Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Le Vol Au Vent...Pork with Prunes
It has felt extremely 'Summery' lately. Hot days, and even hot nights! I don't know why, but the heat hasn't bothered me one little bit this summer. Quite the opposite, I feel ripped off by each day that doesn't live up to my 'Summer Heat' expectations! I worked on Monday. My shift is 9 to 5. I am always reminded of that 1980's movie and song by Dolly Parton. It had been a warm day, but when you work in air conditioning you get so disconnected to the actual temperature. I left the deli at 5 and immediately thought that I would walk home. The temperature was perfect for walking. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold...and there was a nice breeze blowing. The P-Man had left in the AM on a business trip, so my supper plans were completely within my control. It takes me about an hour to walk home from work, and in that time I can always decide what I am hungry for. I took an extra step, and stopped by the library and checked out a copy of Metropolitan Home...just in case I ended up at a restaurant on the beach. Just me and my magazine and a warm night. All I needed was some great food and my evening would be approaching 'perfect'. I ended up at Le Vol Au Vent.
After greeting my hosts for the evening, Nanna and Michel, I had a seat on the patio.
I had a look at the menu, and inquired about the availability of chanterelle mushrooms. On my walk, I had half decided to dine on a vol au vent filled with fresh chanterelle and a salad. Nanna said that they were sold out, but the pork with prunes was great. As always, she knows, and pork with prunes it was. I sipped my wine, something different, a slightly effervescent Vinho Verde, delicious, and opened my magazine. It really was a great magazine. I saw some great photos and jotted down some very interesting websites to check out at a later date. Then I smelled something quite wonderful. It was my Pork with Prunes.
The plate placed before me was absolutely beautiful. I was obviously hungry from my walk, but any plate with a definite 1/2 and 1/2 split between meat and vegetables always warms my heart. Weight Watchers would definitely frown on this sort of potential gluttony...but I walked, now I was going to eat. I stared lovingly at my plate, with it's classical arrangement of 4 golden brown pork medallions, with a glossy milk chocolatey coloured sauce, dotted with deep purple prunes. The veggies were a colourful foil to the pork side of the plate. They consisted of a baked tomato, a piece of grilled zucchini, some sauteed red cabbage, and a gorgeously red piece of roasted red pepper. Before I could say, " Hey where are my frites?" Nanna showed up with a gorgeous little butter lettuce, halved, and drizzled with Michel's super tangy homemade vinaigrette. She told me that he didn't think that I would want frites on such a warm evening, so he made me a little salad instead. Ahhh, bliss! To no one's surprise, I started with the pork. It was so tender, I barely had to chew it. It had been ever so lightly dredged in flour, so there was a tiny bit of crispness, but not enough to distract in any way from the sauce. Did I mention the sauce? This had to be one of the most flavourful things I have ever had in my mouth. My first impression was sort of a nutty, buttery, oniony silkiness. I tried my next piece of meat with a bit of meltingly soft prune, and even though I don't ever recall actually eating a prune...I strongly believe that they are my new favorite fruit. I never have understood people who eat one thing at time...but there I sat, with a happy smile on my face, eating every bit of the wonderful pork that was on my plate.
When I could tear myself away from my 'pork-fest'...I let Michel know that on the YUM SCALE...this dish was the coveted 5 YUMS...and proceeded to eat everything else, finishing with the delicate butter lettuce salad.
I drank one more glass of wine, and finished my magazine, just as it was getting a bit difficult to see in the dusk. I had no desire for dessert, and proceeded up the hill to my place with a happy, full, belly.
Another Summer evening...Another incredible meal...Merci, Michel.