In Middle-of-Nowhere, Illinois, high days and holidays are the only times my sister gets to eat French food. So, while she’s on her annual visit back to the UK, I made sure she got her fill.
For her birthday and other special occasions, Sandra and her husband have to get the train to Chicago, where they have dinner at Bistro Zinc. Here in Brighton, a decent French restaurant is just a walk away.
Snails are one of her favourites – and mine too – so I took her to Bistro Nantais in Hove for lunch on Friday. I knew they would be on the menu. We wolfed down six each to start with.
We both chose mains from the daily specials board. I went for confit of venison shoulder (pictured), while Sandra opted for lamb navarrin. In the US, it’s hard to come by lamb – beef, chicken and pork are the staples there – so she likes to have some whenever she’s back.
We washed it down with a malbec.
We rarely get a chance to spend time together any more. Since she moved across the Atlantic, it’s been harder to be as close as we used to be. Facebook and Skype help, of course, but it’s not quite the same. So, the day was a good chance not only to enjoy some good food but also to catch up.
To complete her French fix, I bought her a tin of snails to take back to the States with her. So when she cooks them, she can think of me and remember our sunny day out in Brighton.