July 10, 2018

Europe 2018 day 11: art museum dining, part 2

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Another beautiful day in the south of France, and it was time to explore a few places closer to where my friends live.  Our first stop was Musée Molinard, where we got a guided tour on the processes used by the perfumeries in France's perfume capital.  It's amazing to find out the amount of flowers needed to distill the essence required to manufacture perfume.  Unfortunately we did not have time to go through a few hours of putting together our customized scents, but I'm OK with that.

We didn't find the products at Molinard interesting, so we ended up hitting the the shop at Fragonard.  These guys are much better at packaging their products, and there was a constant stream of tourists coming in.  We ended up buying a bunch of soaps to bring home.

Our last stop this morning was at Champagne Senez to pick up some bubbly for tonight's World Cup match Madame offered us a glass of Cristian Senez Carte Verte while we chatted and decided about what to buy.

After going back to pick up the rest of the gang, we set off for Saint-Paul de Vence for lunch at an institution.  La Colombe d'Or is an auberge which began life as a cafe.  Its claim to fame isn't the amazing food that they serve - although they do a half-decent job of cooking.

Its real claim to fame is their collection of artwork, which are on display just about everywhere.  Many of these were payment-in-kind by the artists themselves for room and board. Where else can you just casually walk up to a room full of paintings by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, and Miro like that??

But we were here for lunch, and so we sat in the middle of the outdoor courtyard underneath the shade.  My first order of business?  Having a kir royale.

We ordered the signature les hors d'oeuvre Colombe d'Or avec sa charcuterie, which turned out to be a huge spread with a basket of vegetables on the side containing cucumber, breakfast radishes, celery, artichoke, fennel... etc.

I took a bit of most of the little dishes and laid them out on my plate.  These included anchovies, pickled herring, lentils with celery and carrots, chickpeas, saffron rice, grilled sardines, celeriac with mayo, red cabbage, marinated peppers and mushrooms, two types of saucisson, boudin noir, caramelized shallots which were amazingly sweet, and anchoïade.

There was also tomates farcies.

Turbot maraîchère - while turbot is a premium fish in this part of the world, it is unfortunately often bland... especially. when it's served with a cream sauce without much seasoning.  This was OK... and I did not finish the fish.

We shared two bottles of wine between the 5 of us.

2011 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Réserve - really floral nose, totally ripe and sweet on the palate.

2013 Pibarnon Rouge - minty, forest, kinda ripe fruit.

We were offered a shot of grappa to finish our meal.

We were pretty full, and took the opportunity to walk up the slope and explore the art galleries nearby.  A pity that we did not stop at Fondation Maeght nearby...

We stopped by a local cheese shop on the way home so that we could pick up some goodies for dinner tonight.   We would be eating at home while watching the France vs. Belgium semi-final match for the World Cup... and the Brie with ceps turned out to be a great buy.

2011 Cristian Senez Rosé Saignée, en magnum - not very impressed...  Very far from the type of saignée I would normally buy.

France won the match against Belgium.  Hello Kitty and I got very excited, because we knew that we would be in Paris on the day of the World Cup Final, when France is playing.  That would be totally awesome!

I stayed up late chatting with our hostess, all the while trying to give Moses as good of a belly rub as he has been getting from Hello Kitty.  I don't think I succeeded, but that didn't stop Moses from demanding that I continue to rub him every time I stopped...

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