Lauren and I decided to take a leisurely drive to the contryside of the Ardeche for our Sunday afternoon lunch. Neither of us expected an area so strikingly beautiful, a change in temperature and season so dramatic, nor a drive so hair raising. The 60km drive which started from our current home base by the Rhone quickly put us into the mountains of the Ardeche. Up and down we went from pass to pass, and from one hairpin turn to the next, as we made our way west. Soon the evergreen trees became covered with a dusting of snow, as well as the road in front of us. Our thermometer on the car plummeted from 15c at the start of the drive, to -1c about a half hour in. Lauren was not, lets say, entertained as much as I was about the setting, seeing as she was in the driver's seat. No guard rails, no plowing, and very steep cliffs immediately next to the road. We emerged unscathed though, and into the quiant mountain town of St.Bonnet-le-froid. Our destination was La Coumelle, the bistro of Regis and Jacques Marcon. The father and son team head a three star restaurant and hotel in the town (closed for the winter), a bistro, a country auberge, a bakery, and a wine shop in the town. With a population of just under a thousand, you could say they own the place. We sat down and had a very, very good lunch. One of the better we've had the whole trip. There were no options on the appetizers, just an plate consisting of several components: Foie Gras terrine, Aigre-doux vegetables, Mushroom soup, and trout roe with couscous. All very well executed, and all working together somehow. For entrees, Lauren took the beef, consisting of a ribeye accompanied by sauteed and vinegared onions with grapes and a pot-au-feu of braised beef and winter vegetables. I was flat out jealous. My entree was duck breast with confit leg of duck rolled into a chartreuse with cabbage. Very good. As we left, we got talking with the maitre d'hotel who informed us that Jacques was the one cooking in the kitchen today and insisted we talk with him. Jacques came out and couldn't have been more pleasant and kind. We swapped kitchen stories and got a bit of info on the area and background from him. He gave us a jar of local honey and some confit of wild berries from the area as a parting gift. Really good guy, really good day. I took the wheel on the way home to help alleviate any anxiety after such a tranquil lunch.