Today is our 30th wedding anniversary, obviously a day to celebrate. However, it is a Monday and also un jour ferié in France, or public holiday. So the chances of having a fine-dining meal today would be zilch.
Always thinking ahead, my wife Jan and I decided that we should have a lovely celebratory lunch yesterday instead, and so we made a reservation at the Michelin-starred Le Grand Bleu, in Sarlat, half an hour or so from Daglan.
Having written about Le Grand Bleu many, many times, I will keep this brief. However, I’ll just point out that Chef Maxime Lebrun is not only talented but extremely inventive — always tweaking his dishes, combining unusual ingredients (including lots of foams and ice creams, even for savoury dishes), and creating art on a plate.
With an excellent bottle of Chablis Premier Cru, Jan and I enjoyed a small bowl of soup to begin; then an entrée of barely cooked langoustines; then sole for Jan and sweetbreads (as usual) for me. And then on to dessert. And here’s my dish of the day:
On the menu, it was described as Tarte au citron vert et au cacao, sorbet noix de coco au poivre de timut. One could translate that as “lime pie with chocolate, accompanied by a coconut sorbet with timut pepper.”
But what is timut pepper, you might wonder (as I did). Through the mighty power of the Internet, I learned that it’s a Nepalese pepper, which has “the cold spiciness of a sichuan peppercorn, with remarkable hints of grapefruit.” Oh, that timut pepper.
In any case, it was as delicious and unusual as it looked. “Ah,” said Jan, “it’s key lime pie, re-imagined.” Yes indeed.