Schatze, must have missed the post about your mother being unwell - glad she is doing better.
We went last night to the first of a monthly series of wine dinners at La Provence. This may have been one of the best meals of my life.
We started with three baked oysters, with a garlicky bread crumb topping and a smoky glazy sauce underneath, served on the shells. Second app that appeared was a lump crab timbale (beautiful crab in a light delicate mouse, in the shape of a shot glass) sitting on lobster nantua. It was incredibly good, and I thought it had to go downhill from there. But no! Next course was wild boar smoked ham (essentially kind of intense prosciutto), topped with a couple of fingerling potatoes and fennel - the flavour blend was astonishing. The two wines with the first courses were whites, so I was not too interested.
Then: a salad of arugula topped with shavings of foie gras, port wine vinaigrette on the arugula and a dollop of satsuma compote on the side. The combination of the rich foie gras with the bitter satsuma was breathtaking. With this course, finally a red - a nice but not overwhelming Domaine Terres du Solence Rouge Cuvee.
And then: navarin of lamb (rich, dark, gravy, lamb chunks intense flavour), served with garlic truffle frites (oh my God, amazing) and an asparagus flan. The wine with this was outstanding - a Zavier Vignon Rouge Gigondas 2000 - I must try to find some.
Last course, a roasted pear, sliced and fanned on the plate and accompanied by almond creme fraiche and lemon grass coulis. Dessert wine was a Muscat - pretty good, actually, but these are not my favourites.
Next month's will feature champagnes. We intend to hit every one of these dinners. It was $70/person - tax, tip and wines included - a bargain for a meal of this quality. Wow.
We could make up a forum table for one of them if anyone is interested.