M. Chapoutier Delivery Truck

During our recent travels through the Côte de Rhône Nord appellations we stopped for a tasting at the M. Chapoutier winery. These wines are some of the best in the appellation but outside in the delivery parking lot was this classic delivery truck.

How I would love to have some wine delivered to our home by this truck!

M. Chapoutier Delivery Truck

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Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Cassoulet is one of the ultimate French comfort foods and has always been one of my favorite meals. However to prepare it the traditional French way, the recipe can take several days and many hours of preparation and cooking. We found a recipe on NY Times Cooking from Mark Bittman called “Slow Cooker Cassoulet” which got us thinking why we could not adopt our cassoulet recipe to a less labor intensive and time consuming method.

Although I am sure Cordon Bleu would not approve of this recipe, I can tell you that it was one of the most flavorful and tasty meals we have prepared. The total involved cooking time was only around 1 ¼ hours although it did cook in the slow cooker for five hours.

We paired this dinner with a new (to us) wine appellation from Crozes-Hermitage, which provided an excellent pairing to the cassoulet, even though Crozes-Hermitage is not really that close to Gascony, where cassoulet was first made.

This is a strong recommendation on our yum scale so you should give it a try, especially with how easy it is to make. You can find our recipe at searching4zen.com.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Arranging all of the vegetables before commencing with the slicing and dicing

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Carrots, onions and garlic all diced and in the slow cooker ready to cook

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Sautéing the duck confit until it is golden brown

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Browning the sausages in the duck fat until golden brown

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

The cassoulet in a deep casserole pan, all that is needed is the bread crumbs and the parsley.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

All of the meats ready to be put into the slow cooker

Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage

The wine which we paired with the slow cooker caussolet. Excellent melding of favors between the wine and the food.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Slow Cooker Caussoulet plated and ready to serve

l’Escargot d’Or

We were heading back home from a week in Italy and stayed in Saint-Etienne. We found this restaurant on Trip Advisor and decided to spend our Saturday evening here. Well that was one of the best decisions we made on this trip.

The food was wonderful, very tasty and presented beautifully. The service was outstanding especially with the owner seeming to take care of everyone in the full restaurant. The entire staff was outstanding.

Next time we are passing through Saint-Etienne we will definitely stop in again.

l' Escargot d'Or

A beautiful amuse-bouche to start our dinner at l’Escargot d’Or.

l' Escargot d'Or

Tarte St. Moret dou de sumon et magret fumé

l' Escargot d'Or

Flan de coquille St-Jacques chair de homard au piment d’Espelette

l' Escargot d'Or

Filet de veau terre et mer sauce safram – Wonderful!

l' Escargot d'Or

Dos de lieu noir sauce Provençale poutargue râpée

l' Escargot d'Or

Les fromages affinés

l' Escargot d'Or

Les fromages affinés

l' Escargot d'Or

I can’t recall what they called this, but to me it was death by chocolate! It was heavenly.

l' Escargot d'Or

A wonderful Mercurey from Bouchard Père & Fils. The owner recommended this wine and it was great with our meals.

l' Escargot d'Or

One of the two menu du jour at l’Escargot d’Or

l' Escargot d'Or

The second of the two menu du jour at l’Escargot d’Or

Ristorante Consorzio

After a day of driving we were looking forward to a creative and unique dinner and that is what we received at Ristorante Consorzio. The food was very good and the service nice.

Ristorante Consorzio

The amuse bouche which came with some excellent bread.

Ristorante Consorzio

Soma d’aj, a very attractive antipasti.

Ristorante Consorzio

La Cruda, a local rendition of steak tartar. It was excellent.

Ristorante Consorzio

Risotto Bergese, an outstanding risotto.

Ristorante Consorzio

Faraona tonchese croccante, a excellent cooked chicken recipe.

Ristorante Consorzio

Caramelized bricoche bread, zabaione and raisins ice cream. Very yummy.

Ristorante Consorzio

Menù Desgustazione

Ristorante Consorzio

Ala cart menu

Ristorante Consorzio

The dessert menu for the day.

Ristorante Consorzio

La msòíra e’l rastel “Green Palma” 2014 a very nice Barbera d’Alba.

la quercia di rosa ristorante

For the evening we stayed in Modena we ate at an absolutely wonderful ristorante. It is a small restaurant outside of Centro called La Quercia di Rosa. We happened to be dining on a day that they were specializing in the local white truffle and many of the typical meals were on the truffle menu of the day. It was great that we selected two main plates from this menu.

The owner of the restaurant, Rose, we extremely helpful and suggested a local wine for dinner but also a local producer of parmesan cheese as we were planning to visit some cheese producers the next day. I highly recommend La Quercia di Rosa for dinner.

La Quercia di Rosa

White Truffle Special Menu of the Day

La Quercia di Rosa

Smoked Salmon starter

La Quercia di Rosa

Fried Bread, Which I was told I need to use to eat my antipasto.

La Quercia di Rosa

My starter of an antipasto

La Quercia di Rosa

My starter of an antipasto

La Quercia di Rosa

Tortellini alla Panna with White Truffles

La Quercia di Rosa

Tagliolini al tartufo, awesome.

La Quercia di Rosa

Pio Cesare, a Great Local Wine Selected by Rosa

Touring the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

This past week we drove up to the Valdobbiadene wine region which produces some of the best prosecco in the world. The vineyards are planted on the sides of very steep and tall hills which reduce the yields compared to France’s champagne and other sparkling wine regions.

The scenery was beautiful and wines were superb!

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

Views of the Valdobbiadene Valley from the Col Vetoraz

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

Another views of the Valdobbiadene Valley from the Col Vetoraz

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

A church up on the top of another ridge

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

Another nearby winery

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

The Val D’Oca Winery, one of my favorites in the region. I like how the texture reminds me of bubbles.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Region

Valdobbiadene prosecco extra dry

Valdobbiadene Prosecco

Bellussi Prosecco Superiore

Val D'Oca Prosecco

This prosecco is a 2015 vintage prosecco which is stored in these beautiful blue bottles. Very tasty and sells at a reasonable price.

If you would like more information on the Valdobbiadene region, you can check out the Overview page on TripAdvisor.com.

Bistro Il Ceppo

We easily found Il Ceppo (even though you need to walk a short bit as the street is closed to traffic). You enter into the traditional Italian deli store and are shown downstairs into the wine shop where there are a number of tables set up for groups of two and four.

The service was outstanding and the food spectacular. We also had a glass of wine from the local wine region which was also excellent. An outstanding lunch in Vicenza.

Bistro Il Ceppo

Tasting Bacala’ Menu

Bistro Il Ceppo

Bacala Trilogy, three ways to have salted cod, a fritter, amantecato and a salad of Bacala

Bistro Il Ceppo

Porchini Soup drizzeled with olive oil

Bistro Il Ceppo

Bacala Main Course with Polenta Squares

Bistro Il Ceppo

Tropical desserts

Bistro Il Ceppo

Excellent local Valpolicella Superiore 2013

For more information about Bistro Il Ceppo you can read about it on TripAdvisor.com.