming…..spacious, with a checkerboard floor, murals reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec and Renoirand beautifully set tables with cheery red tablecloths. And, being owned by a young British couple, language was no barrier…..always a plus.
Craig’s entree was “Bruschetta with cherry tomato confit, goat cheese, basil oil & pine nuts”…..warmed just enough to bring out the really bring out the rich flavors of the simple ingredients. My starter was a “Prosciutto and pear salad”…..the crunchy pears providing the perfect counterpoint to the salty ham.
For our main courses, Craig chose the braised lamb shank with whole grain mustard, mashed potatoes and creamed leeks. He assured me it was delicious. I’ll have to take his word for it…..it was gone before I could sneak a bite or two. I opted for their roasted chicken breast, mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, The chicken was cooked to perfection…..tender, moist and enveloped by a savory mushroom sauce.
The great thing about portions in France is that, although filling, they’re not so large as to dissuade you from dessert. We tried two house specialties, “Warm ginger cake with ginger ice cream and ginger sauce” and “Burnt lemon tart with orange syrup and crème fraîche.” The spicy ginger cake, mellowed by the ginger ice cream, was rich and savory….perfect for this brisk Fall day. The sweet, tangy tart was one of the best ones ever.
We ran errands after lunch…..and it was already half-past aperitif time by the time we returned to the cottage. Two very smooth and very tasty Manhattans later, empty bottles of Vermouth and Armangnac were added to the recycle bin.
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity” ~ Voltaire