Rien, Friesland, November 8—
WE EAT TODAY in a splendid 17th-century cottage (I think; it may be early 18th) in a tiny village in northwest Netherlands, a hamlet really, so tiny there is no commercial building of any kind; the grocery store comes in in the form of a small truck, Monday mornings.
And the cottage belongs to our friend the chef, so we eat very well indeed. Breakfast: fresh-squeezed orange juice; a cappuccino or two from a good espresso machine; bread brought from Amsterdam; decent Dutch cheese; apricot jam.
Lunch: a pyramid of St. Nectaire; a few slices of delicious lardo; cornichons; a bottle of Aprémont (Saint Jeaire Prieux, nv).
And what shall we have for dinner? How about some beautiful sea bass from the North Sea, grilled, with fennel mixed with braised fennel, and mashed salsify? A delicious sophisticated yet tradition-based combination, with a bit of cheese for dessert.
Chambolle Musigny, Les Charmes,1999