My uncle is one of the sweetest men in the world - along with my husband and Daddy, of course – (PS – he has a political/current event focused blog that you can read here).
He’s my also my Godfather and has been spoiling me since day one – with shopping trips for special dresses at Christmas time and teaching me how to choose the finest red wines. He’s also an incredible cook and gardener, but I haven’t caught the green thumb yet.
Set in the middle of a charming little town about 40 minutes from downtown Erie, PA, I didn’t have grand expectations – but it may just be the best meal I’ve ever had.
We were seated on the porch, and they offered to move us inside if we got too chilly – but it was a beautifully crisp late summer night.
Having traveled to France back in highschool, I wasn’t a big fan of the food at the time and wouldn’t seek out a place like this on my own. Thankfully my uncle has fabulous taste. He even ordered us a bottle of wine that was served as soon as we sat down.
As we perused the menu, we were served warm “gourgeres” – puffy mini pastries with herbs and cheese. A few more plates of those with the wine would have been a complete meal for me!
The menu was listed as first, second, and main courses – my salad was a selection from the second course menu:
Local beet medley, local baby lettuce, blood orange and avocado oil viniagrette, herb & goat cheese mousse, pistachio chutney & candied pistachio.
Adam didn’t want an appetizer or salad, but I insisted he get the soup – so I could taste it.
Local corn soup, cold lobster & crab salad with truffle essence
As the sun set completely, the waiter – who we adored, and it was his last night working there – brought out a candle for our table.
Absolutely perfect palate cleansing canteloupe sorbet between courses:
The vegetarian main course option is simply listed as “Seasonal Vegetarian Preparation”, and I lucked out with this one:
To my best recollection: Roasted local tomato tarte with basil and baby pea puree, soy marinated grilled tofu with sprouts, and a roasted vegetable medley – snap peas, asparagus, carrots, purple potatoes, brussels sprouts, and radishes over a cream sauce
Adam went the predictable man route – filet with green peppercorn and cognac sauce, tomato provencale, and absolutely rediculous potatoes “au gratin”.
There had to be a stick of butter and pound of cheese between each paper thin layer – the best potatoes I’ve ever tasted.
When my uncle told me he made us a reservation here, he said both the wine and dessert were non-negotiable. And maybe it’s the French paradox at work, but even after the main the course I wasn’t uncomfortably full – and could hardly make up my mind once I read the dessert menu.
Although our waiter recommended the poached peach when I asked him for his favorite, I’m peached out after a few batches of cobbler. The trio of creme brulee sounded perfect for sharing.
Complete with rose petals, a candle, and a sincere wish for a happy first anniversary…
The only way to top a perfect meal, perfect wine, and perfect company?
With a rose and house made chocolates, of course – espresso truffles. I could have died.
Chilled dark chocolate perfection with a hint of espresso flavor that almost melted before you could even eat them. Such a shame Adam doesn’t like dark chocolate – I got to have both.
So, what’s the message here? First of all, THANK YOU to my amazing uncle for the best anniversary gift possible, and to La Fleur for an unfortgettable meal.
In terms of healthy messages, this rich French food was perfectly portioned, and the atmosphere encouraged mindful, slow eating to enjoy every moment of the dining experience.
Are you a fan of French cuisine? Have you ever been blown away by a restaurant experience?