Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – Aux 2 Anges, Forcalquier
Tucked away in a quiet little corner of Forcalquier is La Rue Grande, where you will find Aux 2 Anges.
The little restaurant is a world away from the Bistrot de Lagarde where we were last week. The restaurant itself is small and brightly painted, with a sweep of tables and chairs spread across the pavement in front of it. They describe themselves as serving cuisine familiale; home cooking would be the closest translation, I suppose.
Even the menu is plain and homely, an illegible scrawl on an A4 sheet. For the Menu du Jour (€14.70), we had a choice of three main courses and two desserts.
The starter was a surprise – I didn’t even know we were getting one until it arrived.
Velouté de tomate, tomato soup, served cold, with tapenade on the side. Very refreshing! We were off to a good start!
I opted for the Boulettes d’agneau, lamb meatballs. These came with courgette fricassee, fried potatoes and goats cheese. I was expecting them to be in a sauce, so when I saw they were sauceless, I was hoping they wouldn’t be horribly dry. They weren’t, they were nice and moist and tasty, although I thought the goats cheese on the side was a little strange.
The LSH ordered Tatin de veau à la courgette, tomates et poivrons. Tarte Tatin is an upside-down tart, so we weren’t sure what to expect… sure enough, this looked like it had been inverted onto the plate! Veal with courgettes, tomatoes and peppers, more goats cheese on the side… he liked it. ‘Nuff said.
We were lunching with friends, Fred and Gaby. Gaby runs a language school in Forcalquier, Speakeasy, where the LSH goes once or twice a week to improve his French. I’m starting to think I should go, too, he seems to be learning lots of interesting expressions. For example, did you know that la beurre sur l’epinard (the butter on the spinach) is used the exact same way as we’d say “the icing on the cake?” No? I didn’t know that either… anyway, I digress.
Gaby ordered the roti de boeuf, cooked with garlic and lardons (bacon), served with more fried potatoes and ratatouille. It looked excellent, pink in the middle and falling apart… yeah, she seemed happy with it, too.
Fred ordered the lamb meatballs, but due to a bit of husband/wifely confusion, he ended up having the veal as well. He seemed to like it too, and he polished off every scrap. He’s a tree surgeon. He needs lots of fuel to keep going while he chops trees.
Dessert time…. the French have adopted some British things with gusto. Roundabouts and sleeping policemen (speed bumps) are two that we have noticed – they’re everywhere here. Crumble is a third British invention that the French love at the moment. We had two choices for dessert, chocolate mousse or pear and raisin crumble. I opted for the one that would NOT be guaranteed to trigger a migraine while I think everyone else went for the chocolate. Personally I think mine was nicer…
…although the mousse does look rather attractive…
We all skipped coffee because Gaby and Fred had to go back to work and we had to go back to moving house. Total cost of the meal? €72 for the four of us – about half what we spent last week. It was also a very different eating experience; the focus was more on serving wholesome food in a simple setting. This is what we have observed here with our Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime trips for the last year. You pay extra and you get the bells and whistles – the amuse bouche while you peruse the menu, a table laden with candles and cutlery, an impressive wine list, a little more finesse in the serving of the food and a lot more care in the presentation of the food. Me, I’m just as happy to eat a tasty meal sitting in the sunshine with friends. Who cares if we use the same knife and fork for the starter and main course?
Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮✮
Value : ✮✮✮✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮