Thursday — September 15, 2106 — Molleges Offers up a Tiny Gem, and a New Café in Town

Are things greener?

The night was filled with torrential rains and even some lightning, and – by dawn – the pools of water were being soaked up by the foliage. As we drove over to the clinic at Salon we noticed that the rains had seemed to wash the dust off the trees and bushes. The apple and pear orchards which seemed so dismal just a day ago now appeared clean and robust. By the time we headed back at 11:30, the grass by the side of the road had become green in spots.

The forecast is for more showers on Friday, so we’re hoping that we’ve brought some drought relief.

As we took our usual route home, through Senas with its near-constant flower festival, up the tree-shaded route from Senas to Orgon, and then on to the tiny Gare de Molleges with the wine shop that is always closed, we entered into our usual debate: Home for a bit and then do something for lunch, or just go to lunch directly, hoping that the fellow diners don’t notice the gobs of tape on my access. Patrick had told us of a new place in Molleges that he very much likes, and I thought I remembered seeing it in the past, so maybe try it? While very small and somewhat nondescript, Molleges is home to one of our favorite dining spots, Mas du Capoun, run by a delightful Belgian family that have become friends over the years. We plan to go there with Anne and Jay when they arrive, but why not try a new spot, expand our dining horizons.

The skies were blue, dappled with clouds, and with a gentle breeze – perfect for dining on a terrace, and – as we pulled up to Chez Ju, that’s exactly what we found. David parked the C5 and we strolled down the street. The host spotted us coming and came towards us, a big smile on his face. Two for lunch?” he said, apparently clued in to our nationality by the clothes that screamed ” We are Americans!” David tried to speak with him in French, but he quickly told us he wanted to practice his English.

We were seated on the small shaded terrace and had the menu explained to us: appetizer of goat cheese crostini followed by tagliatelle with veal, then a peach melba for dessert, all for 15 Euro (19 if you want a glass of wine, coffee, and water.) Or, you could choose to dine a la carte from a nice menu on the chalkboard. We ordered our kirs and made our decisions while a wonderful DVD of U.S. oldies from the 50s and 60s played. Little Anthony and the Imperials, Percy Sledge, and other legends took turns filling the air with great tunes. David went with the menu. I went a la carte with a ravioli starter and then cod. For wine we opted for a Domaine Valdition rosé.

The terrace quickly filled. The breezes and sun made the afternoon delightful. In due course we were having coffee and then strolling down the street to the car and the short ride home. Chez Ju was a delight; good food, nice setting, and friendly people. We will add it to our list of places to go to and recommend.

As we noted, Café du Centre has developed a clientele that isn’t really our cup of tea, so we decided to try one of the other cafés in our tiny village. There are three, so had two other choices, the Café le Progress where we’ve eaten before, and the more trendy Café de la Place. Being somewhat trendy ourselves, we decided to try the latter. David took off for the little wine shop we like to stock up for Anne & Jay’s arrival while I grabbed a table. The wine was good and reasonably priced, nine euro for a carafe of white or rosé. The only drawbacks seem to be the high volume of traffic that drives by, as it is at the roundabout for the main street, and the fact that the crowd is heavily Brit. There is a big Brit contingent in Eygalieres who bought houses here. There is a certain superior tinge to their attitudes. It isn’t their country, but they treat it like it is with a condescending attitude towards the locals and France in general. We wonder if they realize that the Empire is gone and – with Brexit – their role in the EU will be further diminished. Ah well, enough Anglophobia. If we lived in Britain, we’d want to escape, too.

David returned with two bottles of Chateau Romanin rosé and two bottles of Tavel rosé, which he never fails to remind me come from the only Rhone village that makes only rosé wines. Oh well, they’re excellent and it’s a small price to pay. We finished up our wine, said “God save the Queen and Camilla,” to the nearby Brits, and headed home.

 

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