Nice twists on some yummy classics

Our lunch yesterday with friends Rob and Darlene, who are visiting from Toronto, and Rob’s aunt and uncle from the Bergerac area, was a hit. As expected.

We met up in Beynac, at La Petite Tonnelle. It’s just a few hundred meters up from the main road that runs through Beynac,  along the Dordogne River. The road where the restaurant sits runs right up the hill, curving and switching until it finally reaches the foreboding château once owned by Richard the Lionheart. But there’s nothing foreboding about La Petite Tonnelle.

It’s a Greater Daglan Area favourite for several reasons. For one thing, it’s nearly always open — unlike so many restaurants that close for a good chunk of the winter season. Second, it’s charming and intimate, whether you sit outside on its terrace or inside near the wall of solid rock that forms part of the building. And finally, the meals are not only quite good but often have a nice twist, like Moroccan seasonings or an unusual constructions of foods.

Yesterday, for example, both Rob and I ordered the veal stew as our plats principaux, and thought it was delicious. But what really surprised me were the crispy sticks of polenta that had been mixed with tiny pieces of hazelnut — delicious. Here’s the dish:

The stew was delicious, but I loved the polenta more!

The stew was delicious, but I loved the polenta more!

Walnut cake is a standard here in the Périgord Noir area of the Dordogne, where walnuts are a major crop. I like almost every walnut cake I’ve ever eaten here, but sometimes they can be a touch dry. But not the cake at La Petite Tonnelle.

It’s moist, spicy, and full of fruits as well as walnuts. It’s easily my favourite version of the cake in the GDA. Here it is:

A moist, fruity walnut cake.

A moist, fruity walnut cake.

As for the dessert that Darlene and Rob chose, it went immediately on to my list of the next thing to try at La Petite Tonnelle. From the crunchy bottom, up through the chestnut mousse, the cream topping, and then the chocolate tuiles made with bits of walnut, it was a major hit. Have a look:

Layer upon layer of sweet goodness.

Layer upon layer of sweet goodness.

After all this feasting, we could only manage bacon-and-croissant sandwiches at about 10 p.m. last night. Then a large serving of kedgeree for breakfast this morning. And now we’re just about to leave for lunch with English friends (plus Darlene and Rob) at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Trémolat.

So, no, you don’t have to worry about us going hungry.

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

4 Responses to Nice twists on some yummy classics

  1. vous pouvez says:

    Rich food is not good for health but if we take these food monthly i think it will not harm to our health.I am not a vegetarian and i love chicken with BBQ very much.I always try to make food in my house and not like too many people in my house but normal guest i like more than party.

  2. vous pouvez says:

    I take pastry every day but its not good for our health.I like sandwich and juice.

  3. Loren says:

    Thanks for your comments! I agree that the right balance of foods is probably quite important for good health. But I also suspect there are lots of other elements in the equation — the right amount of sleep, the right amount of exercise, the right number of the right friends, and so on. And of course there is the matter of having good luck and good genes! Here’s to the right balance!

    • vous pouvez says:

      Hello Loren,
      My physician say’s that every adult people should take 30 minute exercise everyday and should not sleep more than 8 hours.Yes you are right Loren, We should maintain right friends.Friends are always helpful but some friends may harm to your health as like smoke,Alcoholic drinks.If you don’t smoke but your friends is a smoker then it may injurious when you close with smoking person.So we should maintain proper friends who take care about their health and others health.
      Take care.

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