Summer lunch by the vines

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I love the tunnel of plane trees on the drive east from St. Rémy on the D99 towards Cavaillon. We were meeting friends from Cereste near Goult in the middle of the Luberon vineyards at a little pizzeria called Il Doppio. What a sweet spot. In the courtyard out back, our table sat under some mammoth plane trees next to a vast expanse of vineyards. I could barely make out the tiny town of Lacoste in the distance. At least I thought it was probably Lacoste. Even as the temps were crawling towards 90F, it was perfectly comfortable outside. Ralph and I ordered the salad of the day (14 euros)—served in big flat pasta bowls. They were heaped with a gorgeous veggie basket of mixed greens, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, beets, fat green olives and tangy caper berries with lots of creamy chunks of goat cheese, splashed with just the right amount of a very tasty vinaigrette. Criss-crossed on top was a pair of long, sesame sticks. Oh, a demi-pichet de rosé (10 euros) was de rigueur! Plus, a couple of carafes of water. Our vegetarian friend got his usual—the oven-roasted mozzarella and tomato pizza and the other buddy, the pasta of the day—over-sized raviolis stuffed with mozzarella, topped with a saffron-lemon sauce. She offered a bite, and I gratefully accepted. Oh, la, la, the fresh pasta was feather-light and the saffron sauce, vibrant. After our leisurely lunch—since we were in the neighborhood—we popped into the Aureto winery across the street to pick up a “six-pack” of rosé. On our way home, we made a little detour up into Goult. Years ago, we had had a nice walk in the area and had ended at Café de la Poste. On that day, we had been alone except for a single feline that took her time moseying across the street. Today, the café was hopping.

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