Not literally. Maybe just brain frozen from looking at ancient (more than 100 years old) art – paintings, sculpture, buildings, food…
Yup, food. Some of it frozen in time in restaurants that are trying to present their menu in windows that need to be cleaned – as in removing dust and flies – and some of it in the still life paintings of the Masters.
However, since I’m on vacation, I thought that ExecEdits should offer a short succinct point of view on regional food offerings.
- Paris: yum. Bread, amazing, pizzas, delicious, wine, ooh la la. Don’t eat too near any of the monuments – the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, etc, – because you are paying a second entrance fee. Go a few streets behind the tourist scene and look for a café that appears to be serving locals and eat there. It’s definitely worth the extra steps. The price will be lower and the food will be better. The French love to eat and their food and wine are very important. They demand excellence and receive it. Otherwise… It’s the guillotine. Average cost for two – 40€.
- Provence: yummmmmm. Didn’t meet a meal or snack we didn’t enjoy. We were in Maussanne, St. Remy, Arles, Les Baux, Abbaye de Montmajour. Richard’s only complaint was that he had wanted a tuna salad and received two hunks of tuna in a sauce. The only meal that he didn’t finish. Even if you don’t stay in a Logis de France, try the food: the chef is sometimes the owner and serves amazing meals. Same average price depending on how much wine… We spent 60€ a couple of times but our meals were usually three courses.
- Florence: holy yummmmmm. Again about the monument thing but a couple of the restaurants we ate at near the Duomo were reasonable and served delicious food. We found a small restaurant a block away from our hotel and ate there every evening no later than 7:30. By 7:45, people were standing in line. If you ask for the kilo steak and potatoes, be prepared for stares from other patrons: that is one hunk of beef. We discovered a new pasta – pici – which is local to Tuscany, fatter and rounder than spaghetti but so delicious. Richard ordered his first Italian pizza and ate the whole thing, not a crumb remaining, with a blissful smile on his face the whole time. I also realized that I was over cooking my pastas and risottos. Be prepared for change. Average meal for two, yup, 40€.
- Siena: I had a great risotto with seafood and Richard had a good pici with funghi, but the jury is out on the rest.
- Bread: not all bread is created equal. So far, bread in Italy is a huge miss. That means we are really missing France for our bread rations.
To be continued.
Featured image: Lunch in Cassis. OMG! (Totally worthy of exclamation mark.)