st.-malo: death to the death mope.

I'll flesh this post out more later today....

Still recovering from the whirlwind of the last 10 days, but made it out to dinner last night, my first solo outing without really speaking any French. I stopped at Gilles, but they were booked full, probably because they only have like 4 tables. To minimize the number of times I would have to go through the whole "access denied" routine, I went to the biggest restaurant in the guide, A la Duchesse Anne. I was again, denied...but ho! I must've looked really dejected, because after I turned to go, the elderly maitre d said "wait...you can have a table until 21h00 then you have to give it back". Yay! I think.

There were a lot of things that were nervewracking about the dining room: no music or extraneous sound; and my location was such that I always seemed to be under the watchful eye of a stern-looking elderly woman who seemed like the manager/owner (who ended up being extremely sweet...later in the meal she asked me what nationality I was, and I told her...as I was leaving she handed me a stack of postcards and told me "bon voyage"). But this and the extremely attentive waitstaff (more on this) served to put my table manners under the microscope, as it were, and I realized I could use a refresher course (haaiy!).

I could actually use a French course as well. I did pretty well I think, the waitstaff and owner seemed to become less suspicious of me after I ordered my extremely unhealthy meal: foie gras, coquilles st. jacques a la bretonnaise, and tarte tatin. And a really interesting Pinot Noir from Alsace: Maison Hugel & Fils.

As you know, I don't take photos of my food in restaurants as a rule, but thought I'd make an exception here. The quality is crappy because I used every spy/espionage trick in the book to take these discreetly.


This was served with toast, and I'm not sure what those leaves are...ramps? Chervil? Anyway, they helped.

Basically scallops and mushrooms in a white wine-cream sauce with a little Gruyere in there maybe, toasted nicely under the broiler. Totally decadent and a pleasure to eat.

Tarte tatin. Next to my left hand you can see the huge pot of creme anglaise that showed up a second later.

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