Many of the posts on this blog describe fine dining in the Greater Daglan Area (GDA). But every now and then we push away from the restaurant table and explore more modest spots. So it was last week as my wife Jan and I followed up on a suggestion of our friend Rosemary to try La Terrasse.
La Terrasse is a brand-new café across from the Tour Panoramique (or Panoramic Tower) de Moncalou, which means it’s a good place to relax after some sightseeing. It takes less than 15 minutes to drive there from Daglan, but it’s also a good destination if you’re cycling and you don’t mind some steep climbs.
The Tour Panoramique is on top of a hill in the centre of the GDA’s wine country, the home of Vin de Domme, and Les Vignerons des Coteaux du Céou (that’s the Winemakers of the Hills of the Céou ). The Céou River is a tributary of the mighty Dordogne, and runs through Daglan.
An easy way to reach the tower and La Terrasse is to drive or cycle from Daglan to Bouzic. When you see these signs, just turn right, head through the hamlet of Bouzic, and follow the signs that will lead you up into wine country.
When you finally reach the chai, where Vin de Domme is made and aged, you can stop for a tasting and perhaps buy a few bottles (we think the rosé is quite good). Then it’s on to the panoramic tower, shown here, where you can survey the surrounding vineyards and forests:
Immediately across from the tower is La Terrasse, brand new and still needing a bit of landscaping. It’s a wooden structure, with a pleasant deck that overlooks the countryside. Here’s how it looked on Saturday, with its friendly Dutch owner and chef waving goodbye to us, as we left the café after lunch:
To be clear, this isn’t the place for a fine meal. Instead, it’s an informal spot where you can enjoy the breezes on the hill while you have a drink and perhaps a snack or light meal. Here was the scene on Saturday, with our waitress serving another table:
On our first visit, Jan and I enjoyed some rosé wine, and I wolfed down a ham-and-cheese panini; on our second visit, we had lunch, which I’ll come to shortly. First, here’s the view from our table, looking past the top of our wine bottle to a scattering of oak trees, with rows of grape vines in the field below:
Prices at La Terrasse are reasonable — on Saturday, we paid a total of 37 euros for a bottle of rosé, a hamburger-with-foie-gras plate for Jan and a pizza for me, plus two espressos.
The owner/chef took a fair amount of time with us, discussing Jan’s allergy to gluten and ensuring that none of the ingredients he used for her meal included gluten. Jan was quite happy with her meal (see below), while I thought my pizza needed more baking. Interestingly, when I told the chef that the crust should be more crispy and the toppings a bit browned, he said I wasn’t the first to make that complaint — and he’d make a point to ask customers in future how they like their pizza baked.
A final note: If you like the colour orange, you’ll love La Terrasse. It’s clear that the owner is proud of his Dutch heritage, and has used the colour of the Dutch Royal Family wherever possible.