Yesterday I went to Nancy in the Lorraine region while some of your were getting out candles and flashlights...
50 rue Henri Poincaré
Just in front of the train station, I made a lunch reservation early.
Huge and cavernous, each curving detail is in the style of was styled by artists of the time and inaugurated during the carnival of 1911.
In no time from noon on every seat was filled with a line waiting.
But what to eat?
The French Fall windows are not just full of non-existent squirrels you know.
The chestnut/chataigne/marron holds a supreme place in most vitrines along with mushrooms and squirrels.
So I ordered a starter - coquille/a big scallop wrapped in lardon/bacon in a creamy chestnut sauce with a crispy cracker/tuile. Fortunately I the iPod Touch with Kindle on it, so I could look up BACON in The Flavor Thesaurus.
Bacon: one of the world’s best seasonings. Some people believe that there isn’t a flavor that bacon doesn’t enhance. Smoked bacon has a stronger, saltier, spicier flavor than unsmoked. Salty bacon brings out the sweetness of other ingredients and takes the edge off their bitterness. The aroma and flavor of cooked bacon is famously provocative to vegetarians, but synthetic vegetarian/kosher bacon flavor is available in the form of crisp pieces, bacon salt and a bacon-flavor mayonnaise.
Bacon and shellfish: Delicious in “clams casino”—clams baked on the half shell with a bacon and breadcrumb topping. Fry a mixture of finely chopped onion, red bell pepper, garlic and bacon in olive oil, spoon it onto the uncooked, open clams, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven. If your clams are quite small, you’ll need to chop the bacon finely so you can tell one chewy, salty protein from the other. Keep an eye on the quantities—you want the bacon to underpin the shellfish flavor, not overpower it. Bear the same thing in mind while making mussel and bacon soup, a lobster club sandwich or when fastening your scallops into a girdle of bacon.
On Chestnuts: Like pine nuts and cashews, one of the sweeter nuts, but it’s chestnut’s low fat content that makes it unique. Nonetheless, as with its oily cousins, roasting—over an open fire, naturally—brings out its full flavor and sweetness. Its earthy quality makes it a good match for other autumnal flavors, such as game, mushrooms and apples.
Yahoo! Nice to know what your eating isn't it?
My second course - another starter - the classic quiche Lorraine.
The eggy layer was as delicate and light as a flan - the best quiche I've every tasted. The astringent vinagrette on the salad perfectly cut through and balanced the creaminess of the tarte and fat of the lardon. It's hard to remember this is your average combo of bacon and egg but as The Flavor Thesaurus says:
Bacon and Egg The quintessentially English combination common to the full Irish breakfast, Italian spaghetti carbonara, French quiche lorraine and the classic salade frisée aux lardons et oeuf poché...
Having the thesaurus along makes eating more fun and more adventurous indeed.
For dessert I crossed the street to old-fashioned confiserie, Lefévre-Lemoine at 47 Rue Henri Poincaré
To taste some local Bergamotte and Mirabelle candies.
Keep Safe East Coasters!
Thinking of you...