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.


mamacita said...

Maybe the no cheese for the lady explains why French women are alleged to never be fat?

SEB said...

Oh, they let me have cheese, all right; it was the "manly cheese" that was reserved for himself. No, French women eat cheese. There is a book called French Women Don't Get Fat which is supposed to have all the secrets, though (with recipes!) and I am thinking of trying to find it.