Gelato, Gravlax & other Foodgasms: eating in the Euro Zone

Two days ago, in Rome, I had five different flavors of gelato. Three before pizza (in a dish) and two after (in a cone). Then, we walked to the Trevi Fountain. If anyone is wondering about flavors, the cup was stracciatella (chocolate chip)/a vanilla with pistachio nuts, chocolate ribbons, and cappuccino. The cone was pecorino & honey and pistachio.

Three-scoop gelato, with art from the Uffizi supplied by my brother-in-law, Dave

This is the source of the pecorino & honey gelato, which I highly recommend. Also, a pop quiz: Which couple in line has been married for 27 years and which couple can’t wait to get home and celebrate the miracle of gelato?

The day before, in Florence, I had three different flavors of gelato. The day before that, in Florence, I had two scoops of gelato in a cone. The previous Wednesday in Cagliari, I had one scoop of gelato in a dish. Those were, respectively, stracciatella and coffee and stracciatella on its own. 

Yesterday I arrived hungry in Lyon. Which turned out to be a great thing, because the food in Lyon, based on the two meals I ate at the Café Rockefeller, made me wish I never had to eat anywhere else again. 

I am proud to announce that my first meal in France came with – I am not kidding – French fries. It was part of a lunch menu item that included salad and gravlax. In no US universe would I ever find this particular combination of my favorite foods. So, thank you, France, for fulfilling a fantasy I never even knew I had.

I was so intent on eating the piping hot fries and tucking into the salmon that I forgot to photograph it until after I started eating.

The realization of that fantasy was an oval plate of salad drizzled in a divine Dijon vinigarette, three planks of tender salmon on the right, and a miniature fryer basket filled with the hottest, most perfect frites in the history of frites. A tiny bowl of some white sauce with a tiny spoon was positioned between the salmon and the frites. If I misused it by dipping the frites in it instead of spooning it over the salmon, I am most definitely notsorry.

For dinner, we went back to the restaurant.

Debby, along with Dave, had ordered the salmon lasagna for lunch. She did the gravlax and fries for dinner. I had a small salad and gnocchi with a lovely cheese sauce, which I sopped up with bread. 

We contemplated the many offerings on the dessert board, each looking more tempting than the last, until another patron suggested we order the assortment, which also came with coffee. When the server set down a tray with four shotglass-sized dishes, three tiny macarons and a cup of espresso, it was all I could do to not throw my arms in the air and yell “Vive l’France!” in the middle of the restaurant. 

The most fantabulous assortment of desserts, which is evidently a French thing – to make miniatures of a bunch of them because they’re all so good that no one can pick just one.

The coffee was automatically mine because D&D are not coffee drinkers. Dave ate the chocolate macaron. Debby and I polished off the rest.  One coffee macaron, one pistachio macaron, chestnut tiramisu, chocolate mousse, bread pudding with caramel and panna cotta, also with caramel. 

Vive l’France!

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