Beauty outside, and on the plate

We interrupt our previously scheduled posts on Paris to bring you a photographic essay on today’s lunch with our good friends Keith and Kathy at Le Pont de l’Ouysse, a Michelin-starred restaurant (and hotel) in Lacave. “Beautiful” describes the surroundings, the restaurant, and the food.

Lacave is in the Lot (a neighbouring department), and driving there from Daglan takes you up and down a series of limestone hills and through rocky valleys, along winding roads. From the grounds of Le Pont de l’Ouysse, you can look up and see a château on a cliff above you, like this:


A château on a cliff looks over the valley.

Across the river from the restaurant are the broken-down remains of the old bridge that once crossed the Ouysse:


The remains of a bridge, and the river below.

At the front of the restaurant itself, diners usually would be out on the lovely terrace. Because today was a bit overcast and cool, everyone ate inside — hardly a hardship, since the restaurant itself is very attractive. Here’s the front:


A shaded entrance leads you into the restaurant.

And now let’s move inside and take a look at our lunches. We began with glasses of Bollinger Champagne while reviewing the menu, after which I ordered two bottles of wine, a Sancerre white to share with the first courses, and then a Chinon to drink with the main courses. The Sancerre was particularly good, and the Chinon was delicious enough that we wanted to save the details so we could track it down later to buy a few bottles. For the record, here’s the Chinon bottle:


Chinon is a lovely wine from the Loire Valley.

To begin, Keith and my wife Jan both had the duo de foies grasfoie prepared in a terrine, and also seared. Here’s a plate of the delicious liver dishes:

Foie gras

Terrine in front, and seared foie gras at the rear.

For our entrées, Kathy and I chose les trois raviolis — one filled with escargots, one filled with langoustines (crayfish), and one with girolles (mushrooms). The dish was held together by a light but incredibly delicious shellfish sauce, tasting primarily of lobster. Here it is:


The shellfish sauce was as good as any of the ravioli fillings.

For their plat principal, all three of the others chose the quasi de veau — slow-roasted veal served with macaroni noodles and local mushrooms. Here’s one of the veal dishes:


A generous serving of roast veal at Le Pont de l’Ouysse.

My main course was filet de merlu — a lovely white-fleshed fish — surrounded by a citrus-butter sauce and served with fresh pasta. (Fish is one of the delights of the GDA — not everything in our restaurants involves duck.) Here’s my plate:


A large filet of merlu is surrounded by a pool of creamy sauce.

For dessert, both Jan and Kathy had a complicated and beautifully decorated creation based on rhubarb. Here it is:


A beautiful mix of flavours, including rhubarb, soft cheese, and red fruits.

Keith chose a layered creation based on chocolate, like this:


A millefeuille filled with chocolate.

My own dessert was also based on chocolate, and was superb. Here it is:

Chocolate dessert

A chocolate dessert with a variety of textures and flavours.

Now you might think that we would have been too stuffed to move, but in fact we all felt surprisingly good, since the service was nicely paced. So we decided to walk outside and sit on the comfortable patio overlooking the river, to have our coffees and enjoy the view before driving home. The views included a great variety of flowers, including this lovely lemon blossom:

Lemon flower

Lemon flower, very pretty…

And then, for a friendly touch, we were visited by the dog which (presumably) makes the restaurant/resort its home. Here he is:


This guy walked around as if he owned the place.

We must have made a good impression on him, because while we sat drinking our coffees, he came up quietly and licked my left ear. Friendly sort of chap.






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

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