Dish du jour — 2010/09/03

We got off to a slow (but nice) start today, and the morning drifted by with a few errands accomplished, a few emails sent, a few phone calls made. Nothing was pressing us, so we thought: “Let’s have lunch in Monpazier!” (These are the kinds of thoughts we have these days. Not earth-shaking stuff, but pleasant.)

So off we went to the lovely bastide town of Monpazier, and a restaurant we particularly like called Bistrot 2. Now Bistrot 2 did receive a brief mention in my post of August 11, “Three nice things.” But let me elaborate on why Bistrot 2 is so good.

At a minimum, three factors must be present for a restaurant to truly please: An attractive and comfortable setting, good service, and of course, food that’s well prepared and well presented.

Starting with the setting,  Bistrot 2 sits on an open square at the entrance to the town, and has a fairly large outdoor area for dining in good weather — which is exactly what we’ve been having — underneath a canopy of vines. The photo below was taken well after lunch, so there are almost no people in sight, but the restaurant’s terrace was quite busy when we were enjoying lunch.

Restaurant in Monpazier, France

Outside the Bistrot 2 in Monpazier

Then comes service. At Bistrot 2, we’ve found the servers not only pleasant and helpful, but smart. For instance, once our waitress learned that my wife is allergic to gluten, she made sure that she checked with the kitchen on each dish, and advised what my wife could and should not have. And for the amuse bouche, she brought me the house standard — a piece of flatbread with a delicious smoked salmon purée on it — but a skewer of perfect (and obviously gluten-free) cherry tomatoes for my wife.

As for food, the photos can tell the story. While I again had the baked ham hock, which is what I ordered the last time we visited, the special of the day was lapin, which is what my wife ordered (after thoroughly enjoying a curried mussels and dried oranges soup — how’s that for standard bistro fare?). Here is how the roast rabbit was presented:

Dish of roast rabbit with potatoes and veg

The roast rabbit at Bistrot 2

For dessert, my wife had the fresh strawberries with whipped cream, while I ordered the special “Snickers” dessert — a plate of various chocolate treats, like this:

A chocoholic's delight

A chocoholic's delight at Bistrot 2 in Monpazier

After it all, we strolled through the town under a vibrant blue sky, before heading home. Very nice.

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