Tonight my hubby and I were invited to dinner by the owner of my hubby’s new firm and his very lovely wife. The dinner was a celebratory one, welcoming my hubby to his new position within the firm and as the most courteous and considerate gesture towards me, they picked the Auberge Chez Francois as the restaurant. My worries about getting gussied up were for nothing, I found the basics in makeup; Bare Minerals, lipstick and mascara and my hubby brilliantly slicked my frizz head with leave in conditioner; he was pleased with his decorated wife and I have to admit, I didn’t look half bad. lol
The conversation was easy going, not an awkward moment during the hours spent together, we have so many areas of common interest between the four of us; dogs, children, cooking, travel and art appreciation. The restaurant’s decor was that typically found in an Alsatian home, very warm and welcoming and the menu lent itself as warm and inviting with many hearty dishes in the offering. The very first thing that was offered as a small gift from the chef, an espresso cup of lentil soup, it was soothing and hearty, the perfect start to an excellent meal.
Our hosts enthusiasm for the Auberge Chez Francois was infectious, I could tell from their facial expressions that this was a special place for them as a family and after sharing an exquisite dinner, I understand why. As usual, I was focused on my plate; I started with Riz de Veau aux champignons or sweetbreads sautéed with a flavorful and savory sauce highlighted by mushrooms. Sweetbreads are one of my favorite things to eat and I was not disappointed, they were firm and tender and combined with the mushrooms and the glossy sauce, it made for a delectable tasting, not too much and not too little.
Afterwards, when our appetizers were finished, the waiters cleared our plates and served us up with a tart grapefruit sorbet to clear our palates, I love that small touch in between of courses, it makes a difference in the dining experience because you really get the sense that the chef is concerned at all times with your tasting experience; he is telling you that he wants your taste buds to be ready for another savory and sensuous delight.
I ordered a dish that I haven’t had in a long time; a choucroute royal garnie or sauerkraut with all of the smoked and cured meats accompanied by wonderful garnishes and condiments, poached apples, dijon mustard, fresh horseradish and blackberry jelly. This dish reminds me of my father; he loved this dish, the sauerkraut in this instance was so divine that it stood on its own in flavor, at the end that was all that was left on the large platter and I didn’t mind, it was that delicious. The melding of mustard, sauerkraut, poached apple and cured ham on the tongue is to taste all of these flavors flowing into each other, at times you’re sensing the spice of the mustard, the saltiness of the ham, the fermentation of the cabbage and the sweet, mellow notes of the apple. It doesn’t get better than this. To top this explosion of culinary flavors, textures and bien etre, I had a chocolate soufflé, which as usual no matter how many times that I have eaten it, I burn the back of my throat because I can’t wait for the molten chocolate to cool off, you would think that I would get the hang of safely eating a soufflé by now wouldn’t you?
We had a fabulous evening, the hubby and I and we came back to the room to find Jack all curled up on my pillow waiting for his Maman to return. He is such a good little Jack, we definitely bragged about him to our hosts, I don”t know who we talked about most; the baby boy, the baby girl or Jack. Either way, we talked about them all with a lot of love. It was a very, very nice evening.