Yesterday (Sunday) was another wonderful day in the ongoing festival of feasting that my wife Jan and I have embarked upon, but not because the food represented the peak of culinary invention.
Rather it was because we were able to (first of all) enjoy the company of friends Suzanne and Mark, and (second) because the four of us were able to relax on a truly beautiful day in a restaurant with some terrific views of the GDA in springtime.
After an Aperol Spritz at our house (delicious and refreshing), we headed up to Castelnaud to the Basque restaurant at the foot of the bridge over the Dordogne River, Le Tournepique. Jan and I have eaten there many times, to the point that our waiter is virtually certain what we’re going to order even before we open our mouths. But it was a first for Suzanne and Mark.
For this posting, I didn’t take photographs of the food, but only because it’s not terribly original or photogenic. To be clear, it was delicious, but just not worth showing off.
We began our lunch by sharing two orders of tapas between the four of us — small cutting boards draped with Serrano ham and chorizo sausage, and ceramic plates holding items like marinated mussels, artichokes, strips of red pepper, and sardines.
Then came the main courses: Jan’s standard, which is a large serving of mussels and a bowl of frites; my standard, which is the Basque omelette with a green salad; while Suzanne had grilled shrimp and Mark had grilled mixed seafood, including mussels and shrimp.
Along the way, we managed to polish off a couple of bottles of rosé wine, and then finished the whole excursion with coupes Manzana — large glass bowls of incredibly tart and delicious green apple ice cream with a large drizzle of Manzana verde, a liqueur made of wild apples.
What contributed to everyone’s enjoyment was the weather, which had finally switched from rain mode to sun mode, making the views from our table especially beautiful. Here’s a look down at the Dordogne River below us:
And here’s the view up from the restaurant to Château de Castelnaud, the restored medieval castle, high above the river valley:
As we finished our lunch, the temperature kept rising and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It seemed almost as if we could watch the grass growing and the leaves popping out on the trees around us.
And then it was time to go home. Here’s a photo of how Daglan’s main square — la Place de la Liberté — looked in the bright sunshine:
And today? Well, we’re off to Beynac for lunch with Toronto friends Rob and Darlene, and Rob’s uncle and aunt, who live near Bergerac. The venue? One of our favourites, La Petite Tonnelle.