A fine-dining duo, and a home-spun meal

This past weekend we finished a round of fine dining on two consecutive days, and now are feeling contented, if a tad more plump. And we continue to be amazed and impressed at the innovative approaches of two of the area’s best young chefs.

The occasion was a visit by our good friend Joanne, who has a holiday home near us. With much advance planning (via email), I made lunch reservations for Joanne, my wife Jan and me at Restaurant O Moulin in Carsac (Chef Nicolas Aujoux) on Friday, and the Michelin-starred Le Grand Bleu in Sarlat (Chef Maxime Lebrun) on Saturday.

I’ve written numerous times about both restaurants, heaping praise upon them, so I won’t go into detail about the establishments. So what follows is simply a visual trip to some of our more arresting plates — starting with O Moulin.

(Tip for new readers: To find previous postings on any subject in Radio Free Daglan, just type in the Search box at the top-right of the column. Entering the name of a restaurant, for example, will provide you with all my earlier reviews.)

First off, here is the entrée chosen by all three of us, which we all thought was amazing, and delicious. It may not look like it, but it’s a salad of fresh crab meat, inside a tube made of jellied cauliflower (of all things!), with little beads of puréed cauliflower (the green ones were flavoured with wasabi). Quite amazing:

Fresh crab, freshly presented.

As the plat principal, again we three chose the same dish — a perfectly cooked and tender piece of beef steak. Highlighting the beef were the dark, rich sauce and the little potato balls; we originally thought they were whole mini-potatoes, but then figured out that they were made of puréed potato which had then been deep-fried. Perfect:

Potatoes and sauce? Perfect choices.

As a final nod to O Moulin, here’s a look at the dessert that Joanne chose — a cool concoction that featured ultra-thin slices of green apple:

The freshness of green apple.

Now let’s move to our Saturday lunch at Le Grand Bleu. As always, we were served a complimentary small soup before the three-course meal that we  had ordered. And as always, it was both innovative and delicious, fresh with the taste of cucumber, and enhanced by a scoop of ice cream. Here’s my bowl:

A soup with surprisingly intense flavours.

For dessert, we all chose the poached pear creation, served with a variety of ices and some absolutely delicious chocolate ganache. Here’s my plate:

Pear, chocolate — you name it!

And then came a surprise treat — an extra plate of desserts, including small macarons and fresh strawberries. Here’s my serving:

Just what we needed: More sweets!

And now, a change of pace. Just to show that it’s not all fine dining and Michelin stars for us, today Jan and I had lunch with friends John and Babs at Le Diabolo Fraise, a small restaurant in the hamlet of Nabirat, about 20 minutes from our home.

Le Diabolo Fraise offers a modestly priced menu ouvrier, or workman’s lunch, which includes four courses and a carafe of wine.

The food is always good, hearty, well spiced, and served family style — a terrine of soup for the table, followed by individual plates of a composed salad, then a platter for the table of meat or fish and vegetables, and finally dessert. Here’s a look at my composed salad today:

A real mix of flavours.

That is probably it, in terms of dining out, for at least a few days. Soon I’ll be writing a post on a building project in the village, and the accompanying official notice that seems to be essential.

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

2 Responses to A fine-dining duo, and a home-spun meal

  1. Karen Lassman says:

    OK, my guess was wrong but at least vegetables were involved.Partial credit?

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