Can you imagine entertaining for a maximum of 18 quests nearly every night of the week? Planning meals, prepping, cooking, serving, entertaining, cleaning and washing dishes by hand, and all with a smile--every night. Plus, there's only three people doing all of this work. This happens at the elegant La Riboto de Taven in Les Baux en Provence. Magically, Chef Jean-Pierre Novi and owners, Christine and Philippe Theme (photo) create culinary magic.
What did they prepare just for us? We began with succulent and heavenly foie gras. Next was the innovative dish of the trip, Royal de languistines (Shrimp-like) and flan on three different types of pasta (linguine) woven together by hand, smothered with a Castelas ginger olive oil emulsion. The main course was guinea hen and FRESH spring veggies (snow peas and fava beans). This was followed by the cheese course. Jean-Benoît suggested adding some olive oil to the cheese plate. The Hugues TV dinner is cheese, olive oil and bread. What's dinner without dessert? Fresh strawberries marinated in Castels olive oil (surprise surprise) and a small, warm soufflé.
And you're asking about the wine. There were two wonderful red wines from the the local area. We began with the 2005 Equinoxe Domaine de Lauziérs from Les Baux Provence, AOC (Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault blend). One was not enough so we had Madame Dominque Hauvette's 100% Cinsault, which you never see as mono-varietal wine. All were a perfect accompaniment to a nirvana culinary experience.
Now, if that wasn't enough. As we left the restaurant, we were met by a full moon hovering over the cliffs of Les Baux. To recap the day, a rainbow, a full moon, a magical dinning experience shared with wonderful friends. I'm living large.