I have a story to tell about the greatest meal of my entire life.
It happened this way…
On our way back from Switzerland, we drove through (and stopped in) Strasbourg, France. Aaron and I really enjoyed our visit last year when we came with McBryde, and we were glad to be able to revisit Strasbourg.
It happened to be Mom and Dad’s 30th anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by a visit to this neat Franco German town. Mom wanted to visit it because, well, France! And Dad was keen to see a place that figured prominently in the life of John Calvin. Calvin briefly preached here, and it was here that he met his wife Idelette. Ian enjoyed the incredible astronomical clock in the cathedral, and we all loved the winding alleyways, quaint shops, and wonderful mix of France and Germany that made the city unique.
We got some sweets in a shop near the cathedral, and asked the shopkeeper for his recommendation of a place to eat in La Petite France – the charming old town near the water. His recommendation was La Corde a Linge, and I will be forever indebted to him for sending us that way.
Side story: On the way, McBryde saw and purchased two large, pseudo-African masks from a shop for $10, and then had to carry them through the city the rest of the evening in a giant paper bag. The story of the masks continues in Ireland, and it makes for quite a tale! I will be sure to include it when I write a post on our time in Dublin.
We found the restaurant easily – it was crowded, but thankfully there was one last table, and we quickly sat down before it could succumb to the tide of dinner-goers who were heading towards it!
The menu was relatively simple, but absolutely sumptuous, with dishes like “roasted duck in pinot noir sauce,” or “gourmet meatballs in Alsatian mustard sauce.” I was charmed to see that each dish was named after a type of fabric (La Corde a Linge after all does mean “washing line” in French, so this makes sense). After some debate, I chose the “Flannel” – a simple spatzle (German noodle) with fresh tomato sauce and slivered Parmesan. That may sound underwhelming, but you did not taste it.
It. was. divine.
I don’t know how they did it, but every bite of that dish was amazing. The ingredients tasted like they had just come off of the vine, and everything was cooked to the perfect consistency. The sauce was sweet, yet savory, the noodles were perfectly buttery and lightly salted, and the cheese on top was the perfect mix of creamy and strong. Everyone else at the table was blown away by their dishes as well – the simplicity, and yet the flavorful taste! I tried a little of Dad’s ratatouille – incredible.
Normally we don’t indulge in coffee and dessert when we go out, but the food had put us into such culinary heaven that we couldn’t stop. When coffee came out, it was accompanied by beautiful, delicate pastry rolls – which the boys promptly pretended were fancy cigarettes (gosh, I can’t take them anywhere!).
We lingered long over the dinner and dessert, eking out the balmy french evening by drinking our coffees slowly, and savoring every pastry crumb.
Twilight was falling when we finally finished, and wandered back through the winding alleyways and across the canal to our car.
It was one of the most charming and lovely evenings of my life, and undoubtedly the most delicious meal I have ever eaten.
And coming from a self-professed foodie, that means a lot.