Our meals the other day confirmed it for me. Midi began with what I dubbed Frikadelu Zupa d'Alsace. Double translation---that's from Latvian and French to English---a soup of herbed meatballs in a savory broth, okay, so without the potatoes and vegetables! Then, there was bone marrow, which I tried more than once, before allowing Herve to claim what remained before Benoit could. They adore it. I, if ever offered this obvious delicacy again, would kindly refuse with a "thank you, and I've tried it; please excuse me, it's not my favorite food," pause, smile. Finally, for the main course, there was an incredibly tender, juicy cut of beef, perhaps the term "corned beef" will help with your image. It was offered with mustard Maille, a French condiment brand and type of mustard that I happen to love, in the style of Dijon, a formulation a bit creamier and spicier than my coarser, beadier, ever-so-milder favorite, the recipe Ancienne.
Afterwords, we all went to Monoprix, a multipurpose store that I can only equate to that French export, Target. I bought the extra soft lavender soap that I can only find in France, five of them, and it made me happy. Dinner upon our return, you guessed it, was charcuterie--- a mixture of sliced meats of your choice--- served with cornichons a fait du chiles, the mustard from that afternoon, and a much needed, lightly-dressed salad. Sufficit it to say, I had not consumed such a quantity of wonderful cuts since Argentina! Perhaps someone should warn dear Ben now: we're going to become "Customers of 2009" of Manhattan Vegan Haunts, Angelika Kitchen and Counter!