Today being our wedding anniversary (43 years ago today, All Saints Church Manfield in N. Yorkshire, woohoo), we took ourselves out to lunch. And not just any old lunch, you’ll be happy to hear. We booked at the Boeuf Noir in Hésingue, a favourite spot of ours. Owned and run by Josiane and Jean-Pierre Giuggiola (she in the dining room, he in the kitchen), it’s a small gem of a place, a cut above the average frontalier resto (many of which are over-priced – thanks to the proximity to the Swiss border – and underwhelming).
On arrival, Madame Giuggiola greeted us warmly, took us out onto the small terrace/garden at the back, installed us and announced the Boeuf’s special menu anniversaire. Amazing, we thought, exchanging delighted glances, how on earth did she know…and then discovered that the menu is actually in honour of the fact that she and her husband have been running this great little place for 40 years. We owned up to our own anniversaire (cue for mutual congrats all round), unfurled napkins and awaited the anniversary feast:
MENU ANNIVERSAIRE 40 Ans (40€ + €22 for 3 wines)
Prélude d’amuses bouche
A tiny tasse of iced soup featuring potatoes and truffles
Coupe de Champagne offerte
Freebie glass of Champagne – too excited about the whole anniversary thing so forgot to ask whose, but deliciously lemony and fresh
Le carpaccio d’esturgeon à la truffe tuber aestivum et huile d’olive vièrge
Carpaccio of sturgeon + summer truffles and evoo – fresh, lemony, puncutated by tiny ‘pearls’ of lemon and Balsamic the size of peppercorns that popped in your mouth, perfect on a hot day,
Pinot Auxerrois Kuentz-Bas – golden, aromatic, fresh, lively
Brouillade d’œuf de poule à la truffe tuber aestivum
Softly scrambled egg with a shower of truffles, mmm
Saumur blanc (Chenin Blanc) – lovely Loire wine, perfect crisp foil to the unctuous eggs and discreetly aromatic so as to let the truffles do the biz
Carré de veau de lait choisy, risotto à la truffe tuber aestivum, son jus citronné
Pink and succulent milk-fed veal topped with a slice of citron confit and a lemony truffle-y risotto
St Chinian served chilled – loads of red berries, lively and not too heavy for a summer’s day, and took us happily through to…
No supper needed tonight…and already looking forward to the next anniversary – theirs and ours.
And for more on good places to eat both sides of the Rhine and in the Basel area, click here.