I must be feeling on top of the world. First a shopping spree at an art gallery, now a 3-course lunch at Le Central. The menu at this fine French restaurant has my mouth watering.
- Appetizer – Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee (Onion soup served with melted cheese on toast)
- Main – Raviole de Foi Gras de Canard Frais en Consomme de Canard au Chou (Stuffed ravioli with “Foie Gras” poached in duck consomme with cabbage)
- Dessert – Le Fondant au Chocolat Chaud, Creme Anglaise et Glace Pain d'Epices (Mid cooked hot chocolate cake served with custard and gingerbread ice cream)
I'm clearly the youngest guy in the joint at today's lunch seating. I was greeted upon entrance (by the owner, it felt). I had my choice of seats and picked a corner table for two with a view of the whole restaurant and bar. Ceiling fans twirl lightly. There is a quiet ambiance of mixed conversation, music, and silverware clattering against plates.
The service has been fantastic – sometimes you can just tell from the start. The mid-day glass of red house wine tastes wonderful.
The onion soup lacked the copious amounts of cheese and brandy (I believe) that my mom's version offers, however I had to try it. I immediately burnt my tongue.
The ravioli was singular, and stuffed with a large hunk of foie gras. It was decadent, and the duck consomme was light like the pasta.
When the main arrived, I also overheard the mention of one of my favorite authors, Jack Kornfield, at the adjacent table. I joined the two gentleman in further conversation, and they departed just as I decided on chocolate cake for dessert. Charles, the older American, had lived in Laos the last 19 years after arriving in the region (northern Thailand) 40 years ago with the Peace Corps. The younger British man had been here less time, having been a monk in northern Thailand for several years. He met his wife in Luang Prabang (northern Laos), so perhaps there was hope for me yet.
I feel warm and fuzzy inside. The combination of (relatively) cheap prices and laid back atmosphere in this capital “village” is amazing. I like it….I like it a lot. Living the high life for 4 days and nights in Vientiane was a great idea.
Dessert was sumptious. The chocolate cake oozed warm melted chocolate. The gingerbread ice cream was unique and tasty. I'm stuffed and ready for a siesta in my room. I'm going to ask for a copy of the day's lunch menu as a souvenir.