The weekend has arrived. Time for fun and relaxation.
We headed out from Salon just before noon on Saturday, facing our usual dilemma, where to eat. We considered St. Remy, as we have yet to spend any significant time there, but it’s market day, so parking would be tough, probably near Spain. We decided to leave that for Sunday, and try Sous les Micocouloirs in Eygalieres. This is an old house just steps from the main street, surrounded by a large terrace shaded by Micocouloirs trees. When the weather is sunny, as it was today, it is a nice spot to dine. We got a table and sat down to enjoy a casual lunch. The sun was mostly out, but with winds that kept a chill in the air. Our server was a pleasant young man who told us he soon would be spending three months visiting the United States, and that he was very much looking forward to it. The appetizer plate was very tasty, featuring four small dishes. I ordered the Menu Cezanne, with lobster as the plat. David went with the Menu Matisse with Scottish salmon. Both were very good, although my lobster was a bit underdone for my taste. We relaxed with our Vallongues rosé expecting, but were surprised when a filet of bull arrived. We had not noticed that my Menu was a sort of surf and turf – lobster and beef. While I was pretty full, I was able to enjoy some of it. Then dessert – lemon pie for me and a small cheese plate for David. All in all, a relaxed and enjoyable lunch.
We ran a few local errands – diesel for the car, garlic for my upcoming pasta meal, etc. – and shot some photos, then back to the mas for a light Waldorf salad dinner before turning in.
Sunday again dawned bright and windy. We headed off for St. Remy for some photos, and found it occupied with a small art fair. David dropped me off in town and headed to a nearby parking lot. When he returned, we strolled through the art displays. The art spanned a lot of ground, from traditional to abstract. After perusing the stalls, we headed up a small alleyway into the heart of old St. Remy, shooting some nice pictures as we wnt. Emerging in a small square, we spotted and headed for the local cheese shop, Monique. She imports fresh bufalo mozzarella and burrata, so we thought we’d check her out. We got some fresh burrata, along with some 30-month Comté. Surprisingly, she also had Rustichella d’Abruzzo pasta, which we get at home. It cost a pretty penny, but is one of the best pastas you can buy, so I bought some penne rigate for my upcoming Italian night.
Spotting the menu at the Bistrot de Marie, a small restaurant just up the street, we pulled up a table in the courtyard and had our first sub-par meal. The last time we ate here it was very good, but it has a reputation for being uneven, and this was definitely not a good day.
After lunch we strolled back through the village and then to the car. We headed towards Eygalieres and turned off to go to Romanin, the sailplane field near our village, and one of the oldest in France. When we arrived, there was a sailplane at the end of the grass runway, and we watched as it was hooked up to the tow rope in preparation for a take off. They do not use planes to tow the sailplanes aloft here, but instead run a long rope from the far end of the field to the sailplane. A motor then reels the rope in, pulling the plane forward and into the air. Once high enough, the pilot releases the rope, which falls back to earth, slowed by a small parachute. After a short wait, the sailplane was launched, rising very quickly due to the strong winds blowing directly down the runway. In seconds it was gone and off to glide around the area.
We headed down the road to Eygalieres and stopped in at the Cafe le Centre for a glass of wine and the warm sun.
At eight o’clock, we headed into the village for Mother’s Day dinner at la Petite Table, one of our favorites. David told me that Lucy had saved up some euro to buy her human mom dinner, and I was looking forward to it. The restaurant is run by a charming Belgian couple who have been here for some years, starting off at a very small spot with just a handful of tables just across from the Church. The restaurant is now set in a restored house near the village center. The decor is casual, but elegant, and the food has always been excellent, especially the presentation. We were greeted by the wife and seated. The menu was attractive. I ordered escargot to start and David the egg primavera. We both decided to go with the filet of sole as our plats. A string of small plates came out, all very attractive and inventive, but somehow short on taste. Unfortunately, this was a precursor of what was to come. While all of the dishes looked fabulous, they did not deliver on taste. David’s egg primavera was smothered in an onion sauce that had virtually no flavor. The sole was way underdone and virtually tasteless, and David’s had bones in it. Suffice it to say, the meal was a disappointment, especially as the folks who own the place are so nice. In any event, we had a nice Mother’s day, and enjoyed Lucy’s treat.