Letter, March 9th, 2001, by Colin Visser
Viviane left this morning, we love Viviane. We have known her
for almost 40 years (we met on a beach in Crete in 1963) and feel very close
to her. She was a wonderfully generous guest, and arrived for lunch every day
with a chocolate cake from Escriba – each more unctuous than the last.
On Wednesday she took us to Merce Navarro's (she who came to Toronto to cook
the Catalan meal) Roig Rubi and paid for the all truffle menu (I am mortified
at how much it cost). We had foie gras icecream (!) with grated truffles; toast
with sliced truffles; potatoes and mozzarella with sliced truffles; sea bream
with grated and sliced truffles; venison with sliced truffles; and finally
chocolate truffles. All but the last featured real (not canned, bottled, or
east of the Danube) truffles. Pungent. Depraved. We have now had truffles and
I feel that that particular gap in my life has been filled.
Letter, May 16th, 2001, by Colin and Margaret
Well, to give you a quick run on the past week. We went out to dinner for
Margaret's birthday and hit on the restaurant (entirely by chance) where the
chef has just received an award for being the best chef in Barcelona. We had
the menu de degustation. One dish will suffice as a sample: pansy bread with
smoked salmon, raw salmon confit, salmon eggs, and mayonnaise ice with various
sauces; pansy petals as decoration. It will be a while before we eat out again.
Our figures and finances will have to recover.
Margaret: We were staggered to discover that this unknown
restaurant stands in front of Santa Ines - Saint Agnes's church in Barcelona.
As you know, the tradition is that Agnes was plump. "I bet she liked her food," said
Colin approvingly. "She's having her little joke – a birthday present..."
© Margaret Visser 2001