Monday, March 26, 2012

Rainy Day Romance at Le Vallauris

They must have been in their late 60s and it was clear they had been together for a long time when they sat down at the table next to us. We were at Le Vallauris, my favorite French restaurant in the desert, where the Cute Gardener was treating me to a romantic birthday feast.

In the darkened, masculine bar on plush seats with the most attentive and classy, old school waiters we shared a bottle of Chateau Mouton with a perfect pink label. It had been raining all afternoon and the usual tree filled courtyard was not available so we sat nearly thigh to thigh with others in the more-than-normally-intimate lounge.

We ordered the most luxurious appetizers of escargot and foie gras while the couple next to us popped their own bottle of wine.

“This is the second favorite preparation of this dish I’ve had,” my guy described as he ate the foie gras that will soon be forbidden, handing me his spoon across the table so that I could enjoy a bite. It was sincerely the most silky and unctuous piece of heaven on a spoon.

As I fished through the remaining pools of my escargot butter with hunks of porous French rolls having already slurped up the snails, I snuck another peek sideways at the two senior lovers.

She was clearly the conservative one, her brown/grey bob coiffed while his white/gray head was unruly and wild. He giggled like a schoolboy when the charming waiters brought them their bread. As he looked across the table, he said, “They just don’t have service like this anymore anywhere but here,” cut short by his sudden declaration to her from out of the blue, “I will never forget the first time I saw you.”

I had a feeling I was more like him than her. I looked across my own table and smiled at my guy noticing the way his luscious lips closed up around his meticulously placed and apportioned bites. I remembered the first time I had seen him too, in a place not so unlike this, and how his eyes had glanced up at me back then between bites, over the top rim of his eye glasses.

We moved on to entrees as the couple next to us received their own dinners: venison for him and sweetbreads piccata for me. The man was getting a little loopy and saying loud things to the lady like I do sometimes and it made me laugh. His woman was reaching across the table to hold his hand and mentioned that he should save some room for the morning when they would try another restaurant in town. It happened to be the same place we were going to dine for breakfast as well.

“Maybe we should invite them to go with us,” my boyfriend said while we shared my tangy sweetbreads and the strange little homemade potato puffs that accompanied them. 

As the interesting dessert of rice pudding arrived topped off with plump and ripe berries the couple next to us were sharing a sprightly salad of avocado and crab. I shared a nice smile with the gentlemen as we were brought out our check.

Our debonair waiter who could easily have been around in the same job for the last twenty years bid us good bye and hinted that we were all obviously going to be blessed with kisses later, garlic be damned. 

No comments:

Post a Comment