Friday, August 11, 2017


We crossed the border last night for a big birthday dinner. We do it every summer and have done the last two years at Hen of the Wood in Burlington - a fantastic place that makes a mushroom toast you dream of. This year there was a request to find a French place somewhere nearby (Quebec, as it turns out) for the festivities. X sleuth-ed out L'Oeuf in Mystic, Quebec, a short 25-minute drive from our summer locale. (As an aside, we ended up crossing into Quebec via the the same border patrol agent who'd seen the boys earlier in the week.). Southern Quebec is very Midwestern in layout: corn, soy beans, flat, barns. Mystic is a very small village hidden in the trees and made up of 30-40 fabulously maintained Quebecoise homes; and. L'Oeuf. The shop, inn, and restaurant are run by a couple who've somehow put together the best little place in the World. The shop is full of chocolate (that they make), mustards (some of which they make), marmalades, and assorted French stuff that sucks me in like me wandering into a high-end NYC papier. Before dinner we were three digits of money into our stash of chocolate, mustard, chestnut paste, and Opinel knives.

Dinner on a lovely screened in porch near the garden was a chef's selection for two of us and some a la carte on the other half. Everything was perfectly done with the beaujolais, confit de canard, terrine, and desserts. The terrine gave us insight into the handmade mustard half Canadian, half French seeds) that was a perfect piquant. On the way out we grabbed yet another jar that the waiter told us came with the terrine, but we were stopped short by the owner/mustardeer who directed to his unlabel home cache of jars - of which he gave us one free. It's gold. You'll never taste it because it's too precious. There was nothing in the entire event that wasn't perfect. Seriously. One of the best meals, ever. If you're up that way, and you never know, get a reservation.

Maybe we need a cross-border home.

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