A return to Sarlat’s one-star restaurant

I last wrote about the restaurant Le Grand Bleu on December 23, 2010, when we ate there with friends Keith and Kathy, and called my post “An explosion of tastes.” I pointed out that the highlight was neither the ambience nor the service, but the food — which is why Le Grand Bleu richly deserves its one Michelin star.

Earlier this month, when our friends Doug and Irena were visiting us, we decided we should try Le Grand Bleu for a second time. Verdict: Another sterling performance, and easily the best meal we ate during the time our friends were with us.

Several things about the food are noteworthy. First, it’s beautifully prepared and presented. Second, it features any number of flavour combinations that are unusual but not outlandish. And third, it incorporates “trendy” techniques — like the use of foams, and a variety of unusual ice creams — without seeming to be gimmicky.  For example, we began with an incredibly delicate and creamy soup made of radishes.

With that introduction, here’s a photographic review of some of our dishes.

For starters, we had a velvety foie gras accompanied by perfect toasts, a small herb salad, and a small glass of granita made from white wine.

Foie gras

Foie gras, with inventive accompaniments.

Then came the fish course — a delicate white-fleshed fish called brill, served with a variety of vegetable-based foams and a perfectly cooked carrot.

Fish course

An artful presentation of fish filets.

For the main course, or plat principal, three of us had sweetbreads. They were both delicious and different, as these were small lobes of sweetbreads, sautéed to have a slightly crispy exterior, instead of the larger lobes that are typically served in restaurants. With the sweetbreads came a delicious purée, a sprinkling of vegetables, and a few light sauces. Here is the plate:

Sweetbreads

Slightly crispy sweetbreads at Le Grand Bleu.

My wife Jan had chosen a roast filet of beef, which was also beautifully presented. Like this:

Beef dish

Perfectly cooked beef at Le Grand Bleu.

One of our desserts was a fruit-based sweet — fresh slices and chunks of mango and citrus fruits. Like this:

Fruit dessert

Fresh fruits and yet more ice cream.

For my own dessert, I had the same dish that I chose last December — chocolate puff-pastry balls filled with a rich chocolate cream , and served with pistachio ice cream. Pretty much perfection, although I could have kept on eating the little chocolate balls for quite a while.

Chocolate puffs

Could have used five or 10 more puffs.

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This entry was posted in French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A return to Sarlat’s one-star restaurant

  1. Sophie says:

    Yummy !

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