Saturday, September 8, 2012

Portion Control

I'm awake early, propped up in bed with four pillows, overstuffed (me, not the pillows) after a marvelous French meal last night that is still a long way from digesting.

It's a tiny place, upstairs up a bright little spiral staircase. Our group of 21 filled most of the room. Jeanne calculated it will hold a total 30 diners. It's run by a young couple, the woman serving as our hostess and wait-staff. Her husband had recently added someone to help downstairs in the kitchen. I've seen French waiters and waitresses race up and down spiral staircases, balancing trays of food held overhead as they run. This place had cleverly installed a dumb waiter for the heavy- and speedy-lifting.

She was so eager to assure that we were pleased with our meal, and it was indeed marvelous, although a set menu for 21 people isn't going to please every taste. For a change, I liked every item, even though I couldn't finish a single course. A lot of food was left on plates, although we assured her that everything was wonderful.

So when I awakened, still feeling over full, I thought of one piece of feedback we could give her and it's along the lines of what we believe lets French women stay so slim on French cooking: portion control. I don't know whether our one man in the group cleaned his plate, and maybe the French even clean their plates, but I think that in serving a group of American women, we would not have been unhappy with smaller portions. That would be my advice. (Feel free to disagree, fellow travelers, since I know my appetite is rather stunted these days.)

I'm also going to have to exercise portion control on blogging. I was downloading and selecting pictures for the blog last night and found I'd set aside 44 absolutely critical photos for the first 24 hours of the actual tour and that's before I even started writing. I think that puts me about 72 hours behind and no beginning in sight.

I'm the one who's going to have to exercise portion control.

She reminded me of Abby on NCIS, or at least the actress Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby. "Doesn't she remind you ... ?" I'd ask, seeking to affirm my impression. I was sitting in a TV-free zone. None of my table mates had heard of Abby or NCIS.

People, I find this on the IMDb web link (that's some kind of show-biz database that can tell you everything about actors and what they've done):
Pauley Perrette -- known to millions around the world "Abby Sciuto," the brilliant and offbeat forensic scientist on CBS' NCIS, the #1-rated drama in the world."

Because I couldn't precisely define "NCIS" to my table mates, I find the consensus definition seems to be "Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the law enforcement detectives of the naval service."

Photo of Pauley in her "Abby" lab coat

Here is just our evening. I will have to get out my trimmers and go back and cut down the rest of the unblogged 72 hours so I won't be up all night and hopelessly behind on sharing the travels.

The walk to the restaurant

Here we are.

Our leaders, Jeanne and Mary Ellen

They have wine, and I have Orangina (again).
I forgot to take the picture of the amuse bouche, a little cheese cracker with a dab of ground olive-pesto.

A crab crepe (or enchilada, as I thought of  it)

Fresh swordfish, risotto, fresh vegetables

Dessert: whipped cream layered with quetsche (which we just learned is a seasonal black plum of the region) and other fruits. Yum!

Oh, and coffee . . .

Strasbourg after dark: our walk back to the hotel . . .

You know what's really funny? When I looked up the restaurant's website, I found out that "her" name is Paulette. (Abby, do you have a second job?)

See some slides here from the restaurant's website.

See you soon.


1 comment:

  1. Lee, this is lovely. I adore the walkway over the water and the view of the city, not to mention all of that wonderful food. Glad to know you are having a good time.