Tour of Provence June 11-21, 2017
Day 7 – June 17 – Lunch at Paloma Michelin 2 star restaurant in Mougins.
We arrived a Paloma – for a 1-2 hour lunch but it turned into over 2 hours, and like our 17 course lunch yesterday, we ended up getting more than we paid for. But luckily this time, there were only (!) 8 items or courses but they were all exquisite. In fact I think I enjoyed this meal more than yesterdays, but nothing can take the pure amazement and wonder we all experienced with yesterday’s never ending plates of food!
These top restaurants all have their own plates made and Paloma’s cutlery is amazing.
I was scribbling these descriptions down while the Head Waiter – must have a special name I guess – was telling us what was in them, after he had served them, so I may not have got everything totally accurate.
First we all had :
Candyfloss sticks which had coconut, lime and foie gras in them – it was very different and the others weren’t totally sure that the flavours worked but I enjoyed mine (one each).
Then we had a plate with 3 little items which we had to eat in the correct order. The white pot had a magnet on the bottom so that it didn’t move on the plate. We ate that first – it was crab, lemon and yoghurt emulsion.
Next was the mini sandwich (top right) which had tomato, vegetables and pesto. The other item had to be eaten whole as it had liquid in it – it was a tomato gazpacho water with fresh chilli and coriander. It was wonderful.
We had two Amuse Bouches (it literally means ‘mouth amuser’ and see below for the Wiki definition).
The first was served in this amazing white china dish – like a mountain and the food was in the crater! It was a Mozzarella creme and tomato jelly with basil mousse. Need I say that it too was delicious.
The second one was Foie gras with strawberry jelly with a mousseline of basil with meringue biscuits. Ditto for the enjoyment.
For the main I had the Brittany Lobster Mariniere which is the signature dish of the restaurant – all the mains came covered and there was a organised ‘lift-off’ of all the lids. The aroma when the lid came off mine was amazing, even before I tasted it – and the dish itself was absolutely divine – I took a long time to eat it, savouring every mouthful.
For desert I chose the Vanilla Caramel Tarte and someone else had the Strawberries with fir honey – both of which were pieces of art. The tarte was exquisite and again, I savoured every slow mouthful.
The service was just amazing – and the dining environment. I have learned that the first Michelin star is obtained through fantastic food, but the second is obtained through fantastic service and environment – the food has to be great as well.
As we left we were given a little box with a piece of heavy chocolate cake in it – we ate some for dessert the second-to-last night of the tour when we had a ‘picnic dinner’ and I took mine to Paris and thoroughly enjoyed it.
From Wikipedia – Amuse-bouches are bite-sized hors d’oeuvres and are different from appetisers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served gratis and according to the chef’s selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to the art of cuisine.