Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dinner with French Friends

We went to dinner last week with the Bon Amies and another French couple who will now be known as Mme & Msr Avion. We went to a restaurant nearby that's on the grounds of an old farm, complete with stables, gites and a small wooden bridge. Rustic. Inside it was luxe; all gold, crimson and emerald green and we sat at a round table in the center of the dining room in Alice in Wonderland chairs. The bottle of champagne and salmon appetizers went beautifully together and as we clinked glasses across the vast round table, careful to make eye contact and not cross glasses (bad luck apparently) I remembered how nice it is to go out to dinner sans enfants.
There were two set menus, one a bit less expensive and exotic and another just this side of pricey and very interesting. And by interesting I really mean bizarre. I love the bizarre, I love trying new things, I embrace food of all varieties and will try anything. As you recall I bravely ate my first escargot only recently.
The frog legs, yea, no problem. We ate those when I was a kid in East Texas. Crayfish, sure. Ditto the Texas thing. Even the tete du veau that Mon Mari ordered in a rush of French inspiration is only a step away from barbacoa except it's baby cow cheeks and not full grown mama's. Oh, and the tongue This dish included the tongue.
But the most bizarre thing, hands down was the little stew pot of crete du coq that Msr Avion chose. Apparently it's a specialty of this particular restaurant and not to be missed. Do you know what a crete du coq is? Well. A crete is a comb....getting a better idea? Everyone around the table was gesturing with their hand on top of their heads, wobbling it back and forth in explanation. A cock's comb. The reason those pretty red and pink flowers are called coxacomb. The red thing that handsomely flops on top of Foghorn Leghorn's head. There were about eight of these served fricassee with crayfish and vegetables. Except they weren't red anymore. They were pinkish beige. Mmmmm.
What do you think? Can I tempt you with some cock's comb?

Fric, I say, Fricassee


  1. Is there any actual meat on it or is it mostly fat? Did your friend like it?

  2. Kirsty,

    I didn't taste it but mon mari did...he said it was a chewyish texture so I don't think it's meat exactly. at least not like a thigh. and yes, he said he liked it.

  3. But did he like IT or did he like the seasonings they put on IT. Because IT doesn't sound very good at all. My faced is all scrunched up as I am typing this right now. I can't help it.

  4. Huh...not sure if I could pull that one off... :-/

    Also, I've tagged you over at Texpats :)

  5. I think I saw Anthony Bourdain chowing down on something like that - or maybe the feet - or both. Usually with enough liquid encouragement I'll try anything once. Haggis, for example, even after a few shots of tequila and a couple beers, well, that was enough.

  6. In talian they are called bargigli and I think that very few people eat them now. There was an old florentine recipe called 'cibreo' which in fact was a fricassé of livers and cox' comb. It takes some courage to eat animal body parts that we are not used to eat!

  7. That sounded fun! I've often thought it would be nice to meet fellow bloggers...:-)

  8. Years ago, my husband was invited to a business function. In China. He was the only non-Chinese at the banquet. The chicken claws are served, and of course he can't refuse. He chews and chews, and then chews some more. Fully absorbed in this mission, he keeps on struggling until he finally manages to swallow the mess.

    That's when he looks around and notices the other guests carefully removing the well-nibbled bone remains of chicken claw from their mouths and setting them on their plates.

    Crete, claws, there are some places I just don't need to go.


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