I am in great need of a Vol Au Vent FIX!!! The restaurant is by far, one of my favorite places in the world to eat, and the owners have been closed for their annual month off. I know they should be opening again any day now...so I thought I would tell you about the best lunch I ever had... to welcome them back!
Even though it was late September, I had on a sleeveless dress and sandals. The sun was shining and a warm breeze washed over my skin. I was in possession of two of my favorite things. One was the current and largest issue of Vogue Magazine, The September Issue. Two was simply, a sunny day off! I turned into the restaurant and spied my favorite table on the patio, empty and waiting for me. I methodically re-arranged the settings to accommodate my 3 pound magazine, chose the chair with a little shade, ( always facing the beach.) and waited for my glass of crisp white wine to arrive. Just as I opened the cover of my magazine, and leafed through about twenty odd pages of advertising, my server, who also happens to be the owner, arrived. With a cheery 'Bonjour' she laid down the menu and my wine. I admired the unusual necklace she was wearing, and she greedily eyed my magazine. With a wink, she told me to read FAST...so she could borrow it!
It is like this with us. I started eating lunch alone at Vol Au Vent, after I closed my clothing store of 17 years. I had vowed to take six months off, and at least once a week I wandered down the hill with a magazine and had lunch. Over the span of a couple of years, and a couple of hundred solitary lunches...this woman and I have become friends.
On this particular day, after letting me know the catch of the day, she mentioned that the special was Pork Roast. Nothing else, no description...just pork roast. Now I have mentioned my Ukrainian heritage before, and pork of any kind is aces with me...so I said yes...I will have the special. I read a bit more, sipped my wine, and voila, my meal arrived.
She laid it down in front of me, and it was the smell that hit me first. Sort of apple-sweet, and buttery. You know things are on the right track when you can smell the butter! I looked at my plate, and there were four slices of pork roast, with big chunks of soft roasted garlic right inside the meat, shining in the sun all glossy with a buttery jus. On the side was an exquisite pile of the softest, smoothest mashed potatoes, with a pool of butter in the centre. The only other thing on the plate was 4 slices of a cored apple, sort of browned from being baked in the oven, with no peel, but a pretty fluted edge. The beauty of this plate took a minute to sink in. It was so simple, so 'un-fancy' , so perfect and so homemade looking...it made my mouth water.
I took up my knife and fork, and cut a piece of pork, and piled on a scoop of potatoes, and a slice of apple, over and over, and over again, until all that was left on my plate was a thin sheen of beautiful butter. I sat back in my chair, took a sip of wine, and felt utterly, and completely content. If I had been a cat...I would have been PURRING!
It was quite simply, THE PERFECT LUNCH!!
Welcome back Nanna and Michel...I'll see you soon!
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