Favorite Dishes-Dordgone (Jun 12)/Paris (Jul 12) long
Rather than just write a report of where and what we ate I decided to mention the best dishes at each place. We had a lot of great meals. Our preference is to dine at places with seasonal creative menus which generally translates to high prices but that is what we like. There was not any place where we felt the price to value was out of line and only a couple of places where we had problems with the service. Since we were formerly 'in the business' that makes us fairly forgiving of services issues in a busy establishment. If it is empty and has issues we picked wrong.
Also for my birthday I recieved a camera and attempted to photography the dishes we had. Several times we just picked up our forks before I remembered the camera. I have put in some of the best photos.
La Petite Tonnelle
Le Bourg, 24220 Beynac-et-Cazenac, France (Formerly Beynac-et-Cazenac)
05 53 29 95 18 (Sunday)
101.50€- two formulae @ 26.00€ with a 5€ supplement (don’t remember on which dish), two glasses of champagne, a glass each white & red and an Armagnac
We had dinner here our first night in the Dordogne. It was recommended by the gite owners and was very nice. The stand out dish here was pate of veal & foie gras. Though to be honest the best parts were tiny marinated girolles and a relish/sauce of walnuts, persillade and some vinegar. Will definitely try to recreate that!
Le Mondou Saint-Julien-de-Lampon, 24370 Sarlat-la-Caneda, France
05 53 29 61 43 (Monday)
122.50€ with a 35€ & 26€ menus
We usually muddle along with our generally pretty good menu French and occasionally we get pleasantly surprised. I am not sure what I was expecting when I ordered this dish but it wasn’t mackerel. I probably wouldn’t have ordered it if I had translated ‘le maquereau’ in time but we would have missed out tasting this tart with caramelized onions and mackerel. Wonderful!
Le Vieux Logis
Rue des Ecoles, 24510 Tremolat, France
175.20€ with two tapas menus (45€ ea), kir royale (14€ ea), two glasses of red & white (~27€), tea and a vintage Armagnac
For our thirtieth anniversary I asked on the boards for a suggestion for lunch or dinner. The response was almost unanimously Le Vieux Logis for their tapas lunch. We had a fabulous meal here. Several of the outstanding items were:
• for an amuse a simple cracker with a half of a plum tomato that been peeled, poached or baked with basil-simple and delicious –definitely on the to be attempt list
• a knob of lobster tail between two squares of tomato on an aspic which seemed to be made from the court bouillon with a touch of something acidic-fabulous
• for a cheese course- a Camembert mousse with raspberries
• dessert-fresh strawberries with a lemon, basil strawberry sorbet
4 avenue de Laugerie, 24620 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, France
226.00€ with two 55€ menus, a supplement of 9€ for the ris de veau (and worth every penny), kir royale (14€ ea), half bottle of Savigny Les Beaune (25 €), several other glasses of wine and a vintage Armagnac
We had asked Valentine at La Gabarre for a suggestion and this was one of the places she recommended. It was an atrociously hot night without a breeze but we still elected to sit on the terrace. We noticed that others had hand fans and requested one. It was a nice touch. The meal here was also fabulous in the way hotel restaurants can afford to be. The two standout dishes here were an amuse of a cold asparagus soup with a raft of cepes in the middle and a ris de veau in a broth of celery- at least that is what they say it was. It was green but it had none of the taste of cooked celery. It was amazing and added weight to tilting my husband to a ris de veau lover.
Sorry about including the same photos twice. I tried to edit them out.
Restaurant Le Grand Bleu
43, Avenue de la Gare, 24 200 Sarlat-la-Caneda, France
+33 (0)5 53 31 08 48
165€ with two 49€ menus and a half bottle of red and white wines (25 and 26€ respectively)
This meal was a disappointment to us. Not the food which was very good but the cold and dismissive service from one of the owners. We noticed on the menu that there was a Menu du Marche and inquired about it. We were not expecting a description in English but even in French should have gotten more than the entrée is fish, there is a fish or beef plat and a cake for dessert. If you don’t want people to order the lower priced menu then don’t offer it! That said the simply labeled Terrine de cèpes du Périgord was amazing. If you love cèpes or mushrooms of any type order this dish. It was a hot terrine and the aroma preceded the dish. What I would love to know how to do is make the mushroom glace that accompanied it. Yum.
L’Auberge du 15
15 rue de la Santé, 75013 Paris
Port Royal (RER B) or Saint Jacques (6)
Closed : Sunday & Monday
301.00€ This was an a la carte menu- plats were 39€. We had two bottle of wine since they didn’t have half bottles -Riesling Grand Cru Scholossberg Paul Blanck – 2008 59€ and Nuits Saint Georges -
Aurélien Verdet – 2006 74€
We were so late for this dinner that they called the hotel to ask if we were coming. We first got on the metro going the wrong way, then when we want to simply take the metro the opposite direction we found it was closed. We took the RER with a group of cross dressers from the Gay Pride parade – imagine a 6’4” guy in spike heels and a red slip dress! Then we couldn’t find the street. But when we did we were very pleased we had. The outstanding dish here was an entrée of tuna (19€), simply seared on a bed of eggplant puree with a grilled eggplant. With it was a balsamic glaze and a small spoonful of tomato confit. Amazing and we have already tried to recreate this dish. We need to find some of that intense tomato confit.
14 rue des Capucines, 75002 Paris
Madeleine (8, 12, 14)
Open every day for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
01 42 61 66 71
261.00€ a la carte- plats were 38 & 33 €
I am not sure why I picked this restaurant except that it was a Sunday in Paris. At first we thought that all the English speakers were seated on the ground floor and the French were shown up stairs. Then my husband went up to use the rest rooms and said there was only a bar up there. I understand the French think Americans know nothing about wine but if you offer wines by the glass not every American will be satisfied to be told that you have red or white. Take a cue when we ask what kind that we expect more. Go for the foie gras flan topped with an asparagus soup (22€). It was fabulous and worth the condescension. By the way my husband managed to get a glass of very nice Côtes du Rhône to go with his boeuf.
9 carrefour de l'Odeon | Sixth Arrondissement, Paris, France
We stay at the Relais St Germain but every time we have past L’Avant Comptoir it has been too packed to even attempt to squeeze in the door. This time there seemed to be room so we sidled in and found a place in the back. Are we glad we did!! Everything was wonderful but we especially loved the gazpacho with shredded crab (6€) and I think tiny cubes of cucumber and nuts. Another standout was the foie gras brochette- need I say more?
Market at Le Bugue- at the olive stand there was an artichoke dip that the owner said was his personal recipe. Fabulous!! I think it was made with marinated artichoke hearts with some sun dried tomatoes. I tried to make this and DH said I put in too much tomato. I will keep trying. We should have bought more.
DCM: do not give up on le Comptoir. We were able to dine there on a Sunday in April, and we were staying elsewhere. Not being familiar with their reservation policy, I had previously phoned to book a table (no reservations on w/e's), and was told that, to get a table without a long wait, one should show up around 6-6:30pm. This is normally much too early for us, but we decided a sacrifice had to be made :-) - so we followed her instructions and got a table immediately. (Note: there is no set menu on weekends, if I'm not mistaken. Only ALC) We had a memorable meal, ending with an odd-sounding concoction of a dessert (2nd or 3rd from the bottom of the dessert menu). If I remember correctly, it (partially) included apple, cucumber, & milk - an unusual combination of ingredients - but, egged on by the French diners next to us who had ordered the same dish following a friend's praises, we did the same. It was surprisingly delicious.