For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 2 in Switzerland

Rolle, Switzerland
Another cloudy, rainy day. But even the gloomy weather didn't stop my weary, jetlagged body from exploring my remarkable surroundings (as well as picking up some new, useful colloquial French). Late morning, a family errand whisked me from the towering hillsides and vineyards that hover over the city of Rolle, to the nearby town of Gland—which is supposedly inhabited by Phil Collins and is also the butt of many jokes in French movies and television shows. Gland has two meanings: acorn and the tip of a p---- (you can fill in the blanks). Gland is not far from the towns of Aubonne and Gimel, and strung together, Aubonne Gimel Gland, creates a play on words. To all the girls, I put my gland inside. Useful to know. 

Food converted to energy is also helpful. When we headed back to Rolle, our growling stomachs led us to the charming downtown restaurant, "Le Cap Breton" (the Breton Cape). This savory crêperie, owned and operated by a Frenchman from Brittany, offers a variety of crêpes and appetizers set amidst a rustic, nautical-themed setting. Adorned with antique chairs and tables, seafaring trinkets and baubets as far as the eye can see (such as seashell-shaped candelabra and bright yellow napkins folded in the shape of boats), this comfortable yet busy maritime atmosphere creates a funky oceanic environment for patrons.

We ordered Kerisac to accompany our meal—a tasty dry apple-based French hard cider with a unique musty flavor (my brother picked up notes of "mushroom or fungus"). This drink fared well with the vigorous first course, fish soup served in a ceramic boat with chunks of red mullet fish (rouget), petite slender mussels, and stems of lemon thyme that swam in a rich brown broth (which we easily mopped up with toasted slices of baguette topped with housemade mayonnaise-tartar sauce and grated gruyère cheese). Tasty, warm and satisfying on this cool, overcast day.

Next up: the main course. I ordered the "Galette de l'Atlantique." This large crêpe, served folded and topped with smoked salmon, sautéed onions, capers, lemon, lettuce, and a citrus cream dressing, ended my aquatic meal on a rich, hearty note.

On the way out, I couldn't resist stopping at the bar for a picture as I learned yet another play on words. La Criée du Bar (bar = sea bass). Translation: The fish is screaming...or...You are screaming at the bar for a drink.

Even after this oceanic feast, several hours later we found ourselves eating again. This time, Papet Vaudois, a traditional Swiss dish typically served during the cold winter months in the canton of Vaud (Rolle belongs to this canton, which is the equivalent of a state in the U.S.), ended up on my plate, lovingly made by my sister-in-law and her sister. Consisting of potato, leek and cream stew served alongside local sausages (we bought saucisse aux choux—pork sausage with cabbage), this tangy, creamy, time-honored, warm meal was a treat.                  
 
And for the wine? What else? I wanted to reciprocate and retrieved from my suitcase a bottle of 2005 Sinor-LaVallee Pinot Noir, Aubaine Vineyards, San Luis Obispo County. A smooth, pleasant, fruity hit. Our dinner party was surprised at the bold fruitiness of this wine and was even more flabbergasted to learn that San Luis Obispo produces even bigger fruit-forward wines. They declared this wine a "pleasure to drink" and later I heard they wanted to know how they could order this wine and have it shipped over.

And for dessert? A light strawberry mousse cake. Delicious (délicieux). No double meaning intended.

Day 2: Good food. Good company. Learned something new.

All Text and Photos Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved. 

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