I haven't got the stamina to do better than random, but I hope to adjust and snap back into better blogging soon. Meanwhile, all of my Paris-loving readers, you must pick up the September issue of Gourmet magazine, on newstands now. It's got some wonderful suggestions for meals under $50 -- we were tickled to see a recommendation for a lunch-under-$50 at a place we pass regularly when we return to our hotel in the 13th. We've always wondered why more people didn't patronize Christophe's -- indeed, we would regularly see Christophe sitting outside in the sunshine as we wandered "home" at 7:30, and there was no evidence crowds would be materializing to devour his food any time soon. Yet we had a wonderful meal there and the very personable chef came out to chat with us a bit about the dessert -- the most wonderful millefeuille with a glorious lemon cream. I wonder if he'll still have time to sit in the sun now that Ruth Reichl has sung his praises.
In other bits of randomness, one of our favourite Nanaimo restaurants, Drift, has reopened after shocking us all with a sudden, unexplained closure (turned out to be difficulties with financing after a dishwasher broke down, from what I've gathered). Closed for two months, so that we had almost given up hope, it re-opened last week and we were in to check it out Friday night. They'll be doing dinners only now, which suits us just fine, and there are a few changes to the menu, also fine with us. One of my daughters teases us about going to the same places again and again, but I find real pleasure in knowing I'll be treated well and can count on good food. Not that we don't enjoy trying out new places as well -- it's not either/or, right? What's your preference?
And finally, we were fortunate enough to attend a house concert on our little island Sunday -- a flute trio, one of whose members is a longtime fellow islander. The music was delightful -- a brilliant range of music, some from the flute trio repertoire and some arranged by the musicians themselves -- Cleopatra's aria, for example, from Handel's opera. Have any of you had the opportunity to attend house concerts? They're a marvellous way to experience live music on a very intimate scale -- I think they work fairly well for the musicians altho' no one will ever get rich on them. The host has to be a fairly generous soul with a love of music as she or he will be welcoming 40 or more people into their home, often providing light refreshments as well. We're ever so lucky here that a number of islanders are either professional musicians or the generous supporting souls so that we've been able to listen to a variety of music genres over the past year in this kind of setting. Sunday after next we're even going to a house-to-house concert -- a trio of concerts over an afternoon, a moveable feast of music. Can't wait.