I’ve written about Le Grand Bleu, the restaurant in Sarlat that holds a well-deserved Michelin star, several times already. My wife Jan and I ate there for the first time in December 2010, and I described our meal in a post called “An explosion of tastes.” We ate there several times during 2011, and ended the year with a New Year’s Eve lunch at the restaurant with visiting friends Darlene and Rob.
Le Grand Bleu has become so much a part of our dining lives that we eat there with virtually every friend or family member who comes to visit us. Yesterday we had a wonderful Sunday lunch with friends Letitia and Roy, who live high above Daglan in Le Peyruzel. It was a first for them, and they enjoyed it as much as I had predicted they would.
The restaurant is relatively small, and elegant without being stuffy. Service is calm, quiet and professional. And the food is outstanding — hence, “An explosion of tastes.”
Today I’ll serve up two examples from our multiple courses, starting with the entrée that Jan and I ordered — lightly sautéed John Dory. It came with (among other things) a delicious purée of parsnip, a dark beet sauce, a wonderful foam, tiny bits of caramelized ginger and larger brown bits of cauliflower buds. Wonderful to eat, and wonderful to view on the plate:
I confess I am a bit fixated on a couple of dishes that Le Grand Bleu’s chef keeps on the menu, although he is always changing their accompaniments and finishing touches. One is the sweetbreads, served with a rich sauce and some type of vegetable purée — so that was my plat principal again yesterday. Letitia ordered the same dish, and let’s just say that both our plates were very, very clean when we were through. The other “regular” for me is one of the standard dessert choices — chocolate beignets (small doughnuts) filled with chocolate, and always served with yet more sweet treats. Yesterday the accompaniments included a small glass of creamy mousse and a mound of rich chocolate ice cream. Here it is:
When lunch was over, Chef Maxime Lebrun made the rounds of the tables, and so we were able to chat with him for the first time. He’s young, very friendly, and amusing — and best of all, he sure knows to how to cook. Before we left, we made our next reservation, for lunch when my sister Karen and her husband Mark visit the Greater Daglan Area for the first time.