"SOME people go to the French Open for the tennis; others go for the food. ....
And lunch at Roland Garros? Like the royal French courts, there is a hierarchy of who eats where and what. .... at the top, the very top, there are coveted dining experiences reserved for the chosen few. On the first day of the tournament on Sunday, I tried both haute-cuisine sites. ....
I was led up to the Village de Roland Garros on the second level, where Potel accommodates 19 corporations, ... which rent and decorate reception rooms for their best clients. The rooms open out onto a central avenue lined with white petunias and gold and orange marigolds, where clients mingle and sip cocktails.
One level above is an invitation-only restaurant called Club Potel et Chabot. There I was greeted with a flute of pink Champagne and an amuse-bouche of foie gras on long, paper-thin leaf-shaped toast.
Lunch started with ceviche of dorade in an iced sorrel base with tiny bits of crisp green zucchini. Then came Bresse chicken, the king of fowl, in a sauce of pungent vin jaune from the Jura, accompanied by thin layers of potato on one side and a savory cake of finely diced morel mushrooms and chicken on the other. ... A 2010 Laporte Le Grand Rochoy Sancerre (white) and a 2011 David Reynaud Crozes-Hermitage (red) were served.
Every culinary whim was taken as a command. When one guest at my table casually noted that vin jaune has a strange taste on its own but is perfect when married with Comté cheese, a 2005 Arbois Vin Jaune Stéphane Tissot and thick slices of fruity 18-month-old Comté suddenly appeared.
As this was my second lunch of the day, I skipped the cheese course and went straight to the mini cream puffs served atop a bed of cherries in hibiscus water.
Vive la France!
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