A little Italian in Normandie


Paris was blessed recently with glorious weather fit for a Royal wedding – alas, unfortunately for Kate and William, it was 2 weeks short of their wedding with climate change occurring on the wrong side of the Channel.  Perhaps on their special day, the weather cloud will move in their favour towards Britain.  But nous avait profité from this sunshine.  The Italian suggested we do the 2 hour drive to Deauville, a seaside town well known amongst les Parisiens for its beautiful tudor like architecture and its promenades des planches where chic Parisiennes can be seen with their oversized sunglasses and high heels having a walk on the promenade along the beach.  This planked promenade was constructed in 1923 to allow les dames to walk along the beach front without sullying their long dresses and wetting their feet.

Deauville in the evening on a balmy night is really the place to be.  The town centre was buzzing with life – the young and old, couples and families out for dinner, really taking advantage of the glorious weather.   I can see the reason why so many Englishmen buy their holiday homes here, even why chic Parisians who cannot live without their LV and Hermés want to grow roots in this town.  Can you believe it, kawan kawan, Deauville spots a very attractive shopping street with Loius Vuitton and Hermés bags sitting prettily in tudor fronted shops.  I can understand the Hermés brand being there because Deauville is a riding town, with its own race course.  But the LV?  Are the French that patriotic to their own brands and creations?  Well, you can take the Parisian out of Paris but not Paris out of the Parisian, mais bien sûr!

Well, dinner was quite something else.  I guess in the case of the Italian, you can take an Italian out of Italia but never Italia out of him.  So, it was very apt that the choice of restaurant rested on Pizza Santa Lucia.  Additionally, my iphone App – Places – suggested that we should head for Santa Lucia if one wanted some Pizzas and Les Pâtes for dîner.  So religiously, taking the advice of the ever useful and friendly iphone, we parked the car, might I say , rather easily even in a crowded town centre, where if one were in Paris, would take at least a half hour to find a spot.

RN was very excited about the choice of cuisine for dinner.  She wanted to eat lasagne.  She had a food craving in the middle of the afternoon one day, requesting that I cook her lasagne for dinner.  The lasagne she ordered had a very rich meaty ragu which tasted simply splendid.  The portion was just enough for one person unlike the gigantic ones the kids had gotten used to in NYC the week before.  Here is what RN ordered that night:

Lasagne

The plating in Italian restaurants is never as pretty as that in French establishments.  Italian restaurants always try to retain their rusticness and sense of home, very proud to serve up dishes the way Mamma does à casa.  I actually like it this way, as there is no fuss and plenty of thrill, if one is lucky enough to find a good Italian restaurant.  In this case, we did.

I ordered the plat du jour which was sardines fritures.  It was simply delicious in a perfect sort of way.  I like my fried sardines with a squeeze of lemon with every other mouthful smeared in tartar sauce.  I guess sardines are best eaten grilled or fried in a light batter like the ones I ordered:

Sardines Fritures

The Chinese usually prefer their fish steamed with ginger.  But one can hardly steam sardines, can one?  So this is the best way to eat them, bones and all.  There were really hao chi!

The other fried fish dish that is a favourite amongst the Navas is the calamari fritti.  This one RN loves very much.  I thought that the sotong served at this restaurant was simply divine.  I can taste the freshness of the squid even though they were covered in batter.   I like my rings of sotong with a squeeze of lemon but the little fairy princess likes hers just as they are:

Fried Sotong

For some strange reason, the Italian decided against the Pizza much to his regret.  Why?  Je ne sais pas but SS ordered her usual quattro formaggio which she generously shared with the Italian so he did luck out, fortunately for him. She reported it to be delish as did he!  I didn’t get a chance to taste her pizza because I was getting a little too full.  I could smell the oven baked goodness of the pizza dough though and I know that this is the sign of a good pizza.  The taste of oven-bakedness known to the Chinese as wok hai (in Cantonese) is what gives the pizza dough its flavour, enhanced of course with the cheese and tomato sauce. It’s that “little bit of burnt” on the crusts of the pizza that works magic, making one come back again for another bite of the same. Wok hai in fried kway teow is c’est la même chose.  In Cantonese Fried hor fun (kway teow in Singapore Hokkien), the rice sticks which are broad and flat are first fried in the wok before a gravy of meat and vegetables is poured over them.  Here I am not talking about the famous Char Kway Teow that all Singaporeans and Malaysians swear by.  The aforementioned version is served with a thick gravy.  That is a chance for another post, kawan kawan for the Cantonese Fried hor funis really a fav of mine.  Oops, I was waxing lyrical so much that I almost forgot to show you the pizza.  Here it is:

Quattro Formaggio

Observe the rotund pieces of chèvre.  Mmmmmmmm!  See those spots of burnt on the dough?  That, kawan kawan is the magic chargrilled taste that I was talking about earlier.

Pizza Santa Lucia

15 Avenue de la République 14800 Deauville, France

tel: 0899 234 693

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One response to “A little Italian in Normandie

  1. Pingback: To Market, To Market… | baguslahandsedaptoo

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