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Treating Myself to Sole Meunière » digest LA

sole menuireI was excited for all the good eats I would have in Cannes, but so far I have been pretty disappointed. Besides the fact that I can barely afford to eat here on my work per diem, I have eaten most of my meals on the floor in front of the giant touch wall I am setting up in the Palais. Granted, the sandwiches from the cart out front are not too shabby, but I want to eat in this town for reals.

After a relatively bad day where we all missed our chance to get sandwiches for dinner, I found myself walking back to the hotel at 10 PM with no dinner plans. I decided this was my moment to really live it up. I found a fancy looking restaurant and ordered Sole Meunière, which I have been wanting to try since reading Julia Child’s description of arriving in France and tasting her first French meal.

It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us, stepped back, and said: “Bon appètit!

I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection.

I can’t say I ate it slowly, but it sure was delicious. Simple and delicate and lemony with just a touch of fried skin. Perfection! This was a real French restaurant. I wanted just a glass of wine with the fish so I randomly ordered something. “Oh no,” the waitress said. “Wrong wine,” and she brought me the perfect rosé. I finished with a crumble aux pomme. I didn’t know apple crumbles were French, but when a French person says crumble it sure sounds French.

cannes michelle

I am near the beach. Not at the beach.

I took a break out on the terrace and tried to get me in a picture with the pretty beach that is 100 yards from where I am working all day. Looks nice, no? Those are the red carpet steps from the film festival right behind me. After Saturday, I should be able to visit the beach after all.

  • The Dad

    Reminds me of the my first trip to Germany, around 1982. That’s a whole other story. I ordered Sole Meuniere at the hotel restaurant in Dusseldorf. I don’t remember the hotel but it was highly rated, with museum like hallways featuring many suits of armor and such. The restaurant was French and I ordered Sole meuniere. I had heard of it. A very small portion of exquisite fish and a few potatoes arrived. It was really good, but so little! I ate slowly, to maximize the pleasure on such a meager amount but when I finished the waiter asked me if I was ready for the second half which was being kept warm under a large silver dome thing. That never happened again, even when I’ve eaten at even fancier restaurants. I can’t remember what I ate for dessert, but I’m pretty sure i did.

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