Having written several times about the Michelin-starred restaurant in Sarlat, Le Grand Bleu, I’ll be brief in this posting. But since my wife Jan and I had a lovely lunch there yesterday with our friend Joanne, and since all three of us were delighted with the beauty as well as the taste of the dishes, I simply had to show off the goodies created by Chef Maxime Lebrun.
(If you want to see previous reviews and more details, just type the name of the restaurant into the search box at the top right-hand side of this blog.)
After enjoying a selection of delicious amuse-bouches with our glasses of Champagne, we started on the main meal. We had each chosen the Menu Découverte at 54 euros, which includes the mise en bouche, an entrée, either a fish or meat dish as the plat principal, and a dessert. To start, we had a bottle of Sancerre blanc, and later a Chinon rouge.
For my entrée, I had the pieds de cochon caramélisés. The meat from the pig’s feet had been finely chopped and spiced, and mixed with shards of crispy skin. Then the meat mixture was shaped into a square, and served with a coulis of yellow pepper and rocket (arugula), a brunoise of red and yellow peppers, and an arugula sorbet. It was rich and delicious, and here it is:
Both Joanne and Jan started with the lightly cooked langoustines, served with a déclinaison of carrots (carrots cooked in different ways), along with carrot sorbet. Here’s the dish:
The main course for Joanne and Jan was tenderloin of Aubrac beef, served with cauliflower and hazelnuts, with a coffee sauce and a tobacco (!) foam. Jan absolutely raved about the taste and tenderness of the meat. And here it is:
As for me, I stayed with my old favourite at Le Grand Bleu — veal sweetbreads. They are always beautifully caramelized, and then served in unique ways. This time the sweetbreads had been caramelized in beet juice, and then served in a bowl with a deep layer of potato and nettle foam, which was both unusual and delicious. Here’s my serving:
Joanne’s dessert was, apparently, the only slight disappointment of the meal. It looked terrific — a macaron made of black olives, and served with local strawberries, an asparagus and basil cream, and black olive ice cream — but Joanne said she found it a bit low in flavour and a touch too dry. Here’s her plate:
And here is Jan’s dessert — a plate of three apricots poached with rosemary, and served with a ganache and a compote of kumquat, plus a cocoa sorbet:
My choice was this peach and cherry soufflé, served with crumble and a quenelle of
Madagascar vanilla ice cream:
After our coffees, it was time for another culinary adventure before heading back to Daglan. We headed off to Sarlat’s largest supermarket to buy three (live) Canadian lobsters, which we poached last evening and then enjoyed in a risotto for lunch today. Jan and I will, of course, be dining pretty lightly tonight.