I had my big aspirational “Living Well Is the Best Revenge” lunch at Le Marmiton, one of the restaurants in Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. The name can be translated as “The Kitchen Boy” or “The Kitchen Hand”.
When I started to write this entry, I could not for the life of me remember the term “amuse-bouche”, the name for the small, complimentary appetizers that chefs sometimes send to diners at the beginning of a meal. I got stuck on “lagniappe”, the New Orleans word for a little something extra, but I knew that wasn’t it.* Freebie? No. No way.
Internet searches for “food words” and “restaurant terminology” and “freebie [sic] at start of meal” turned up some interesting information, but not the kind I needed.
I didn’t get the answer until after I’d stopped looking for it, which is a perfect affirmation of Zen, I suppose. It popped into my head out of nowhere, I did a (metaphorical) face-palm, and, once again, all was right with the world.
Anyhow, this little bowl of olives complemented my welcoming glass of Kir.
Timbale of Seafood
Mussels, of course, since it was Belgium, and the uniquely Flemish grey shrimp, along with scallops and traditional pink shrimp.
My main: Duck Confit with oyster mushrooms in a rich sauce, and a serving of Gratin Dauphinois, which is the name that upscale restaurants give to scalloped potatoes with cheese. The duck was particularly good, although the skin was a bit less crisp than I’m used to, because of the heavy sauce.
(“Gratin Dauphinois”, “amuse-bouche”, “lagniappe”—Lots of new vocabulary words in this entry, aren’t there? Stick with me and you’ll sail through that SAT Verbal next fall.)
“Vie en Rose”
A perfect ending. Dessert was composed of mixed-flavour sorbets with red fruit purée and a splash of crème de cassis. Since Kir, the apéritif I drank at the start of the meal, is made with crème de cassis and white wine, it was a clever bookend for the meal.
*The traditional example of a lagniappe is the 13th doughnut in a “baker’s dozen”.