|My first morning in Armissan.|
May 13, 2011
I had this vision of the France leg of the vacation. I saw a lot of nothing. I saw myself reading, writing, eating, cooking, staring into space and sipping wine – all in a lovely, pastoral milieu. I envisioned a lot of silence. Save for the birds chirping and the rooster crowing.
There was no reading or writing. At all. There was little to no silence. There was, however, a great deal of eating and sipping wine. There was a great deal of the wine. All in a lovely, pastoral milieu.
|The little house.|
The first time I was there, three years ago, Chris, Jean-Jacques and I dined at a restaurant called La Cranquette, in Gruissan. It was my favorite, and most memorable, meal of that trip (and we even went to Vieux Puit in Fontjoncouse). It was a tiny, charming, casual, spot in a tiny, charming town on the Mediterranean. All of the food is cooked in a kitchen the size of my thumbnail, and everything is cooked on a griddle. Even my seared ahi tuna over a slab of foie gras. Yes, you read correctly.
So, for our second night in France, all fourteen (14) of us occupied the expanse of outside tables at La Cranquette (had we sat inside (my preference) we would have filled the entire space)). The place hadn’t changed a bit, which warmed my heart. Our waitress, Nadeen, was sweet and was able to keep us sufficiently herded, so to speak. And, although she spoke with a perfect regional French accent, she was from New York. This made things easier as well. That's her above, holding plates and whatnot.
Dinner was excellent. With such a large group I imagine we ordered everything on the menu. But I ordered pretty much exactly what I had ordered there three years ago. I started with tellines, which are little wedge clams sautéed in a little foie gras. And then I had the duck breast served under a generous slab of foie gras (yes, I did) with a reduction and some Pyrenees honey. Holy little baby Jesus.
Jean-Jacques (who ordered a dish aptly, and cleverly, titled "Mars Attack" (see picture below)) took over in the wine department by selecting all local, regional (and delicious) bottles for the table.
What a truly beautiful meal. I highly recommend this restaurant.
For a full set of pictures of the evening click here.
I believe Emma and I capped off this evening with a bottle or two more bottles of wine while laying in our beds, sighing, giggling, and taking stock of the last
few twenty-four hours, the whirlwind, of our adventure.
Which had, really, only just begun...