Really, this post could be summed up in about six short words – the best lunch of our lives. Seriously.
I’m a fairly upbeat, glass-half-full kind of person, but I remember walking out of Le Jardin du Quai, our very first stop in Provence, as happy as I’d been in a long, long time. How could I be anything but? I’d just experienced the best lunch of my entire life, (if not one of the best meals) with Michael in what is seriously the most picturesque setting imaginable. It was the first of many times while we were in Provence that I described our experience as ‘magical.’
We’d read about the Sunday market in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue while preparing for our trip, and thought it would be the perfect first stop for our Provençal adventure. It wasn’t until later that I happened to see that our hotel listed Le Jardin du Quai as a must when visiting L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, so when we walked right by the entrance to the restaurant, we decided to give it a go before exploring the antiques shops and Sunday market – this was quite possibly the best split decision of the whole trip.
With the menu set for us, we had only one decision to make – our drink – and seeing as though we were lunching underneath a vine-covered pergola in a stone garden in Provence, drinking rosé was the obvious choice. (Actually, every lunch & dinner we had in Provence after this first meal involved at least one glass of rosé for each of us. Quand en Provence…)
If I were the type of person that could successfully play it cool in extraordinary situations, I would have calmly enjoyed my glass of rosé, amidst the peaceful and relaxing outdoor-terraced setting, while waiting for the first course. Not me. I was much too excited and couldn’t wipe the giddy smile off my face as I kept remarking to Michael how ‘perfect’ or ‘amazing’ this place was! By the time our meal arrived, I had officially moved past cloud nine and was somewhere around fourteen or fifteen!
Our meal was a deliciously creative set of courses consisting of dishes and ingredients that I honestly would have never ordered had I been left to my own devices (note to self – think outside your usual veggie standards once in a while!). We started with a white bean salad, topped with bacon, herbs, and a poached egg, then quickly moved on to monkfish with roasted vegetables. Both were unimaginably tasty and impeccably well prepared. Our dessert was a scrumptious apricot sorbet and cake, complete with a whipped mint topping. To say that I was searching my plate for crumbs, when I finished, would not be much of an overstatement.
What a meal, what a setting, what a perfect beginning to the second half of a delightful trip!