Paul and I walked over the bridge to Vancouver KidsBooks yesterday, a wonderful place to browse, although dangerous to the credit card. On the way back, I realized we were just in time for an early seating at Au Comptoir. Casual French dining (even the menus are partly en français), in a room that could conceivably have been lifted from somewhere in the 10th arr. (I.e. traditional enough but with an innovative edge). Badoit water on offer, Cafés Richard china. . . And all the servers with accents that had us slipping into our own French, reciprocating accents, if you will.
And then I had sablefish with ratatouille (rolled inside thinly sliced zucchini). The sablefish had the lightest crispness to its outside--a wonderful contrast to the buttery smoothness of its flesh. I order sablefish (often called black cod although it isn't really cod) fairly often and I've never tasted this finish--so good!
On a bed of kaleand accompanied by blocks of compressed scalloped potatoes. Garnish of cooked cherries, thin slices of beet, and a beet purée.
And the book recommendation? I'll write more about this soon on my book blog (I'm almost caught up there, having recently posted on a great Parisian mystery series), but meanwhile I have to tell you how important I think Atul Gawande's Being Mortal is for anyone who thinks that she or a loved one might become ill or old or, let's get to it, die in the next 5 or 20 or 30 years... Gawande, a surgeon himself, talks about how poorly Medicine has done with allowing us to live as fully and comfortably as possible in illness and old age; instead, efforts have been directed to fending off death, with the resultant hospitalization and medicalization often obscuring our hopes and desires for our last days. His narrative is thoughtful, honest, thoroughly engaging, sobering and inspiring and illuminating. Despite its somber topic, I read the book in three days and I've now pressed it on Pater .... And you!