We’ve just finished a fairly whirlwind three-day visit with my sister Karen and her husband Mark, culminating in a wonderful lunch at Carsac’s O Moulin restaurant, where Jan and I celebrated their anniversary as well as our own. Both anniversaries come before the end of the month, and are just a week apart.
Karen and Mark live in Florida, and are well-travelled to say the least. Their latest jaunt took them to Spain and then Sarlat in the Dordogne (just 30 minutes or so from Daglan), which served as their base for a week-long tour of historic sites around the area. We picked them up on Friday morning, and headed right for our village.
Our first lunch together was that Friday, where we enjoyed a meal at the ever-dependable Tournepique, in Castelnaud. On Saturday, Karen had wanted to visit Château des Milandes, one of our area’s best tourist destinations, which for some reason had not been included in their week-long tour.
Karen and Mark toured the château, which as you may know was the long-time home of Josephine Baker, and then we four had a pleasant outdoor lunch at the château’s very good brasserie. After that came the 3 p.m. showing and demonstration of the château’s birds of prey.
For Sunday’s lunch, we pulled out the stops in celebration of our forthcoming anniversaries, asking our charming hostess Cécile Guerin to bring us a bottle of Taittinger champagne. That went nicely with our amuse-bouches, which included a Mimosa d’oeuf, as Cécile called it. Now I know mimosa as the name for a drink, so this was new to me; it was a warm and foamy concoction in which you could taste the yolk as well as the egg whites. Unusual and very good. Have a look:
As an entrée, three of us had what’s described on the menu as Gambas façon thaï, sauce homardine et crème de coco — that is, Thai-style large prawns in a savoury lobster sauce with lots of Thai flavours, sprinkled lightly with toasted peanuts. The dish included layer upon layer of flavours, the prawns were perfectly cooked, the sauce was delicious, and we could have eaten serving after serving. Here’s my bowl:
For our plat principal, Jan and I had the roast filet of beef with a selection of vegetables and a red wine sauce. Once again, an outstanding dish:
When I made the reservation, I hadn’t mentioned our forthcoming anniversaries, but I did once we were seated. So on that short notice, Chef Nicolas Aujoux came up with candles for each of our desserts, and created small Joyeux Anniversaire badges made of chocolate. Here’s Jan’s dessert — a deconstructed strawberry tarte:
As for my dessert, well, I’m pretty well unable to order anything other than a chocolate treat, and this dish had all I could possibly want:
The whirlwind continued yesterday morning, as we all had to rise at the crack of dawn to drive Karen and Mark to the Gourdon train station, headed for Paris and ultimately, a flight home to Florida. I think I napped a lot that day.