Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The First Day Abroad

The lunch of the snobs left me giddy and defiant. Nothing could really top that. And, in a sense, it was in a league of its own. We'd only happen to wander there because there was such a dearth of restaurants to be found in Lunéville.

We'd stopped in Lunéville to see the mini-Versaille built by Leopold, Duke of Lorraine and later occupied by the deposed king of Poland, Stanislaw Leszczynski. We only saw the outside as we spent a little time walking the large gardens attached to the chateau.

We wandered through Baccarat to admire the crystal. Being there only reinforced my love of Lalique crystal even if my pocketbook fainted at the prices. After, we tried to find our way to Alsace through the Vosges Mountains. It seemed we found every twist and turn on those roads but eventually we sunk down into the grape-laden hillsides of Alsace.

I'd mistakely thought we were staying in the town of southern Alsace, Colmar. Instead, we ended up staying on the Ile du Rhine, a lovely hotel right beside the Rhine River. Our room looked out over a lake-like side channel of the Rhine where I found a bit of bliss in the early morning and the evenings watching the ducks and swallows there as well as a pair of swans with their four babies.

We ate at the hotel for dinner the first night. It wasn't the chateau by any stretch of the imagination but it was a good introduction to a new favourite of mine--flammenkueche, also known as tarte flambee. I'd describe as perogy-fixings on a flatbread.--lardons (bacon), creme fraiche (sour cream) and onions-- yet superior. I'd also had a fillet de sandre, a halibut-textured fish, with a creamy reisling sauce but it didn't match the love at first sight I had with the flammenkueche. I could have had a version with grilled cheese or with Munster cheese, but the sheer peasant simplicity of the dish would have been ruined. Having it served on a wooden board enhanced its comfort food status immensely.


Zoomie said...

Wow, that looks absolutely scrumptious! I'm going to try that - I happen to have some creme fraiche in the fridge right now!

Michelle said...

Sounds like heaven, waking up on the Rhine - the ducks, the swans, and all the wonderful food. I am so jealous.

jasmine said...

Oh the flammenkueche looks divine.

Welcome back to the blogging world :)


Nerissa said...

zoom: Oh god, was it ever scrumpy! I'm happy to hear I inspired you :-)

michelle: As much as I enjoyed everything else we've done and seen, staying at that hotel was my favourite stay so far this year. It brought me such a sense of peace.

Jasmine: It was! And thanks :-)

Michelle said...

Hey! Another Michelle! I'm jealous... ;)
It looks so beautiful there, Nerissa - I had no idea that there was a mini-Versailles anywhere! Some day I would love to return to France and taste all these delicious things you've been eating. Any ideas on what you're going to re-create at home? Perhaps some flammenkueche?

Nerissa said...

Michelle: don't worry. I won't leave you for another Michelle LOL

Yes, a mini-Versailles. We didn't go inside but I'd like to again some day. Just like I'd like to walk the grounds of Versailles one day. I saw the insides of it only.

Oh, I'm sure I'll be trying out a version of the flammenkueche. I might see about sourcing a madeleine pan too. We'll see. I'd love to try my hand at those rose flavoured madeleines as well as the real thing too.

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