Dining out: an unusual experience.

Newell and Jeannette Johnson undertook a mission to introduce me to some of the good restaurants in Forcalquier.

They started lasted night with “In Vino”. This restaurant is a block below Credit Agricole. We went down about 40 steps to get in and found the restaurant is a large vaulted room, open plan so the kitchen is in full view. The tables were laid with nice linen and napkins.

I was told that the proprietor was formerly at the bistro in Lardiers. He had divorced, his wife continues the bistro so now there are 2 restaurants. This one continues the tradition of Lardiers in having no menu. You eat the set menu which was always excellent and unusual.

We had been told to be there at 8 and were there promptly and were the first arrivals. Soon olives, bread and very good wine were put before us. Gradually other people came. The first course did not arrive until 9, we were by then rather hungry. It was a delicate slice of tart and a salad of octopus. One plus point for me was that all the food was presented in bowls or plates so we could serve as much or little as we wanted onto our empty plates, a relief to be spared the artistically decorated “plate of food” with its predetermined portion.

A long wait then the main course excellent roast lamb and thin rondelles of potato baked in butter.
Another long wait before the desert a fruit salad mainly of figs and a chocolate mousse (not up to Rococo chocolate).

The owner/waiter was more cheerful than in the Lardier days, his new love made him smile from time to time. Unusually the staff himself, a french woman and a Mauritian woman danced out of the restaurant carrying glasses of wine for their own interval between courses, with some happy embraces. Another wait for coffee and the bill. As a guest I have no idea if it was high or low. We finally climbed the 40 steps at 11.20 and got into the car.

Newell started it and then said the throttle is not responding. He finally coaxed it to crawl up the hill into the Place Bourget. Thence in 1st and 2nd gear starting well downhill but crawling. Newell kept saying wait until we get to the dechetterie, if we get that far… We did and crawled up the hill at walking speed to arrive in St. Michel at 12.20. I was very happy, so were we all, not to have to walk all the way up that long hill.

Do you agree it was an unusual evening out?