This would be a beautiful Christmas Eve tradition. Our good friends Keith and Kathy are with us from Toronto, sharing our first Christmas in France since my wife and I became permanent residents of Daglan. We had made no definite dining plans for today, because we didn’t know what would be open on Christmas Eve.
And sure enough, we had to make several phone calls last night to discover that the only good restaurant that could take us was the Hostellerie Clau del Loup, some 40 kilometres south of Daglan, in Anglars Juillac. But no problem — it’s a beautiful drive, whether it’s in September (I last wrote about Clau del Loup as a “Dish du jour” post on Sunday, September 12) or in snowy late December.
Our meal was wonderful, but I’m just going to share the sweet Christmas highlights, in keeping with the season. First, here’s our table decoration:
Kathy and my wife and I began with delicious glasses of champagne, while Keith had a special local apéritif based on red wine. (The Hostellerie is in the heart of the Cahors wine region.) For the entrées, Kathy and I had baked oysters, while my wife and Keith had a fine rabbit paté with pieces of foie gras. For the main course, Kathy and I had the sautéed veal liver on a bed of mixed vegetables, while my wife and Keith had the cheeks of sea bass (seriously) with scallops. All of the above nicely accompanied by two bottles of a very good Chablis.
And then came the nice sweet treats for Christmas Eve.
First, a large brownie centred on a plate of delicious sauces, like this:
And then the dessert I chose: the classic Christmas log, or buche de Noël, as shown here:
We smartly refrained from having digestifs with our coffee, and were pleased to be awarded a genuine Hostellerie Clau del Loup ballpoint pen for each of us. “De Père Noël,” said our smiling waitress.