Saturday, September 18, 2010

You Feed My Soul

If Elizabeth Gilbert had Italy for the "Eat" part of Eat, Pray, Love, then France would definitely be mine when it comes to the art of nourishing your soul.
I ate my way through half a dozen villages in Provence, stopping at local cafes, boulangeries, and bistros. I'sle sur la Sorgue, Loumarin, Ansouis, Cadenet, and my favourite Bonnieux, where I stopped for tarte aux framboise.
There's something so gorgeous about simply eating what's fresh, local and in season. Aubergine caviar, zucchini tart, shaved black truffle omelet, ripe melon salad - these were the flavours of the summer. A glass or two of wine (pink or white at lunch, red at dinner) was always at hand.
Then, there's La Closerie. Recommended as a "must" by our hosts at the guesthouse, we wisely booked a table and treated ourselves to a 3-course meal under the vine-covered terrace.
To start, ricotta stuffed courgette flowers with chanterelle mushrooms and the largest shaved discs of black truffle I'd ever eaten. The earthiness of the chanterelles and truffles complimented each other, and the deepness contrasted beautifully with the freshness of the courgette flowers. The creamy ricotta smoothed everything together into one giant love-in. If I can eat my way into spirituality, then this must be the stairway to heaven.
Hubby's starter of smoked salmon, spring greens and waffle seemed unconventional but I assure you it was just about as good as my truffle decadence. The waffle was more savory than sweet, crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside. We both believe there's more than 1 path to enlightenment and if in doubt, why not try both?
My religious food experience was just warming up when my main arrived. Roasted white fish with cherry tomatoes, squash puree, and baby potatoes. The skin was blackened and crispy while the fish was moist and flakey.
The stars came out and dessert came with it to bring me home to nirvana. Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
It's perfect, simple, honest food that reminds me: it's been A Good Year.


Wanderlusting said...

Wow, you're so lucky to always travel and experience things like this. You really do live a rich, beautiful life :)

Raul (hummingbird604) said...

Lovely :) and yeah it made me hungry!

Teresa said...

beautiful food! and *sigh* the quintessential French gourmet food in such a unbelievable fairy tale like place

quelle said...

oh no, why did i look at this post hungry??

that berry tart looks especially appealing right now.

MizzJ said...

Mmm my gawd, this post was delicious! I'm jealous that you got to indulge is such amazing French cuisine. I think it would be easy to practice a 100 mile diet if one lived in France... but I've always wondered how that would work if one lived somewhere like Iqaluit!

VancityAllie said...

Oh... my... goodness.

Liv that looks SO GOOD! Sounds like you've really found some awesome little local-only places.

I can't wait till Allan and I get to go to Europe on our honeymoon... I'm going to be asking you for tips that's for sure! :)

Anya said...

Livie, you're killing me these travel posts. Must go to France sometimes soon. It's been too long :(

The Anthology said...


Next time, take me with you, k?


xs said...

wow, those courses looks and sounds sooooooo divine! enjoy your stay, and keep us updated!

AsianCajuns (Lar) said...

Gahhh, that looks sooo deeelicious! And you look so cute and very French Provence chic! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you on your trip ;)

p.s. Garance was uber-sweet. I was actually more excited to meet her than Scott!

lisa said...

Welcome back! I really enjoyed perusing your Europe posts and reading about your adventures as well as seeing the delectable food photos. *drool* It sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful time.

the-beso-team said...

Hi Liv, we love what you're doing on your blog It's A Beautiful Life. We wanted to thank you for entering the contest that sponsored on the glamourai and invite you to enter our new $1,000 “We <3 Brands" Giveaway.

Thanks so much!
The Team.

nicole said...

Raspberry tarts are the best and the one you had looks amazing. Damn your food pics! Those profiteroles look so good, they remind me of the ones at Le Crocodile!