Thursday, August 24, 2017

France -- Great Dining in the Country

Millefeuille on its side at l'Oustau de Baumanière
While in Périgord, in addition to the meal at Au Fil d'Eau described in my last post, we dined at the renowned le Vieux Logis, a long-standing one-star restaurant in a beautiful Relais and Châteaux Hotel in Trémolat.

For some reason, we did not take pictures but here are some that I took there last year and never posted, which will give the idea even though I can no longer describe the dishes. The food is just as good and as beautifully presented as it was in 2016.

Dishes from le Vieux Logis, July 2016
Upon arriving in Provence, we went to l'Oustau de Baumanière, a two-star restaurant where we had our first three-star meal in the spring of 1979. The dining terrace is splendid, although less so when it is cold and rainy, as it was this time. The food was really great, although a combination of the weather, the dim lighting and the less than gorgeous plating resulted in some pretty boring photos, I'm afraid; the meal was not as brown as it appears from these photos.

In any event, pictures can be deceiving: the dinner was absolutely great. Joan a pigeon from Costières with spinach and a spinach "tetragon," walnuts from Grenoble and a lavender scented jus that she pronounced the best pigeon that she'd ever had, and that's saying a lot, as she eats small birds whenever she gets a chance.

"Tetragon" of spinach at l'Oustau de Baumanière
She followed with the restaurant's traditional millefeuille turned on its side, pictured at the top of this post.

I started with pain de loup (sea bass bread), a cream of sea bass miraculously surrounded by a bread crust, one of the best appetizers I've ever had,

Pain de loup at l'Oustau de Baumanière
followed by the "feuille à feuille" of pork, layers of ham and pork (with potatoes cooked in pork skin) -- not beautiful but rich and giving each layer its due --

and the justly famous crèpes soufflées au Grand Marnier.

Crêpes soufflées at l'Oustau de Baumaniere
 Michelin stars are not lightly bestowed, and generally one-star restaurants are excellent and two-star ones are nearly transcendent. This turned out to be true this trip.

Bobby Jay

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