I love going to France. We had to get to Jade’s school in Walbourg, France by 10:00 a.m. on Friday for my husband to give presentations to the high school students about the U.S. government’s assistance to underdeveloped countries in health, education, agriculture, government, etc. A little early, we stopped at the McDonald’s McCafe for 2 Cafe Allonges (American coffees) in real cups. So Franco-American! They also advertised that any hamburger meat would be Charolais, just in case anyone was worried about Big Mac a la pony.
The French are great vacationers and spend quite a bit of their free time in exotic locations, many times in undeveloped countries in Africa. The young adults at the school were interested and well informed.
The school treated us to a nice lunch of Alsatian choucroute garni in the teachers lounge with beer. Jade has been doing a bit of whining about the food at school but she really has nothing to complain about; it’s plain but good and fresh.
The presentations were finished at 5:00 p.m. and after a quick trip to Haguenau, we reconnoitered at the church for Jade’s confirmation. Beautiful ceremony! After the mass, we checked in to our favorite hotel in the region, Hotel Les Pins. I’ve written about this hotel/restaurant a couple of times on this blog http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/alsace-hotel-les-pins/. We thought we would have a celebratory dinner before going off to bed.
The restaurant featured a seasonal set menu of Alsatian/Japanese fusion. I thought this sounded interesting because in our town of Sens, there is a super Franco-Japanese restaurant run by Patrick Gautier, the Michelin star-ed owner of La Madelaine. Jade and my husband demurred and went with the usual menu.
First, I’d like to apologize to the restaurant for the quality of these photos, but I usually take horrible night time, tripod-less photos. Still, the fusion didn’t fuse and I believe that the usual care and brilliance of the chef was missing. Not only were the flavors to be fused ill chosen, but the execution was almost unprofessional with, gasp, overcooked, dried out fish, overcooked noodles and unforgivably boiled magret de canard. Ugly, just ugly.
I choked down the twice dead fish entree but flatly refused the mushy noodles with boiled magret. Apologies were offered and accepted along with an adjustment to the bill. But bleah, anyway! Every cook/chef is entitled to a bad day but wow, I was embarrassed for him :( The service, as always, was charming and I felt sorry for my necessary honesty but….
Thank God for breakfast! I do like this hotel and usually their restaurant. Do pay them a visit if you’re in Alsace but skip the fusion.
We’re in Germany now and Spring has not sprung.
We soothed ourselves with Les Moules Roquefort http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/moules-bouchot-roquefort-with-the-parrets/ and goblets of Bourgogne Aligote :)