Friday, May 23, 2008
Long French Dinner the first
We have had our first real Long French Dinner, thanks to two very kind gentlemen from the museum where I lectured on Thursday night. They took us to a famous cafe near the Clichy metro stop, which, judging from the historical menus on the walls, has been open since the early 1900s. We were a bit taken aback at first opening the menus, as the specialite de la maison appeared to be oysters; but in fact there was a very nice "carte" (a wonderful idea - choice of entree, main course, and dessert for a set price - almost every cafe and restaurant has one). The entree we chose was poached leeks in vinaigrette over salad, with smoked salmon, and the main dish for me was a faintly Algerian roasted chicken on a skewer with dried apricots and a mustard sauce, and couscous. Himself had the steak frites. How French was it? He also had cheese for dessert. This involved choosing pieces of cheese from a gigantic tray presented by the waiter. He chose aged chevre, Roquefort, and a mild, soft-ripened piece that our hosts called "grandmother cheese." They chose the fourth for him, because, as they said, it was important that he should try some "manly cheese." I wasn't allowed to have any.