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Searching for food experiences in and around Sarlat and Dordogne

mountainhound Mar 26, 2011 07:11 PM

I will be spending 6 days in Sarlat with my family in June. We will have a car and will be exploring the Dordogne. I would appreciate any and all recommendations, from food shops to the best restaurants. We will probably eat one or two high end meals but really prefer to experience the local mom and pop shop type of places.

  1. gingershelley Jan 28, 2012 02:31 PM

    For some reason, in my posts about our trips around Paris, and outlying areas of France, I have never posted about a lovely place my Parisienne BF and I stayed in the Dordogne;
    Le Ferme Auberge de la Rhonie. http://www.hotel-sarlat-en-perigord.com/ This is in Meyrals, in the hills west of Sarlat, and east of Le Bugue. Hard to find in the dark (!) when we arrived, but turned out well-situated for a base, and a charming stay.

    We enjoyed this as our base for 2 nights in October of 2011. It is a working Foie producer, and the gardens, pool, host and hostess as well as the accomodations were charming. We had dinner here our first night, coming from St. Emilion in the late afternoon. The food was good, tho nothing to compare to many meals of our trips, but solid Ferme -typical food. A lovely foie terrine to start, roasted goose with lovely potatoes and a red wine sauce for plats, and an apple tart with an unusual house-made chestnut creme for dessert.
    The most interesting part for us staying here, was the accomodations are at ground level, and below, in the basement (which is actually also a ground level, as building is built into a hill), is the abatoire for preparing the geese). We happened to hear noises in the mid morning, as we were headed out to a day of sightseeing; they had just driven the truck up loaded with crates of geese, and were quickly dispatching them in the first room (pristinely kept, all white tiled surfaces). Perhaps 3 people were, er, sending those happy geese to their hearafter.... we went up to the market day in Perigueux. Came back to change in the late afternoon to head to dinner, and curious about how the geese had faired, we walked down the drive to the bottom floor to look in the glass walled preparation area. Our gaze was met with 6 hard working staffers, quickly dispatching the rows of hanging rested geese into their various parts. Fascinating to observe the process.
    The following morning, we asked the proprioress at breakfast about what would be done with the rest of the goose and she said it is so common, that they basically discard all but the liver! They process the foie on-site, and there is a small producteur shop on-site where you can purchase their hand-processed products. We took home a couple of jars (to give to friend in Paris), and cans (to take back to the US) of bloc, and it was of exceptional quality.

    Just mentioning this location, as have found no references on CH, and it was a most pleasant location and stay. The view out of our chambre to the valley was magical, as was the gaggles of geese running to eat (more please!) in the late afternoon amongst the ancient stone grain huts on the grounds. I have never seen happier geese... not an angry honk amongst them! Perhaps that was the secret to the tasty foie gras we consumed recently back at home:)

    4 Replies
    1. re: gingershelley
      Robert Lauriston Jan 29, 2012 10:21 AM

      I posted about it a few years ago:


      They also sell gizzard confit (my favorite), magret, stuffed neck, goose fat, cassoulet, and various other goodies. I successfully managed to order some and have it shipped to the US.


      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        gingershelley Jan 29, 2012 10:41 AM

        So glad you enjoyed as much as we did! I did a search here on the board and did not find any reference to it, so after we ate our last can of foie recently, I thought I should go back and post belatedly.
        We also will stay there again, tho it may be a few years as we have other regions to explore before returning to this area, but look forward to it. The Dordogne was so pleasant and charming.

      2. re: gingershelley
        Parigi Jan 29, 2012 11:50 AM

        Wonderful find. Thank you.
        I heard from the butcher at Les Eyzies about a good ferme-auberge near Marquay. Must be this one.

        1. re: Parigi
          gingershelley Jan 29, 2012 03:21 PM

          I am humbled Parigi, from all your helpful posts to me/us ove the last few years on Paris dining, that I could expose a location you would consider!

          My BF, although from Paris, has not lived there in 20+ years, and I have found that he has very set ways of where to dine when we are there (also in other areas of France). It has been a deightful exercise to seek out locations for him to dine in when he goes without me ( I live vicarously on 'his visits' - as he goes to see his aging parents several times a year when I cannot go - , as well as when we are together in country.

          It has been a joy for me to seek out new resto's, auberge, bistrot's, etc. so we have a full look on the new and the old as we travel your lovely country.

          I truly support La Rhonie; it was such a wonderful and simple place to stay - wonderful room, gracious hosts, and the knowledge we gained about how it actually occurs for the geese in process. Delightful. Well... perhaps not for the geese, but I must report again, as dusk gathered, they ran about the farm's land in the meadow north of the common areas, and seemed so glad to be mucking about! Waddling, looking forward to dinner, etc.

          We can report that they seemed not so happy while waiting in the courtyard of the abatoire, but nothing more than pooping and waiting.... I do love my goose dinner, and it was fascinating to see it deveop up close. A true learning experience of farm to table.

          Our 'Rose Room' we stayed in was large, well furnished, and had a window on the valley below. Please go and stay there, and dine. And have questions for the owners. This is what keeps traditions alive.

      3. m
        mountainhound Jun 23, 2011 04:26 PM

        I thought that I should report back with highlights of our dining in and around Sarlat. Thanks everyone for your help.
        The Vieux Logis in Tremolat was lovely. The food was interesting using fresh local ingredients. Presentations were lovely. The Inn and its grounds are beautiful. It was a great pleasure to dine there.
        Le Grand Bleu was also a very pleasant experience. The food very good, the service excellent and charming. At times we felt that the chefs penchant for savory ice cream's was not always successful.

        Le Bistro de L'Octroi was good, not great but good. The most traditional of the menus.

        We particularly loved La Gabarre. The food was delicious and though it may sound ridiculous and be a perhaps unhelpful descriptor, it had soul. The owners could not have been more charming. The service was delightful. The food may not have been as sophisticated as at Vieux Logis or perhaps Le Grand Bleu, but this was the restaurant that we returned to and were delighted each time. Thank you all again for your help.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mountainhound
          condor Jul 4, 2011 04:49 AM

          Glad you had enjoyable food ....

          I was at the Vieux Logis for supper last Saturday night, & the whole team provided an excellent meal.

          I am returning this Friday, July 8 for lunch ... 'tapas style'.

          1. re: condor
            dave11743 Jul 6, 2011 05:25 AM

            Has anyone had dinner at Chateau de la Treyne recently? Any thoughts on quality at what seems a very hefty price?

        2. m
          mountainhound Jun 14, 2011 01:59 PM

          Just returned from our dinner at La Taulado. It was an experience we will not forget in many ways. We do have some questions about what is expected of a ferme auberge. After we placed our order we were given some local wine as an aperitif with some snack mix of pretzels and spiced crackers, just like we would buy in the US in a bag in the grocery store. The first course was served. Three of us had the salade verte with cabecou cheese and one had the salad with gessieres, duck gizzards. All were very good, especially the gessieres, but aren't they required to only serve what comes from their farm? The tomatoes with all four salads were of a large variety that couldn't possibly be in season here now. Our main courses arrived and were all good as well. Two of us had omelettes with girolle mushrooms, one of us had magret of duck and the last had entrecote of boeuf both served with the famous sardalaise potatoes. The potatoes were good for a bite or two. While I love duck fat and keep it in my freezer specifically to use with roasted potatoes I could not eat much of these because they were so greasy. The dessert selections were chocolate mousse, apple tart and an assortment of ice creams. We once again questioned what was being produced on the farm. Chocolate? Apples in June? Coffee ice cream? There is a cherry tree outside the building that has beautifully ripe cherries dripping from it. We certainly felt we experienced some country French cooking in the purest sense but there seems to be some inconsistency here. Can anyone help us understand the concept? Thanks! We are still considering Le Bougayrou for later in the week.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mountainhound
            perigord lover Jun 15, 2011 08:06 AM

            The concept is for you, the diner, to enjoy a traditional, delicious, farmhouse meal typical to the region. My understanding is that 80% of the food in that meal is supposed to be grown on that farm, or very nearby. The meal typically features products and recipes that the region is known for.

            It is not a challenge test to see how a farm wife can magically create delicious traditional meals without salt, sugar, flour, leavening, coffee or tea, cheeses. If the item served (such as a certain cheese) is not produced on the farm, it will usually be a local cheese produced at a nearby goat farm, for example. The apples may have been home canned, for instance, or out of cold storage. There are certain varieties of apples that can be stored a long time in a cool cellar.

            The best ferme auberges strive to provide an authentic experience. That does not always mean that the owner grew the wheat, ground it and baked the bread...although that could happen, and you'd be thrilled! Common sense tells us that all the ingredients may not actually be grown on every farm, but would be ingredients typically found in a farm kitchen (seasonings, coffee & tea, flour, sugar, chocolate).

            Please forgive your hosts for throwing a few chunks of tomatoes in your salad, but also remember that they may have been from a local hothouse supplier.

            I have tried to find a reference for regulations concerning ingredients at ferme auberges but haven't come up with anything yet. When I do, I'll post them.

            1. re: perigord lover
              mountainhound Jun 15, 2011 08:16 AM

              Wonderful! Thank you very much. I certainly didn't hold it against the owners I just had a different perception going in. We are glad to have had the experience and would definitely do it again. I appreciate the thoughtful answer!

              1. re: mountainhound
                perigord lover Jun 15, 2011 08:45 AM

                No problem at all. We just ate at a favorite local ferme auberge the other night (Le Maraval near Cénac). It's about as "down home" as it gets, with the dogs wandering through, slices of foie-gras-stuffed duck necks on the salads, pitchers of rustic red wine on the table for the traditional "chabrol" to clean out the soup bowls, home-canned white asparagus in feuilleté, duck confit and greasy pommes sarladaises....mmmmmmmm!

                1. re: perigord lover
                  Parigi Jun 24, 2011 12:13 AM

                  Pommes salardaises. I would not call them greasy. I would call them rich. Greasy is dripping oil. This is duck or goose fat. In short, nirvana.

                  Perigord lover's explanation was spot on.

                  In the case of Le Taulado, where I go every time I am in that part of Dordogne, as of a few years ago, it has actually stopped raising ducks, geese and lamb. But it gets its ingredients from neighboring farms, and is still considered one of the best ferme-auberges by the locals.
                  Since I found out that Le Taulado does not raise its own ducks, geese, lamb, I have been desultorily looking for another ferme-auberge in that area. When I was at the butcher's at Les Eyzies last year, I asked the butcher which ferme-auberge he himself liked, and he cited two, including Le Taulado. I remember the other was at St Géniès.

                  Conclusion: So I am still going to stick to the slapdash Taulado farm.

                  What does come from the farm - well, the farmer 100% - are the truffles. The patriarch of the farm is a hunter. His 7-yr old granddaughter once showed me a beautiful, most fragrant specimen in a jar. Come truffle season this year, I am going to buy from them, because I think I can trust the authenticity of the truffle, which is not always the case these days. Will report back.

          2. condor May 7, 2011 12:10 AM

            We had Tapas lunch at the Vieux Logis on Friday May 6.

            Fabulous setting, attentive staff & superb array of food. The Roquefort Mousse & small toastie to go alongside was outstanding.

            1 Reply
            1. re: condor
              carlux May 7, 2011 12:52 AM

              We didn't actually make it this week, as our friends came down with colds. So still to look forward to. Always our favourite restaurant.

            2. condor Apr 24, 2011 11:03 PM

              I live in the area of Le Bugue, some 25 minutes to the west of Sarlat.

              I've not eaten at Grand Bleu but heard good things.

              Le Centennaire in Les Ezyies used to have 2 michelin stars but is now closed. One of the chefs has opened in the delightful town of Perigueux. L'Essential is the restaurant and has a michelin star. Great food.

              Le Vieux Logis in Tremolat serves equally great food in a beautiful garden setting. Weekday lunch is a 'theatre' of small tapas style dishes.

              Further afield towards Bergerac is a stunning family run restaurant called Auberge Lou Peyrol in St Marcel Du Perigord. Philippe is a great chef !!

              Moulin Abbaye in Brantome was sold at the beginning of 2010. I think it has passed from 'owner occupier' to corporate ownership with the kitchen under contract. Last year was disappointing so we have not returned.

              21 Replies
              1. re: condor
                Parigi Apr 25, 2011 12:27 AM

                Lucky you, the Le Bugue / Limeuil area is my favorite there.

                1. re: Parigi
                  menton1 Apr 25, 2011 05:49 AM

                  Yes, love Le Bugue, that picturesque bridge with the sharp 90° turn in the Center. But my real fave in that area is Belvès, a gorgeous atmospheric real Bastide town that is off the tourist radar. Also, it's hard to not love La Roque Gageac, even though it is squarely on the tourist trail.

                  As I've indicated in my earlier pithy post, Brantome is really too far from Sarlat IMHO to try to get a good day's tour with a round trip "commute" from Sarlat. You really need a base much closer to the Green Périgord to do that area justice. Love the town of Périgueux up there, a great larger village with loads of history.

                  1. re: menton1
                    sunshine842 Apr 25, 2011 12:53 PM

                    isn't the 90-degree bridge in Limeuil?

                    It's particularly unique not only because of the 90-degree angle in the bridge, but because each of the "legs" crosses a different river -- one across the Dordogne, one across the Vezere.(for others not already familiar with why you'd have a bridge with a 90-degree turn mid-span)

                    apologies if there's one in Le Bugue that I'm not recalling.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      Parigi Apr 25, 2011 01:07 PM

                      I think you're right.

                      1. re: sunshine842
                        condor Apr 25, 2011 10:05 PM

                        It may look like a '90 degree bridge', but I think it is 2 bridges connecting 3 pieces of land.

                        One bridge crosses the Vezere River , and the other the Dordogne River.

                        1. re: condor
                          sunshine842 Apr 25, 2011 10:22 PM

                          it is, technically -- but the construction continues around the corner, so a lot of (tourist) sources refer to it as a single bridge.

                          Still pretty, and still kind of cool with the two rivers.

                          1. re: sunshine842
                            menton1 Apr 26, 2011 05:03 AM

                            My English grammar wasn't too good, I meant the 90 degree TURN IN THE ROAD in the center of town in Le Bugue!! Sorry.

                            1. re: menton1
                              condor Apr 26, 2011 05:06 AM

                              Don't worry about your grammar ... it is actually the village of Limeuil ... some 5 minutes drive South West of Le Bugue.

                              1. re: condor
                                Parigi Apr 26, 2011 05:22 AM

                                All my fault for writing the two place names together Le Bugue/Limeuil.

                                1. re: Parigi
                                  menton1 Apr 26, 2011 05:36 AM

                                  No, the sharp turn in the road to continue on the Departmental Route is definitely in Le Bugue. Coming from Les Eyzies and heading on to Le Buisson... IIRC it's a left, and then you are on the Bridge.

                                  1. re: menton1
                                    condor Apr 26, 2011 05:48 AM

                                    I live 10 minutes drive north of Le Bugue.

                                    I do not know, as you put it, of 'that picturesque bridge with the sharp 90° turn in the Center'

                                    1. re: condor
                                      menton1 Apr 26, 2011 08:41 AM

                                      I've already corrected that statement. See above.

                                      1. re: condor
                                        Aleta Apr 30, 2011 07:26 PM


                                        We're visiting Font de Gaume around 11 am and Gouffre de Proumeyssac around 3:30 pm. Can you suggest a simple but good place for lunch? Many thanks.

                                        1. re: Aleta
                                          Parigi May 1, 2011 01:12 AM

                                          Aleta, your plan means you have to eat hurriedly and drive to Proumeyssac.
                                          May I suggest you picnic by the river in Limeuil, with charcuteries or roast chicken from the good butcher in Les Eyzies.
                                          But after Font de Gaume, may I suggest that you give it some "space". Take your time to absorb your experience and not eat another cave back to back.
                                          Beside, that part of Dordogne is stunning. After Font de Gaume, I would walk around in the beautiful village of Limeuil and take a canoe ride on the river, and you probably have time to visit Belvès before sundown, instead of spending all day underground.
                                          And if not picnic, a nice lunch - non-gut-busting for a change - at Le Vieux Logis would be just the thing.

                                          1. re: Parigi
                                            Aleta May 1, 2011 05:43 AM

                                            Parigi, I certainly don't want to hurry or be too much of a mole so I will follow your sage advice. As for but-gusting, I hope not to do too much of that either but I can't speak for the Kid. Thanks again.

                                            1. re: Aleta
                                              Parigi May 1, 2011 06:14 AM

                                              hahaha, butt-gusting. May I steal that?

                                              1. re: Parigi
                                                Aleta May 1, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                Oops, :-P
                                                Too early in the morning for me. At least I didn't write, 'butt-gushing".

                        2. re: menton1
                          Piggyinthemiddle Apr 26, 2011 09:40 AM

                          With respect to Menton1, a 2-hour trip from Sarlat to Brantome is in practice highly doable (I have a house near Brantome and have made the trip to Sarlat and back several times), though in the summer, the traffic can be unbearable, and the lines into caves and chateaux increase proportionally. And he is right that the Perigord Vert is "another country", and deserves time on its own. He is also right about Perigeuex - it is an undiscovered gem (see my reply to the query about compliling a list of markets markets in France, updated yesterday).
                          But the world is a big place, with many tempting places to see, and many people will not have the luxury of several trips to France, and if they do, may want to concentrate on a wholely different part of the coutry and culture. So it is really up to you to decide on how much you want to travel - but if the crowds get too bad in Sarlat, heading further "up north" (rather than hanging around the honeypots nearer the Dordogne River - Les Eyzies,Domme, Montignac) may give both relief and another aspect of a beautiful region. (And if you do, avoid the Moulin d'Abbaye - head for the Freres Charbonnel).

                          1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                            menton1 Apr 26, 2011 10:16 AM

                            I love Périgueux. Great medium-sized town. Prefecture of the department.

                            Well, I suppose if the OP is willing to do a minimum of a 4-hour round trip to Perigord Vert. (Don't miss the Chateau de Puyguilhem) that he/she should also not forget the Lot, with the Peche Merle caves and the incredible site of Rocomadour. France has endless possibilities, yes, it can take a lifetime to see everything, but that's what we all love about it, n'est-ce pas?

                            1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                              Parigi Apr 26, 2011 10:20 AM

                              "a 2-hour trip from Sarlat to Brantome is in practice highly doable (I have a house near Brantome and have made the trip to Sarlat and back several times), though in the summer, the traffic can be unbearable"

                              Hmm, highly doable but unbearable.

                              1. re: Parigi
                                sunshine842 Apr 26, 2011 12:58 PM

                                we've put Brantome on our list of places to see every year for over 10 years now...we've spent a LOT of time in the Dordogne, and still haven't managed to NOT get distracted by the things to do in and around the Black and Purple.

                                One of these days, we'll get there.

                      2. Robert Lauriston Apr 18, 2011 09:31 AM

                        Keep an eye out for Trappe Echourgnac, a local cheese marinated in walnut liqueur. I bought the best creme fraiche ever at the Marche Couvert in Sarlat. Try salade de gesiers d'oie (salad with goose gizzards, walnuts, and walnut oil).

                        Report on my 2007 trip:


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          mountainhound Apr 22, 2011 12:08 PM

                          Great information here and on the 2007 thread.
                          Thanks so much!

                          1. re: mountainhound
                            Robert Lauriston Apr 22, 2011 12:53 PM

                            Here are some more detailed notes on that trip:


                        2. c
                          carlux Apr 17, 2011 09:46 AM

                          Two very recent recommendations:
                          La Gabarre, St Julien de Lampon - about 15 km.east of Sarlat.
                          We were there last night (and several times last year) and it is really excellent. The chef worked at Le Grand Bleu in Sarlat, with the team that obtained a Michelin Star. His wife does front of house, and is charming. Two course menus at lunch, 2-3 at dinner.

                          I had foie gras with rhubarb confit, spring lamb 'two ways', one being with very interesting spicing, from somewhere in the Middle East. Then a strawberry tart beautifully presented, with basil ice cream. Great food, inventive cooking, great location, above the Dordogne. Highly recommended. (Sorry, I dont take photos - usually too busy appreciating the food.)

                          Monpazier, Bistrot 2.
                          Earlier in the week we were in Monpazier, buying fabric at Karine B, lots of Provencal type fabric, and even better as they were getting rid of ends of line, at 50% off. Just across the square (Forail) is the Bistrot 2. Again an excellent meal, as we sat under the wisteria, had white asparagus with lemon cream dressing, large and very tender pork chop with oven roasted potatoes, strawberries with almond cream, for 19.75 Euros.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: carlux
                            mountainhound Apr 18, 2011 06:24 AM

                            Great information! Thanks so much!

                            1. re: carlux
                              perigord lover Apr 22, 2011 06:21 AM

                              Carlux - chef at La Gabarre is from Le Grand Bleu? Is it the fellow that opened the restaurant with Maxime, the one who had worked at Le Centenaire with him? I hadn't heard that...how long has he been at La Gabarre? We'll have to run down and try it. Ate there a few times, years ago, beautiful spot, but at that time we weren't all that impressed with the food, although they were "trying." Sounds much better now.

                              And we love the Bistrot 2 when in Monpazier -- there's a Brocante Fair there on the weekend of June 11-12, so if the OP reads this and thinks going to the Brocante would be fun, I suggest you make reservations for lunch that day at Bistrot 2.

                              1. re: perigord lover
                                carlux Apr 22, 2011 07:22 AM

                                From a review in the Sud-Ouest June 2010:
                                'Après un Baccalauréat professionnel à l’école hôtelière du Touquet, Ludovic a fait son apprentissage dans un restaurant étoilé au Michelin et a travaillé dans des restaurants parisiens réputés. Après une expérience au Mexique de dix mois avec Valentine, il a été son propre chef dans un établissement du Val d’Isère avant de devenir second au Grand Bleu où il a contribué à décrocher l’étoile au Michelin .'

                                1. re: perigord lover
                                  mountainhound Apr 22, 2011 12:04 PM

                                  We will be arriving in Sarlat on the 13th, so we'll miss the Fair, unfortunately. Thanks for the recommendation of Bistrot 2 in Monpazier.

                              2. menton1 Mar 28, 2011 02:27 PM

                                Second the Ferme-Auberge idea, a very unique experience, and a bevy of them in the Sarlat area. All food comes from the farm, by law.

                                There are also a lot of restaurants in Sarlat le Caneda, a charming town, especially in the medieval back streets, (no cars) just stay off the main road. The top 3 restos in Sarlat are:

                                Le Grand Bleu
                                Chez Le Gaulois
                                Le Bistro de L'Octroi.

                                Re: Brantome-- this is quite a haul from Sarlat. You will spend at least a half day driving back and forth. There is so much to do in the Perigord Noir (Sarlat area ) that it's best to save the Brantome area (Perigord Vert) for another trip. The Noir area has the fantastic cave drawings. The best caves are the Grotte de Font de Gaume and the Grotte de Combarelles. Both are in nearby Les Eyzies. You MUST make a reservation to get into these caves, there is a limited # of visitors per day. But they are sure to make a lifetime memory, the cave drawings are fantastic!

                                I would skip the highly-touted Lascaux II, it is a fake, the real cave is closed to the public.

                                There are also boat (gabarre) rides on the Dordogne in nearby Le Roque-Gageac, the scenery is dreamy. Also there are several "Bastide" towns (leftover from the Hundred Years War-- 14th Century) like Domme, also near Sarlat. A great medieval castle in Beynac.


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: menton1
                                  redgirl Jun 15, 2011 07:11 AM

                                  may i ask a very basic question? we would like to have a sat. meal in july at Le Bistro de L'Octroi. i am now thinking a late lunch because we are staying in montignac and i am the only driver (my husband doesn't drive stick shift) and i'd rather not do super windy-dark roads if i don't have to (and, i'm a cheap date...1 glass of wine is plenty for me...lots of food tho!). what are considered lunch hours and should/can i make a lunch reservation?


                                  1. re: redgirl
                                    carlux Jun 15, 2011 08:03 AM

                                    Lunch in this area usually starts around 12-12.30, and goes on for several hours, depending on the place. However, usually restaurants don't accept people after 2 - and sometimes earlier - unless it's a quick bistro type place like in the square in Sarlat, where you can get an omelette and a glass of wine all afternoon. Unlike restaurants in North America, most here have specific lunch hours, and then close until dinner.

                                    I would suggest a reservation, especially in July. You might not need it, but if you are coming down from Montignac, why risk not being able to get in? 05 53 30 83 40 http://lebistrodeloctroi.fr/

                                    1. re: redgirl
                                      mountainhound Jun 15, 2011 08:12 AM

                                      We just had a wonderful dinner at Bistro de L'Octroi two nights ago. The terrace was delightful and the food was very good. The duck confit was delicious as was a terrine of oxtail and foie gras. It is very busy here now so I would recommend a reservation as well. Also, it is light until after 10:00 pm so unless you have a very late dinner driving shouldn't be a problem in the pitch black dark of night in July.

                                  2. p
                                    Piggyinthemiddle Mar 27, 2011 03:25 AM

                                    If you feel like seeing a part of the Dordogne which is quite different in character to the area around Sarlat and the eponymous river, make a day trip to Brantome, northwest of Sarlat, the "Venice of the Perigord" (since it is transformed into an island surrounded by the Dronne River). This is the "Perigord Vert" - with green valleys and deep forests - as opposed to the "Perigord Noir", all chalkland and open views. Brantome is a charming small town (around 3,000 inhabitants), with both medieval and 18th century architecture. The drive should take about 2 hours. On the way there or back , you can stop at St Jean-de-Cole (a picture postcard "Plus Beau Village de France"), see the Grotte de Villars (a smaller and less crowded prehistoric cave than the more publicized sites near Les Eyzies and Montignac, but just as old - and with cyrstalline formations you don't usually find in painted caves), and the chateau de Puyguilhem (a Loire-style fairy-tale castle).
                                    Your reward in Brantome is a meal at Les Freres Charbonnel on the river (book ahead, or be there by 12:30 pm). It has been in the Michelin for over 100 years, and is now in the hands of the fourth generation. It gets no stars (the Moulin d'Abbaye in town has one Michelin star, but gets no local custom - it's all tourists), but has excellent bourgeois cooking. There are several menus, but if you wish to go a la carte, they do not mind customers splitting dishes. The foie gras poele is superb and offered in two versions (as well as with ris de veau). This is the area to sample this delicacy: you are in the heart of the production area, and the prices are less punishing than in Paris and even Sarlat.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                                      fanoffrance Mar 27, 2011 05:31 AM

                                      Near Brantôme I enjoyed visiting the Château de Bourdeilles and dining at the Moulin du Roc at Champagnac-de-Belair. Puyguilhem I found a bit run-down and sparsely furnished.

                                      1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                                        Delucacheesemonger Mar 27, 2011 06:08 AM

                                        Great post, thank you!

                                        1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                                          mountainhound Mar 27, 2011 07:04 AM

                                          We will put this day on the itinerary. It sounds wonderful! Thanks so much!

                                        2. Parigi Mar 27, 2011 03:18 AM

                                          I recommended several ferme-auberges in the following thread, and others gave very interesting recommendations too.

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: Parigi
                                            mountainhound Mar 27, 2011 06:52 AM

                                            This is excellent information. Exactly what we were looking for. Thanks so much!

                                            1. re: Parigi
                                              Aleta Apr 29, 2011 07:24 PM

                                              Salut Parigi! I laughed out loud when I clicked on your linked thread and found that it was my old one. Time flies when you are having fun.

                                              Where are YOU planning to eat this summer? Pray tell!

                                              1. re: Aleta
                                                Parigi Apr 30, 2011 12:27 AM

                                                Just ate myself silly on the Basque coast.
                                                Am going to Provence in June, the Dordogne-Lot in September. -- Font de Gaume and Pech Merle are two places where we go back to always, and they give us the same sense of overwhelm each time. Lascaux is really not bad; for us it is a well executed museum.Seeing it once is enough; we have no desire to see it again.
                                                And, like a heat-seeking missile in winter, going back to Nice in Christmas-New Year...
                                                And where are you eating? Where is your son eating? :-)

                                                1. re: Parigi
                                                  carlux Apr 30, 2011 01:40 AM

                                                  About to eat myself silly in the Perigord this week. Tomorrow La Gabarre, already discussed, then somewhere in Bergerac on Tuesday when picking up roses from a local grower, then the Vieux Logis in Tremolat, one of our all time favourites, Thursday. And last week Chez Alphonse in Limoges, really good. Beginning to think it would be good for all our generous friends who want to take us out to go back to Toronto/Hawaii/Australia so that we can go back to a slower pace. And perhaps have some hope of losing weight!

                                                  1. re: carlux
                                                    perigord lover Apr 30, 2011 04:52 AM

                                                    kudos to you, carlux -- I couldn't do it! La Gabarre, Vieux Logis, etc., in the same week? It's OK for my guests, when they're only here for a few days, to eat out every day or night, but for those of us who live here for extended periods of time, it's not sustainable, as you know. At least not for me anymore. I'm sitting down to a late lunch right now...just a small slice of rabbit terrine, some fresh radishes, a few cornichon, a piece of cheese, and bread. Tonight, a market dinner of roti chicken from a favorite vendor at the Belvès market, baby turnips (also from the market this morning), and a sampling of three kinds of cherry tomatoes, including "coeurs de pigeon." It ain't the Vieux Logis, but it'll do. Oh, and wine with dinner. Not with lunch anymore. Just can't do it.
                                                    Where are you going to eat in Bergerac? Do you like L'Imparfait?
                                                    Bon ap!

                                                    1. re: perigord lover
                                                      carlux Apr 30, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                      We rarely go to Bergerac, and so don't have favourites. However, I think there are votes for La Table du Marche. But we really would appreciate this more if it were spread out over several months. However, we're having a busy month, and everyone wants to thank us by taking us out. South African friends at the end of the week. Sometimes we do 'just say no' but probably not often enough.

                                                    2. re: carlux
                                                      condor Apr 30, 2011 05:20 AM

                                                      Will you be lunching for tapas or dinner at Vieux Logis on Thursday ?

                                                      1. re: condor
                                                        carlux Apr 30, 2011 05:26 AM

                                                        Always for tapas - we really like the change from bigger, heavier meals, and besides it's an hour's drive home, so better done when we are a little fresher.

                                                        1. re: carlux
                                                          condor Apr 30, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                          .. I'm due to go for tapas too ! ... on Thursday May 5 ...

                                                          1. re: carlux
                                                            Parigi Apr 30, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                            "we really like the change from bigger, heavier meals"

                                                            You can say that again. Every time after a week down in the Dordogne-Lot, I start dreaming of a pho.

                                                            1. re: Parigi
                                                              Piggyinthemiddle Apr 30, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                              We find (now that the years are passing!) that trading off the French way with the Anglo -Saxon works well. If you have a choice (sometimes invitations/social obligations eliminate that), have your heavier meal (say meeting friends or a special meal out) at lunchtime, like the French, then have a very small snack (or even nothing) in the evening. The next day you can reverse the process - a very light luch - and you're ready for a more adventurous meal in the evening. And so on. Eventually, you'll only want light lunch, light dinner for a another change!!

                                                      2. re: Parigi
                                                        Aleta Apr 30, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                        @ Parigi,

                                                        "Heat-seaking missile in winter", ha ha, that's funny! At least your missile doesn't have to fly far, like mine!

                                                        Spanish bookings are almost all done (Etxebarri, Arzak and a mountain of pintxos and tapas, please!) I'm sure my son will run wild on that side of the border. La Taulado reservation was confirmed yesterday! Still working on Ferme Auberge Calvel.

                                                        Le Vieux Logis looks VERY delicious and I could probably sit for hours in that dining room. However, our first priority in the Dordogne is to stare like fools at the spectacular natural and man-made scenery and give our digestive systems a little break from Madrid, San Sebastian and Barcelona (Is it even possible -- or prudent -- to give a digestive system 'a break' in the land of foie? I doubt it. )

                                                        I shall have to re-read all related posts and see if anyone mentioned a possible good lunch in Le Bugue. Our timed tickets for Font de Gaume place us close to Le Buge at lunchtime.

                                                        1. re: Aleta
                                                          condor Apr 30, 2011 09:38 PM

                                                          One amazing aspect of the Vieux Logis is the outdoor terrace with magnificent views of the topiary manicured garden. In the heat of summer, the outdoor terrace is perfectly shaded as the tables are under a spectacular array of trees that grow specifically to give shade.

                                                          The other amazing aspect of the weekday lunches is the 'pure theatre' in which tapas style servings ensure a wide array of tastes without feeling too heavy.

                                                          I don't think Le Bugue has anywhere worth eating. Perhaps Monique's which is a wine bar, or La Renaissance at a push.

                                                          The most gorgeous setting for a cafe where food is served is near Le Bugue, in a small village called Limeuil. Terrace(s) over look where the Vezere & Dordogne rivers meet & in height of summer, the area will be full of people.

                                                          In the 'higher par't of Limeuil is a very small new restaurant called Garden Party. I've not eaten there but it only has a choice of 3 or 4 starters, mains and desserts. Also the well established Au Bon Acceuil which serves typical perigourdine food.

                                                          Slightly further than Limeuil is Paunat. Julien serves typical perigourdine food & is located next to the restored Abbey. Sitting outside is just stunningly beautiful & very quiet. Food mediocre, Julien himself very personable.

                                                          1. re: condor
                                                            Aleta May 1, 2011 05:45 AM

                                                            Condor, many thanks for all this excellent intel. Limeuil sounds beautiful, as does the pure theatre of Le Vieux Logis. Time to pull out my maps again and do some re-routing.

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