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Sunday, May 24, 2009

i am back from france, well rested though with a slight cold. highlights of the trip were many: lots of cooking, some drinking, beach-time, finishing infinite jest, paris by night and a pretty splendid meal at coutanceau. i will perhaps say some more on cooking and drinking in posts to come, but for now i will content myself with some details of coutanceau.

we had some pineau which, apparently, they have bottled for the house and was a nice mix of oak, grapey fruit and tooth shattering sweetness. with this were a few tasty barsnacks, mostly served skewered on pipettes and a crunchy bit of monkfish (sans pipette). with the starters, the game was well and truly up'ed. i had some perfect massive and tasty langoustines on tartare of oysters and some sweet olive oil ice cream. my main course of poulette was boned, rolled and stuffed with preserved lemon and offal and served with asparagus. the jus gras with this dish alone was a marvel. devoted readers will have seen my own efforts at this sauce, but this was celestial gravy. good desserts and sweeties followed but none reached the same peaks.

we had a bottle of saint peray with the meal which was so wildly reduced on opening i thought something was wrong with it but which became a real treat as it opened up.


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