A few days ago, a friend of Jan complained to her about my blog. (What? I know it’s hard to believe.) What she reportedly said was “Why is Loren always writing about trash? Where are the food reviews?”
Ever responsive to reader suggestions, on August 27 I posted a review of our Tuesday lunch at a new spot (new to us anyway), Domaine de Monrecour. And today I’m writing about lunch at a real favourite — La Table du Marché Couvert, in Old Bergerac, about an hour an a half from Daglan.
I’ve been raving about the small restaurant since April 2013 (according to my in-depth research), with a focus on the creativity of the chef. For this most recent lunch, he certainly didn’t let us down.
As a quick bit of background, here’s some of what I wrote in a posting of September 7, 2017:
La Table du Marché is a relatively small restaurant, just across the street from the covered market (hence the marché) in the centre of vieux Bergerac. The style is contemporary, but comfortable. The chef and owner is a Parisian, Stéphane Cuzin, who learned his craft at starred restaurants in France and Belgium — and learned it very well. His food is clever, creative, fresh, and delicious.
The occasion was getting together with an English couple, Ian and Suzanne, who love visiting the Dordogne with their two daughters. When we had all settled into our places at the outdoor table, the four adults ordered a kir (cassis) to begin, and then the food started coming.
First, we were served a number of gougères — those light, somewhat fluffy balls made of choux pastry and grated cheese. Warm, traditional, and delicious. Then came small bowls of a refreshing chilled soup made of cucumber. Inventive, and also delicious.
As our entrée, the four adults all chose the crab salad, served between layers of crispy, savoury tuile. The crab meat was not only fresh, but slightly sweet. The dish didn’t seem big at first, but as with most fine foods, I found it generous and quite wonderful. Jan and I agreed later it was probably our favourite course of the lunch. Here’s my plate:
For my main course, I chose the roast canette, or duckling. As you can see from the plate below, the duck was moist, decorated with mushrooms and a rich sauce. It was excellent, but the real surprise was the accompaniment — a bowl of chilled Asian-style broth, flavoured with all kinds of herbs and spices, from ginger to lemongrass to scallions. An amazing combination, with the soup offsetting the richness of the duck.
My dessert was a marvellous concoction of meringue, sorbet, fresh strawberries, and probably a few ingredients I’ve missed. Here’s my plate:
All in all, a great meal, with very nice friends. The only bit of a negative was the price for the three dishes (entrée, plat principal, dessert), which now stands at 42 euros. Jan and I thought it was still good value (for the quality of the dishes), but it did seem a fair bit higher than previous lunches. And it seemed particularly steep for the two girls.
Here’s a bit of what Suzanne wrote to me later: “Lunch was absolutely superb and such a treat, especially for the girls to have the experience of fine dining which they really enjoyed (they had better not get used to it!)” I understand the sentiment exactly!