Sunday, May 11, 2014 — The Artist Show, St. Remy

Sunday was a cool but beautiful day. We have been fortunate weather-wise, as last year it was quite cold with a lot of rain and wind. So far we have had mostly sunshine this year.

We originally planned to go to the market in l’Isle sur la Sorgue, but St. Remy has been advertising an art show for Sunday, so we decided to go.

We headed over about 10:30, figuring that – as usual when there’s a show in St. Remy – we’d be parking just east of Madrid, but the town was not terribly crowded. David dropped me off near the church and drove off looking for a space. I perused some of the art and was duly unimpressed. It was pretty weak, and most of the booths were crammed with tag-sale type merchandise.

David strolled up the boulevard and we popped into “Le Marilyn,” a new restaurant that has opened where Alain Assaud had been located for years. Assaud always got high marks for his food, but every time we tried to go, he was closed. Le Marilyn is chic and hip, grey stone walls with black and red accents, black furniture, and a very austere look. We made reservations for 1 pm and headed out into the town to explore. It’s only been a year, but we were surprised at the number of changes. Olivades and Souleiado, the two fabric stores, are both gone. Our favorite butcher’s shop is now a shoe store. The major wine shop now sells pizza. And on and on.

I was trying to find some nice cloth napkins for the house, but could find nothing. We were pleased that the patisserie that makes Darren’s favorite pastry, le tigre (I call them chocolate bombes) was still there and making them. The smiling proprietor sold us the last two and we stowed them away…breakfast tomorrow.

We made a quick foray into the parking lot in hopes of finding something of interest in the stalls there, but without success. As we had 45 minutes before lunch at Le Marilyn we grabbed a table at one of the cafés facing the church. It was fun to watch the kids riding on the little merry-go-round that’s always part of fetes in St. Remy. One, in particular, would shriek with laughter each time the flying saucer he was riding in went up or down. Ah, to be young.

We glanced down the street to see that our new friends from Miami were strolling up it towards us. They waved and joined us at our table for some conversation and catching up on their day in Aix-en-Provence. After stories, laughs, and promises to get together back home, they left and we headed toward Le Marilyn.

We were greeted with a smile and presented with the menu and wine list. Both were adequate, but not exciting, a precursor of what was to come. I started off with a cod tarte and David the asparagus. Both were nicely done, but just lacked life. For my main course I had a veal roulade with gnocchi, while David opted for a scallop brochette on a bed of mashed potatoes. Again, they weren’t bad, just dull in both flavor and presentation. Too bad, as we had been hoping to discover another good spot in St. Remy.

After lunch we strolled a bit more, hoping to find some intriguing art, but had no luck, so headed back to the car and home to Eygalières. As the alimentation was open, we pulled in to replenish our wine supply with two bottles of Terres Blanches. Then back to the mas.

We were looking forward to roasting a chicken, Provençal style, so I got to work. The bird was typical French, lean with most the meat in the thighs rather than the breast. I stuffed it with herbs, lemon, and onion, put it in a roasting tray with carrots, celery, and onions, then sliced up some potatoes and added them in. Some good olive oil, salt, and pepper, into the oven, and in due course the house was filled with wonderful aromas.

While the chicken cooked, we had a glass of rosé and a few slices of Comté cheese on the terrace. Then, we took the bird out, let it sit for a bit. David carved it and we enjoyed a simple, but wonderful feast. There is something about these basic but pure ingredients that lets the flavors come through.

As much as we have enjoyed dining out, we both enjoyed  this simple dinner immensely.

Tomorrow we hope to visit the Dentelles and the wine village of Gigondas.



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