do these people never stop eating!

Update: at the moment we are in London, but we were still in the South of France when I put this post together, and somehow it and a few others never got posted, I think mainly because our Internet activity was focused on keeping up with the storm. So here's a report on a drive from Nice to La Napoule, and the reward that awaited us when we got there.
I'm convinced M.Dufy was standing in our hotel room in Nice when he painted this.
Last Saturday was chilly but sunny, and the plan was a leisurely drive east along the ocean to have lunch (rescheduled reservations) at an old favorite, L'Oasis. The restaurant has been around for a long time, and after some doldrums, the current owners have restored not only the building, but the wonderful food and charming service for which it was once known. We did not use the GPS.
Flavored butters and stuff to use instead of butter are everywhere, much nicer than a little dish of oil. Here are truffled butter, olive purée - best ever! - and red pepper purée. I sternly instructed the sweet young man with the bread basket to stop bringing me bread, I was seriously afraid I wouldn't be able to dig into lunch.
And so the festivities kicked off with:
This is a picture of a sea urchin in the wild

and this is one of the sea urchins that came to lunch.
Amazing what civilization can accomplish, given proper direction. I sat there chirping about guns into plowshares - a little sea urchin goes a long way with me - and finally Himself said "If you're not going to finish that..." Well, there was a lot ahead of us, so I inclined my head graciously
and a good thing I did, for the next course, when sliced into, proved to be
foie gras, inside a coating of gelée of Sauternes - lovely little lettuce leaves - I don't much go for miniature veggies at home, but over here they actually have flavor.

They brought us more!
The contrasts don't show up well, but this is a "cappuccino" of caramelized sea scallops and razor clams with asparagus and chanterelles, cappuccino meaning a foamy lobster bisque. The long thin thing is a razor clam, which again I don't much like at home, but the local variety is sublime.
I'm showing a pic of the dining room instead of the venison, the venison was rare and delicious but the photos were unfortunate. It was accompanied by a sauce poivrade and a lovely mousse of puréed chestnuts.

and after we relaxed with some cheese, the pre-dessert arrived, tropical fruit mousse 
topped by 
another tropical fruit mousse.
This is how you know that age is creeping up on you: when you're told you can have as much as you want of everything you want and five minutes later the table is not covered with hundreds of tiny plates, each bearing a sliver of something luvvverly.

Dessert had a post-dessert, house-made marshmallows which tasted like the kind of candy your mother wouldn't let you have at the movies - who knew it was a costly exotic flavor?
And then coffee, followed by a

leisurely drive back to Nice.


  1. Sounds and looks totally delicious. Glad you didn't bother with the GPS -one way of making sure you arrived! I've never tried sea urchin, I'd feel cannibalistic thinking I was chowing on a little Dickensian waif.

  2. Hi, Sulky! I think sea urchin is an acquired taste, especially when it's not cooked (uni). But even cooked, it takes some getting used to.
    My fourth favorite Christmas movie is "Scrooged," in which Buddy Hackett, playing a dru ken actor playing Scrooge, stumbles through a crowd of kids and asks "Why must I be molested by sea urchins?"

  3. You are so brave in your cuisine choices. I don't know that I have the guts, or stomach for that matter, to try foie gras; especially since I speak French and know what that translates to.

  4. Hi, Alison, well, when all's said and done, foie gras is just very delicate liver, very carefully cooked... I've seen the gavage in the Dordogne, and to my amazement, the geese came running when they heard the corn rattle, and lined up like nice little ladies and gentlemen.

  5. oh oh oh --- you are in an interesting world of food my friend!

  6. hi, WMM, you can live to eat or eat to live, right?

  7. One of my favorite sushi combinations is uni with cooked shrimp. They are not that interesting when eaten separately but together it's a taste sensation. Speaking of candy at the movies, have you ever tried Raisinets with Dr. Pepper?

    1. Hi, tr, uni by itself scared me, but will definitely try this combo at the next opportunity. As to movie candy, my real fantasy food is popcorn, and in the days when a family friend was selling Tupperware I hounded her to get the company to produce a little "pop it in your purse" thing to sneak in real melted butter. I love seeing films at Lincoln Center, Himself thinks I'm a culture hound, but that theatre has real butter for its popcorn!


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