Above, a pistachio and berry chocolate tarte and a strawberry tarte from La Vie en Rose
I thought that love was just a word | They sang about in songs I heard | It took your kisses to reveal | That I was wrong, and love is real. | Hold me close and hold me fast | The magic spell you cast | This is la vie en rose.English translation of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”
Ah, finally rediscovering the boulevardier-type pleasure of entering a restaurant on a daily basis and ordering from a menu versus all that pent-up time of cooking at home during the past year or so. This blog will be taking you to numerous dining establishments in Guanajuato over the next week to help ignite your wanderlust. Two French ones come first because we are hoping to head to France in about ten days and don’t want you to tire of reading about French food.
A glass case full of luscious-looking pastries on the first floor of La Vie en Rose is a sign of flavorful things ahead. They are available to-go, but heading upstairs to the high-ceilinged dining room for a balanced meal first is worthwhile. Hitting the spot for us were the caramelized pecans warming goat cheese atop a fresh salad. Ratatouille provided the vegetables we craved, balanced by a rich bechamel sauce adding a French accent to a dish of lasagna. And, alas, a downpour struck, forcing us to remain and sample a pair of pastries. Both rose up to French standards.
As for my qualifications in their evaluation: I spent an entire semester trying to pinpoint the best strawberry tarte available in patisseries on Paris’ Left Bank. I gave myself an incomplete because I needed to pursue my quest at least one more semester; however, the endeavor does stand as early evidence of my lifelong career goal of assuming the role of a boulevardier.
While La Vie en Rose has been in Guanajuato several years, La Table de Andree was new to us. Chef Thierry Ambrosini, who hails from Sant Avold in northeastern France, welcomed us with warm date amuse-bouches.
Tacos de pato confitado represented a successful fusion for a flavorful starter. The shrimp a la persillada were luscious, but the smell of a friend’s curried shrimp would have sent me that direction if we had returned. The risotto de verduras proved a nice healthy version of a dish often overly rich.
So, enjoy the regional cuisine of Guanajuato when there, but maybe allow yourself to delve into the diversions offered by these French ex-pats. Bon appetit.