Le Comeback a la Quete de la Nouvelle Gloire

After a rather insane week of welcoming new guests at all three gites, Franck and I escaped to Dijon on Saturday for dinner and a movie.

We made reservations at one of our favorite restaurants in Dijon – La Ruelle. Our reservation was at 8:00 and we got there about ten minutes past (and if you have ever tried to park around La Place du Marche in Dijon on a Saturday night, you’ll understand why). The restaurant was almost empty – dinners on the weekends in France usually don’t get rolling until 9:00 or so – but while we were waiting to order at least fifteen groups came in to request tables but were turned away. “C’est Complet!” was the answer they all got.

I was so glad we had reserved a table as we had the most gorgeous dinner we’d had in a long time. I ordered a veal paupiette cooked in saltimbanco style (I had no clue what this meant, but it sounded very intriguing indeed) with fresh gnocchi. Franck had a beef roast and a slice of foie gras in a lovely pastry with fresh vegetables. With that we ordered some Saint Amour, one of my favorite wines from the Beaujolais. We were so in ecstasy during our meal that we could hardly speak. Just lots of “ooohs” and “ahhhs” and “here, you have to taste this!”

Desert was for me three pots of custard: coffee, pistachio, and chocolate. Franck had a crepe flambeed with Grand Marnier served with homemade vanilla ice cream. After that we each sipped our espressos, feeling completely at one with the world.

The total bill was 92.00 Euros. Not cheap, but I would frankly rather do a restaurant like La Ruelle every two or three months than go out for mediocre meals more often. In my mind, that was 92.00 Euros very well spent.

If you are in Burgundy, we would highly recommend La Ruelle for a lovely dinner:

Resturant La Ruelle
8, ruelle Quentin
21000 DIJON
Tel: 03.80.49.98.51 *and definitely make a reservation!

The atmosphere is very laid back, so dressy clothes are not required.

*****

Afterwards we went to the movie theatre to see if we could catch a flick and arrived just in time to see the film “Music and Lyrics”. I am happy to say that even though I missed Hugh Grant’s plummy British accent, his charm came through the French dubbing process intact. I particularly loved the mock 80’s video “Pop goes my Heart” with Hugh Grant doing the motorbike-revving-hip-thrust-dance in tight white eighties pants. It was light and breezy, and exactly the kind of movie I was in the mood to watch, and exactly the kind of movie at which the French disdain. This is why, I believe, the movie has been saddled with one of the most horrendous and impenetrable titles of all time.

That’s right, all over France, from Marseille to Dunkirk, on the adorable poster of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore it reads “Le Comeback a la Quete de la Nouvelle Gloire.”

This directly translates as “The Comeback (apparently there is no french word for such a creature) on a Quest for the New Glory“. Could they possibly have fit any more prepositions in there?

I think this is the French film industry’s way of sabotaging American films that have the audacity to end well and provide closure for the main characters and the audience.

It may be simplistic, but I LOVE closure, and demand it of pretty much every book I read or any film I watch. Yes, it is not representative of life, but that is precisely why I want it in my leisure time.

This reminds me of a french romantic comedy I was forced to watch several years ago. It was called “Le Zebre” and starred the french actor Thierry Lhermitte whom I usually adore. He played a character who was crazy in love with his wife and who adored his several beautiful children, but who lived in terror of the day when he would no longer be able to surprise his wife. One day while the family is on a bucolic vacation in Brittany he goes off for an afternoon sail: his little boat comes back, but he doesn’t. Is he dead? Is he alive?

Fast-forward a few years. His wife has accepted the fact that he has drowned (yes, I too was hard pressed to find the “comedy” element in the film thus far) and then she starts to receive letters and strange messages ostensibly from him.

Is he alive? Is someone playing a sick joke?

This goes on for a good hour, but all in all we (the audience) are rooting for him to be alive, because, hey, it is Thierry Lhermitte after all, although if he were my husband he would sure have some serious explaining to do…but, I digress. So the tension mounts, and it is looking more and more probably that he is in fact alive.

And then a meeting is set up between the wife and the presumed dead-although-we’re-no-longer-so-sure-husband.

But instead of Thierry Lhermitte, her husband’s best friend comes to the rendezvous. It turns out he was instructed to send all the letters, etc. to keep her fascinated with her husband, but that he has no idea if the Theirry Lhermitte character is alive or dead either.

And then the film ends….and I wanted to throw a brick into the screen.

But that, mes amis, is how a french film earns its coveted short and succinct title!