We're just ack from nearly five weeks in France, where I was so busy that I was unable to post to this blog. So I'll be catching up over the next few days.
We ate well throughout this period, at restaurants, at friends' and at home, with the aid of the wonderful produce, meat and fish available in the summer.
Our first noteworthy meal was lunch at Le Cinq. As was the case with our first experience there at Christmas, we had a truly sensational meal: great food beautifully presented, with elegant but not over-the-top service, in a gorgeous room at the George V. We brought a Japanese friend who had thought she didn't like French food; she is now a convert!
The four-course lunch is 145 euros (about $160), including service and tax. Not cheap but for the level of experience, it is a steal. After all, the 3-1/2 hours it takes to enjoy this feast is like dinner and a show, which would cost far more.
Our menu included pre-amuse bouches, amuse-bouches, appetizer, main, dessert, post-desserts (the best possible kouign ammann, far better than the very good ones we had in Brittany) and post-post-desserts (chocolates, madeleines, fruit candies, marshmellows).
I started out by thinking I would not take pictures, but some of the dishes cried out to be photographed. For example, this seasonal white asparagus appetizer:
and this amazing onion appetizer, where the onions are somehow liquefied on the interior creating what amounts to onion profiteroles without the pastry shell,
not to mention the grilled and glazed pigeon with truffles, turnips and olives,
and cherries barely cooked in their own juice, scented with kirsch and served in a pistachio ice cream crust.
I'm ready to head back any time.