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.