Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 2017 – The ‘Youts’ arrive

Anne and Jay boarded the American non-stop Friday afternoon to head over to Paris. This will be the their third visit to the mas and Eygalieres, and we think they are looking forward to their stay. After landing at CDG and taking a car to the Gare de Lyon, they will grab the TGV to Avignon and pick up a car for their stay. They should arrive at the mas around 4pm.

After dialysis, we went into town to get a few last minute items for the mas and decided to have lunch on the sidewalk at Chez Laurent, the somewhat chic spot that replaced the Michelin-starred Chez Bru a couple of years back.  After a shaky start, they seem to have found their niche. They still tend toward a clientele of ‘beautiful people,’ that used to flock to Bru, but the menu looks good, and the prices have dropped to a more reasonable level.

We both opted for the 19 Euro ‘menu’ of the day, starting with croustillant stuffed with local goat cheese, followed by a pork tenderloin with a mustard sauce, then handmade ice cream on a bed of vanilla custard. All were excellent, with the owner explaining that he gets the pork from a small farm just on the fringe of town.

We strolled up the street to get a few things at the Alimentaire (general store) when my phone rang – Anne and Jay were in early and at the mas. We scooped up our goodies and headed down the road. Anne and Jay were waiting out front with their nifty rental car, a virtually new Renault. I don’t think it had a mark on it, which is unusual for French cars which are usually dented and nicked, even when new. Next to our A4 wagon, which has a ding on every panel, their car is pristine.

After a shower and short nap, Anne and Jay joined us in the kitchen for some light snacks and a glass of rose. We caught up on all the details of their flight and talked about plans for exploring the area, then headed down for dinner at l’Aubergine. Alex and Christina were glad to see us all, and seated us on the patio. The food was – as always – terrific, and, despite being short handed, the service was prompt. Anne had a Pate campagne to start, while David had a risotto with mushrooms. Jay opted for veal kidneys in a mustard sauce, while David and Anne went for the tuna, and I had the risotto. We had a bottle of Terres Blanches rose to round out the meal, then headed home.

Sunday was a lazy day. The weather was nice, and Anne and Jay decided to head over to St. Remy to shop. Turned out that most the shops were closed, so they soldiered on to Fontvielle where they had a light lunch. Jay continued on with the organ meat theme by having a locally-made sausage that the server warned him was mostly for local tastes. He enjoyed it, and we all got a good laugh out of his being warned about it.

We did a bit of laundry, then slipped down the road to town to have lunch at Sous les Micocouloir, a serene dining spot with a large tree-shaded terrace. The day turned warmer and nicer, making our lunch even more enjoyable. David started with stuffed zucchini blossoms, then we both went with the medley of lobster and scallop raviolis with a bed of local veggies. Then, it was back to the mas for a nap before Anne and Jay returned from their adventures.

After relaxing in the kitchen for a bit and reviewing the day, we headed into Eygalieres for a dinner at the little restaurant, Chez Paulette that has gained a following with its good food and friendly, casual atmosphere. Jay started with a veloute of tomato, while David went with Bresaola made from France’s excellent Charolais beef. Anne had steak tartare to start, also from charolais. I had an excellent lotte (monkfish), while Jay went with moules and David the veal saltimbocca. We polished off the meal with a bottle of Estoublon rose, then a couple of scoops of homemade pistachio ice cream.

Tomorrow Anne and Jay plan to explore Avignon.

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