Another gorgeous day.
Off early to Salon for Dialysis. David stopped at the Boulangerie at the Orgon roundabout and got two baguettes for sandwiches, plus a couple of pastries to tide Anne and Jay over.
We were pretty well packed, so David finished up putting everything back in the boxes we leave in the Cave in the mas pending our next visit. If all goes well, we hope to come back at the same time next year…
Guy came by and spent an hour or so chatting with David. Nice to see him and hear about how his business is growing.
Abut 1030, David headed back to Salon for the ordeal of paying the hospital bill. Paying the ATMIR clinic is a breeze, but paying the hospital for the lab tests is always a problem. Fabien told me the bill was okay and ready to go, so I let David know that all he had to do was go to the cashier and pay them. Naturally, the bill was incorrect, and it took 20 minutes to sort out what we actually owed. Finally, David forked over the 80 Euros that they determined we owed, and we were on our way.
Back to the mas to finish packing, grab a bite, and head off for the TGV station in Avignon. Just as David put my suitcase in the trunk Bryan and Pat, the owners of the mas pulled in the driveway. They were on their way to their new apartment in Spain and decided to drop in to say hello. We had a nice visit, and they graciously repeated their offer for us to use their place in Spain on our next visit. Very kind of them, they are a wonderful couple.
Then, it was off to Avignon and the TGV to Paris.
We arrived right on time, but our driver let us know that Paris was a mess, and it would take over an hour to cover the short distance between the Gare de Lyn and our hotel. The reason was a Gay Pride parade which had the entire center of Paris closed to car traffic. We wound our way to the outskirts and through Montparnasse and arrived at the Lavoisier. Paris was gorgeous, sunny with a golden glow with the late afternoon sun. Moderate temperatures with just a hint of breeze.
At 8 pm. we met Anne and Jay in the lobby and strolled down the Boulevard Malsherbes towards the Madeline. Our restaurant, Loiseau Rive Droite lay hidden on a small street just off Malesherbes. We got a nice greeting, and a good table on the main floor. Loiseau’s main restaurant in Saulieu is a Michelin-three-star establishment, as good as it gets. Rich Burgundian cuisine. His outposts in Paris are less formal, but still retain the nice touches that go along with three stars. After our kirs were served, the waiter brought what looked like a small floral centerpiece to the table. He pointed to what looked like flower-lollipops and explained that these were edible, and should be swirled in the viscous mixture in the small bowls they put before each of us. David wasn’t sure exactly what we were eating, but it was marvelous.
For a wine, David opted for a Pernand Vergelesses, a little-known white Burgundy from grapes that grow on the western slope of the famous hill in Corton. He felt it might be a nice change from all of our Rhone and Provençal wines. It was very nice, but David was a bit disappointed with his choice. We all thought it was excellent, and enjoyed every drop.
Another amuse bouche arrived, incredibly thin wafers of beet root with fois gras, accompanied by smoked fish. Two courses down, and we had yet order.
David and I opted for the bleu lobster croustillant to start, while Anne went with the fois gras and Jay a portion of pressed, milk-fed piglet. The portions are small, but absolutely bursting with flavor, and the presentations incredible. For main courses, David and I went with an herb-crusted filet of beef with panisse – a creamy mixture of chickpeas and leeks. Jay pulled out all the stops and ordered the eel and beef. Anne’s fish was presented on a plate that looked as if it were part stained glass, but the colors were actually intense sauces. An absolutely incredible meal from start to finish. Check out the photos. If you are in Paris and looking for somewhere to dine, this is a spot not to be missed. Great food, warm service.
For dessert, we shared some ice creams and a superb chocolate and raspberry torte, then – reluctantly – it was back to the Lavoisier. A wonderful close to an incredibly enjoyable stay in France.