You may not think that delumptious is actually a word, but my wife Jan uses it when we have something that’s truly delicious and scrumptious, and so it must be correct. Certainly delumptious is an excellent way to describe the lunch that we had this past Sunday — a Father’s Day celebration — at Le Gindreau.
Le Gindreau is one of three Michelin-starred restaurants less than an hour’s drive from Daglan. (Le Grand Bleu, in Sarlat, is 25 minutes away, and Le Vieux Logis in Trémolat lies 50 minutes from here.) All three are wonderful in their own way, and I’ve written about each of them several times. (To see a review, just type the name of the restaurant that interests you in the Search box at the top right of this blog.)
I wrote a somewhat mixed review of Le Gindreau on April 19, 2013, when the new chef was just taking over from the previous owner. But then Jan and I had a wonderful meal with Florida friends Sam and Jill in October of last year, although we had to eat indoors because of cool weather.
This past Sunday, we were able to eat on the lovely, shaded terrace. Perfect.
I won’t write too much more about Le Gindreau, except to say that it’s in Saint-Médard, about 45 minutes south of Daglan in the Lot. Chef is Pascal Bardet, who comes from the area, but who spent 18 years working and training with the great Alain Ducasse, and who was chef de cuisine at Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel Paris, in Monaco. So yes, he does know how to cook.
We were the first customers to arrive on Sunday, because when we telephoned we had been assigned a noon reservation. A bit early, perhaps, but it gave us time to sip a glass of Champagne while studying the menu and enjoying the terrace. And here it is, before anyone else arrived:
As befits a restaurant with a Michelin star, we were served several different types of amuse-bouche. Here’s a sampling of them for Jan (all carefully chosen to be gluten-free):
Next came this surprisingly good amuse-bouche, which included a roasted cross-section of leek (at the left), served with a tarragon sauce:
Jan loved her entrée — pieces of green asparagus served with morel mushrooms. Here it is:
My entrée featured local trout. It was light and delicate, but with surprisingly complex flavours. Spotted among the dabs of sauce were individual trout eggs, which look like little orange dots on the plate:
By 1 p.m., all the tables on the terrace were occupied, but the service remained professional, friendly and prompt. Jan and I were sitting near the water feature, which seemed to contribute to the cool atmosphere:
Early in the meal, we enjoyed a wonderful Sancerre, which went beautifully with my trout entrée and with Jan’s plat principal — a piece of sole which we figured had been cooked sous vide, and which was served on a bed of crunchy vegetables:
As for me, I was very happy with several glasses of a rich Châteauneuf-du-Pape, because my main course was this hearty dish of veal kidneys, served in a pool of dark sauce and sitting on a bed of caramelized red onions:
For dessert, both of us chose the strawberry-and-rhubarb soufflé, which was flambéd at the table. Here’s the spoonful of flaming liqueur being poured over my dessert:
With the meal (mostly) over, we could just sit back and enjoy the view from our table. The area around the restaurant is a mix of farmland and forest, and it’s quite lovely, as you can see:
At this point, Jan and I decided that we had eaten enough, and asked our server not to bring the mignardises that normally are served at the end of the meal. She seemed terribly disappointed, and said that the kitchen had carefully prepared gluten-free mignardises for Jan. So of course, we relented. And of course, we were delighted — especially with the small meringues topped with tiny fraises des bois, or wild strawberries:
We first came across these strawberries on our first trip to Italy, and love them. So here’s a close-up:
So that’s what a delumptious Father’s Day lunch is like at Le Gindreau. Delicious, scrumptious, and large enough that my dinner that night consisted of nothing more than the olive in my evening martini. Lovely way to end the day.