Mexican? Well, actually, no

Regular readers with good memories may recall that in my last posting, I wrote that my wife Jan and I would be enjoying a Father’s Day lunch today (Sunday) at the new Mexican restaurant that was just opening in Saint-Laurent-la-Vallée.

Well, we didn’t. But it wasn’t our fault.

After receiving written confirmation of our reservation, I received another note from the restaurant (Maria Bonita, shown below) apologizing for not being able to accept us for lunch — because the restaurant had not yet received official approval to serve food. So initially, only the bar would be open to the public.

This is where we didn’t go for lunch.

We still wanted to have lunch at a nice restaurant, and so I made a reservation for today at Chez les Filles, the restaurant part of the hotel-restaurant La Traverse, in neighbouring Cénac. And it all went very well.

For one thing, service is prompt and friendly. We were quickly served the kir we ordered, and then received an amuse-bouche of mousse flavoured with beets and tiny chunks of cucumber.

Jan skipped the special menu and went directly for a steak served with frites as her plat principal (no entrée), and pronounced the steak very tasty and the frites nice and hot and crispy. I chose from the special menu, La Folie des Chefs, with three courses.

My entrée was this attractive plate of gravlax, served with lots of fresh dill and a crunchy fennel salad in a sweet-and-sour dressing:

As good as it was good-looking.

My plat was a serving of lieu noir (a fish similar to cod) served with a sauce vierge (olive oil, lemon juice and chopped tomato and basil), some very fine ratatouille, and a small pot of wild rice. It was all delicious, and looked good too, as you can see:

A very good mix of flavours.

For dessert, Jan had a serving of crème brùlée, while I had three profiteroles, filled with vanilla ice cream, and accompanied by a pot of warm chocolate sauce. Yummy.

And the price? My three-course meal was just 24 euros. And for everything — the amuse-bouches, two kirs, a bottle of rosé wine plus two extra glasses of rosé, my special-menu meal, and Jan’s steak plus dessert, and then two coffees to finish things off — the total came in at just under 100 euros. So this is a place to add to your list of go-to regulars.


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

3 Responses to Mexican? Well, actually, no

  1. We look forward to hearing about your Mexican meal one day, once the restaurant is fully operational. Beautiful substitute!

  2. Loren Chudy says:

    Thanks Marla. I shall stay alert for signs of life at the restaurant!

  3. Dan Walters says:

    Hello Lauren, I trust that you will receive this and………following your excursion to the Mexican restaurant to-day with the two Pommies, will still be in a position to read this. Gerhard may have briefed you regarding this. It would appear that Europe is no longer keen to accept residents from third world countries hence our ability to obtain a visitors visa has been limited to the rendition of all kinds of forms etc. In 2014 we had no difficulty in obtaining a visitors visa until our passports expired however this time round, seeing that we provided a letter from Gerhard inviting us to use his residence as accommodation for the duration of our stay in France, they have come up with the following:- I quote:-

    *The person hosting you must go to their local town hall in France to obtain the proof of accommodation document on your behalf (more information about which documents to provide can be found on the following website: – in French only). The proof of accommodation document is mandatory for persons being hosted by private individuals. When submitting your visa application, you must be in possession of the original document as it must be stamped by the consulate and be presented when you enter the country.*

    Apparently, provided we book hotels for each of the 30 nights of our stay, we will be in a better position however I would prefer to book the latter once there and once I know where I would like to spend some time pending their arrival, so, I trust that you will be able to explain the true situation to the gentleman at your town hall in the hope that he may proffer a solution to our problem, i.e. that we are not to stay permanently , that we have been there five times before since the granting of the previous visa, do not carry guns etc, and that we are only there to see our kids, possibly for the last time, and that we will return as per our return ticket with French air.

    We would off course also like to see you guys again, play a round of cards etc and share a glass of wine, so if you could be of assistance we would appreciate this very much. Gerhard will be able to brief you in more detail.

    Kindest regards, Dan & Nesta

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