They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. I don’t know if that is even possible this week in Western Europe as temperatures are going to be record breaking across our entire route.
Jeff has demanded satisfaction after my post from the other day, about our first days ride. No, he did not strike me on both cheeks with his leather motorcycle gloves and insist upon pistols at dawn; but a retraction and an acknowledgment that his lack of planning or ‘total Agile traveling strategy’ is what had us eating at the restaurant at our hotel last night, during which we were openly moaning.
It started yesterday morning. We were packed up and ready to head out. I decided to have the breakfast they serve. Jeff, not a breakfast eater, actually joined me. Yum! It was perfect. The food, the service, the setting. Provençal apricots so juicy they dripped down the chin. Fresh pastries, whose heavenly smells tempted even Jeff. Chocolate lava cakes. Fresh cherries and raspberries. And the cheese? Don’t get me started on the cheese.
‘I wish we could stay another day here.’ I said, eating my fourth apricot.
‘Why can’t we?’ Asked Jeff. ‘Let’s see if they have our room available for another night.’
They did so we stayed. We were not disappointed. Another day of Avignon is not hard time.
The restaurant at our hotel is closed Sunday and Monday so we would not have been able to enjoy dinner there had we left yesterday. But staying another day remedied that. I’ve been to more than a few Michelin starred restaurants, in several different countries over the years. The best ones are unpretentious and unexpected. Where it isn’t about how fancy it looks. It’s just about the food – glorious food. La Treille hits all of those notes.
La Treille got their star last year. And it’s chef, Jean-Michel Leclerc, did his best work last night, taking into account the unseasonal heat that did break some of his sauces.
In the decades I’ve known him, Jeff has proudly worn his meat and potatoes mantle. Last night he shrugged it off and jumped in to French cuisine with both of his size 49’s.
Please Note: This photo montage is dedicated to my good friend, Josephine Lee in Seattle. Her amazing daily food photos on social media used to force me to take an early lunch.
Gazpacho started us off with fresh tomatoes, basil, fennel.
Oops! I was so excited seeing the langoustine w legumes, I dug in before I realized I’d forgotten to take a photo of the plating and presentation.
The tenderest veal, caramelized onion and a reduction of ambrosia with a roasted garlic root vegetable on the side, to accompany its delicious friends, woke up my sad 21st century tongue.
Finally, a selection of cheeses and riot of frozen brandied cherries with chocolate, in all its various states, with a dollop of frozen creme fraise.
We ate in silence. Like we were in church. With a little moaning thrown in. Savoring the flavors. Jeff raised his glass of perfectly chilled rose’ as I shoveled in more deliciousness than I’ve tasted in a long time.
‘You know, if I had over planned this trip and not taken such an Agile approach (referring to a SW methodology from both our careers) we wouldn’t be here now enjoying this amazing meal. Outside under the trees. We would have had to move along down the road.’
I tried to pretend I hadn’t heard that. But he went on.
‘I think a retraction is in order.’
Hmmm. Well, perhaps he’s right. This detour on our itinerary was so welcome and it wouldn’t have been possible if we had planned, reserved in advance, and stuck to our itinerary.
Today, after another scrumptious breakfast, we will move North in scorching heat. But not before I officially eat cold crow. Jeff is right. Some of the very best things in life are the unexpected. And some of the tastiest too. So here you are, Sir. Please enjoy, with my compliments, an official retraction for one.
If you’d like to enjoy La Treille – the restaurant. Or even better, stay here too – here is a link to their website.