The lunch menu at Madame Jeanne
Brousse du Rove/tomates anciennes/huille de basilic
The first dish started a sensational meal! It was described as Brousse du Rove which is a fresh goat milk cheese from a small village to the west of Marseille. It is a soft, delicate and creamy cheese that is made from raw goat milk. It was paired with heirloom tomatoes and leaves of basil that had been anointed with some basil oil. As we started eating, the cheese started to coat the tomatoes to almost form an extra sauce. It was delicious! Our other comment about this dish is to point out the perfect balance in the seasoning, where small flakes of salt and grindings of pepper harmoniously complemented the nicely flavoured basil oil.
Salade de poulpe/lard de Colonata/olives de Kalamata
So this dish consisted of thinly sliced octopus tentacles then sprinkled with olive oil and spring onions, and overlaid with stunning slices of Colonata lardo - which is regarded by many as the ultimate lardo on the planet. This was a great dish of apparent simplicity but which would not work if the ingredients were not perfect.
The final starter was a tartare of beef matched with some lovely green leaves and excellent potatoes - these days you often see "pdt" on menus in France rather than the longer "pommes de terre".
Our next dish was the "Quasi de veau/?as?de pdt/courgettes/sauge" which saw a pile of crushed potatoes and a couple of very good zucchini topped with two pucks of perfectly cooked veal. Some fried sage leaves completed the picture. Unfortunately, a deep discussion about the wine that had just been served meant that we forgot to take a photo of this dish.
Coco rouge en minestrone/soup au pistou
The final dish of coco beans (coco rouge) in a pistou soup was absolutely stunning. The beans had been cooked until they were creamy inside but had not broken down and become grainy. The accompanying flavours helped to bring all of the ingredients together proving that in cooking the sum can be much, much greater than the individual components. This dish was a perfect example of the idea we were proposing above about the use of vegetables in dishes. Coco beans are flavoursome and sustaining and also comprise about 10% protein.
We finished the meal with some very good cheeses and a couple of excellent desserts, including a pavlova with fresh raspberries and another with a Chantilly cream with strawberries and cherries.
We are definitely looking forward to our next visit to this wonderful place.