A four-hour lunch (with sticker shock)

When friends Keith and Kathy (K-2) were contemplating their recent trip here,  to see some of the Tour de France in person, we first did some long-distance planning. Among our decisions was that at least one Michelin-starred lunch was in order.

On previous visits, K-2 had eaten with my wife Jan and me at two of our starred favourites in the Greater Daglan Area — Le Grand Bleu (Sarlat) and Le Gindreau (Saint- Médard) —  so we decided to eat at the “gastronomic” restaurant at Trémolat’s Le Vieux Logis. Our chosen date was the day after K-2 arrived from Toronto, which was last Sunday, July 9.

I had confidently made the reservation, thinking that we would enjoy the multi-course lunch (Le Menu Tapas) at just over 50 euros (it’s now risen to 53 euros) . But when we arrived and looked over the menu, we learned that the tapas lunch is available only on weekdays, and definitely not on jours fériés (holidays) and weekends. Oops.

Having eaten at Le Vieux Logis many times, I had been confident that the tapas lunch was available on weekends, and hadn’t bothered to check the restaurant website. But later, I reviewed my own records at home, and found that in 2013 (for example) we ate there a total of six times. In 2013, the tapas lunch cost 46 euros, and it turns out that all our meals took place on either Monday or Tuesday. Hmm.

In any case, there we sat, outside on the terrace, drinking a glass of Champagne, reviewing the menu, and hoping that the grey skies would clear. They didn’t, and a light rain forced us into the restaurant itself. (That’s too bad, because in good weather the terrace is an absolutely lovely spot for lunch.)

We all got a bit of sticker shock when we realized that the “best” deal available was probably L’Eté en Aquitaine, at 100 euros for the food and another 25 euros for la sélection des vins de notre sommelier, all of which are from the Bergerac area. But, onward we plunged, and here’s a look at the cavalcade of goodies that we enjoyed.

With our Champagne on the terrace, we had been given a small selection of petite amuse-bouches.  But seated in the main dining room, we were brought another, more substantial amuse — a dish of cold tomato soup with a quenelle of ice cream, small cubes of tomato, and a small glass of cold gazpacho. Quite refreshing, and delicious.

A tasty mix of tomato tastes.

Our entrée was La Truffe Blanche d’Eté — a vichyssoise of vegetables, served atop a small pile of potato cubes, and covered in slivers of white truffle.

A veritable blanket of white truffles.

The fish course consisted of a small filet of sandre (pike-perch), served with a light tomato sauce and accompanied by a flower from a zucchini (courgette) that had been stuffed with a mousse of sandre.

There was a  fish mousse  inside the flower.

The main course was veal, served with a galette of girolle mushrooms and hazelnuts. Here it is:

Pieces of tender veal under the galette.

Next came a cheese course, which I won’t bother showing. As you would expect in a fine French restaurant, there’s a lot of cheese on offer, and you take your pick. But for dessert, Chef outdid himself — serving up two beauties.

First was this creamy, chocolatey concoction:

Nothing wrong with cream and chocolate.

And then the real show-stopper — what the menu described as Les Fraises En Vacherin Minute, avec Sorbet Fraise, Hibiscus. In other words, a strawberry dessert served in a delicious meringue tube. Both attractive-looking and really yummy.

A truly fine finish to our lunch.

And then it was back out onto the terrace for our coffees and mignardises. Oh, and the cheque.

So, on balance, the quality and variety of the food made up for the sticker shock — sort of, anyway. At 125 euros per person for the meal and wines, plus the glass of Champagne we all enjoyed before lunch, the total came to nearly 300 euros per couple. Cost aside, it was certainly a great way to spend four  hours with good friends, who also appreciate fine dining.

The biggest disappointment probably was that we had to eat indoors, although you can’t blame a restaurant for the weather. In fact, there were a couple of other slips — such as mixing up one of Jan’s gluten-free desserts with mine, which did contain small pieces of biscuit. And by the way, could someone give the sommelier some happy pills before he starts work?

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

14 Responses to A four-hour lunch (with sticker shock)

  1. Jill Sparling says:

    John and I loved that restaurant. Hope Jan did not eat the wrong dessert.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks Jill. Jan discovered the “crunchy bits” (of cookie, or biscuit) with a single spoon serving, and we promptly called the waiter over. Then I pointed out that “my” dessert had no crunchy bits, and should have been given to Jan. Oops.

  2. Samandjill Hershfield says:

    Chudster,

    An “amusing” $350 lunch?

    We remember our wonderful lunch with you at Le Vieux Logis.

    Don’t think we spent quite that much. (Dieu merci!)

    But it looked great.

    S&J

    On Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM, Radio Free Daglan wrote:

    > loren24250 posted: “When friends Keith and Kathy (K-2) were contemplating > their recent trip here, to see some of the Tour de France in person, we > first did some long-distance planning. Among our decisions was that at > least one Michelin-starred lunch was in order. On prev” >

  3. loren24250 says:

    Sam and Jill, yes, it was a great lunch with you two. Too bad we had to eat indoors as well. (The dining room is “fine” but I find it just a touch old-fashioned and, therefore, slightly stuffy. The outdoors setting is great.)

  4. We are going there tomorrow with our friend for lunch. Then we are off to Le Vieux Pont in Belcastel for an overnight stay and dinner. Think you would like it 1*.

    • loren24250 says:

      Let us know how your lunch at Le Vieux Logis goes. Will you do the tapas lunch, since tomorrow is a weekday?

      • Hi,
        Just back, had the tapas lunch which was excellent as always . It’s a hard life here isn’t it. Putting some pics on fb. Marche gourmande at Salviac this week, Wednesday night, we are going.😍😍

  5. Double D's says:

    Looks fantastic and as for the sticker shock consider the cost of attending a Jays game where a single beer will cost you $12, parking $30, seat $70 and your meal can be a $10 hot dog or cheese nachos followed by an $8 ice cream. Despite being loyal Jays fans I know where we would spend our cash. Book us for a week day and we will go twice!!

    • loren24250 says:

      Those prices really are outrageous. On the other hand, I suppose you could say that they (the prices) are helping to pay for outrageous salaries for the players!

  6. What a beautiful lunch, stunning dishes. Looks so tasty 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  7. Your food photos are spectacular along with your descriptions. We’ve wanted to dine there on other trips. This time we’ll do it. Weekday of course. And hope for sun. Yes I agree that a Giants game would cost more and not be so amazing an experience especially in the fog! Since I’m a cheesemonger I’ll enjoy all that cheese!

  8. loren24250 says:

    Yes, the cheese offerings are indeed wonderful. Only reason for not including photos is that, well, cheese looks like cheese! (I mean that in a positive way.)

  9. Karen Lassman says:

    Mark & I think that price is not too bad! We remember our wonderful lunch there. Karen

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