As people who read this blog will know, I’m not a huge fan of overly fussy food. 9 times out of 10 I’d rather eat a really well cooked roast chicken say, than some complex Heston-esque creation swimming in a sea of foam. There’s a certain pomposity that comes with this kind of food and the people, or so called ‘foodies’, who wax lyrical about it. But every once in a while it does one a bit of good to see how the other half live, especially if someone else is paying. In this case, my parents.
About half an hour’s drive from the villa my folks rented there’s a small village called Cruis. It’s a pretty unassuming little place, in many ways a typical French village, but we’d been told that the restaurant at the hotel in town was very good. Like the village, the Auberge De L’Abbaye didn’t look that special, plastic chairs and vinyl checked table cloths out on the veranda, so we were kind of unprepared for how good the food was.
The menu was succinct, but not limiting. Bursting with local meat, veg and seafood from slightly further afield, I could have happily eaten all of the dishes on the menu. I started with some local asparagus which was served with a qualis egg and kind of morel mushroom velouté sauce. The asparagus was firm, tender and delicious, the quails egg a nice touch, but the crowning glory was the sauce. Totally packed with the morel flavour, and with a few mushrooms scattered around the plate, it was deliciously rich. Many a mushroom soup could learn a lesson or two from that sauce.