Like simple ingredients combined in an effective dish, several factors transported me from a small corner cafe at Clay Terrace mall to a rustic country restaurant in France. The Zay women lunched at Petite Chou in Carmel, Indiana. We ate immersed in wintry natural light around a thick wooden table as long and broad as the side of a barn. Coffee was self-serve at a bar; croissants beckoned delicately from behind glass. Large 18th century maps of Paris stretched across the walls. Newspapers were on hand. People leaned over tables and plates in earnest conversation.
My aunts and cousins were tempted by breakfast crepes, open-face egg sandwiches, and goat cheese salads, and I ordered Warm Mushroom Duxelles. In classic French cooking the mushrooms are cooked until all liquid boils away, then the mushrooms are made into a kind of paste and spread over bread. I enjoyed Petit Chou's mushroom duxelles, which consisted of a variety of local mushrooms, coarsley chopped and cooked slowly, then served with a butter and white wine sauce over thick slices of French bread. It was a fantastically simple yet satisfying meal. I would make mushroom duxelles at home and would certainly try Petit Chou again.
Check out the website: http://www.cafepatachou.com/
Check out the menu: http://www.cafepatachou.com/pc_ct_alldaymenu.pdf
(And yes, I had to use a translator to write the title. Sigh.)