It was four Sundays ago that we enjoyed a lunch at O Moulin in the village of Carsac, and came away with an interesting question. (By the way, in a display of intense self-control, I did not post anything about our September 27 lunch.) It was Jan who asked: “Do you think they would do the tasting menu for just two people?”
Only one way to find out, of course, so I phoned, and was assured that we could enjoy the Menu dégustation Surprise en cinq services, for 60 euros each, on Friday, October 23. And so off we went.
Because the food was delicious (as always) and served in such quantity, I’m going to show off each dish (normally I leave out one or two items from a review, in the interest of holding your attention). So, off we go.
On arrival, we ordered a glass of Champagne each, confirmed that we wanted the tasting menu, and sat back to enjoy. First up, as an amuse bouche, came a crusty roll (gluten-free for Jan) and a small bowl of black olive tapenade. For me, tapenade falls in the same category as hummus — something edible, moderately tasty, and generally mushy. In short, somewhat more trouble than it’s worth. But for whatever reason, this tapenade was especially good. And here’s my serving:
Our next amuse bouche (that is, something served extra, not on the formal menu) was one of the stars of the meal — a rich velouté of foie gras, flavoured with port. It was thick, slightly sweet, and just delicious. I’m showing my bowl with a spoon inside, to give you an idea of the soup’s creamy texture:
Next up came the actual first course — foie gras prepared two ways, accompanied by a fruit jelly. One piece of the foie was cooked mi-cuit, and the other was seared. I like to prepare my own seared foie, but it’s nowhere near as good as what Chef can do. Somehow he gets it caramelized beautifully on top and bottom, cooked thoroughly, but still moist and tender inside. Now in the Greater Daglan Area, it’s traditional to drink a glass of Monbazillac, a very sweet local wine, with foie; however, at O Moulin we’ve learned to order a Julian de Savignac Rosette, which is less sweet and syrupy. It’s perfect:
Course number two consisted of two seared scallops, topped with a crunchy mixture of pistachios and Earl Grey Tea, and served with roasted endive. Have a look:
Course number three was the meat course — a tender mignon of veal, accompanied by two slices of fondant potatoes. Cooking potatoes like these is notoriously difficult (often attempted, poorly, by contestants on the MasterChef TV show) but these were perfect:
Our fourth course was billed as a pre-dessert. Well, I like desserts, so I was quite happy with this scoop of tart lemon sorbet, covered in a foam made of fromage blanc:
The fifth and final course was the dessert — Chef’s take on a pina colada. Here it is, with a bite taken out of the white-chocolate-covered roll of ice cream, so you can admire the interior:
Having munched our way through all of that — plus half a bottle of Sancerre and half a bottle of a nice Burgundy — could we have more? Well, Jan could not, but I bravely finished off the mignardise with my coffee (actually, one of two coffees); there were two raspberry jellies, and two chocolates with salted-caramel fillings:
After the service was completed, both Chef Nicolas Aujoux and partner Cécile Guerin, who acts as hostess, came to our table for a good chat about all kinds of things — holidays, children, and of course the effects of the Covid pandemic on their business. As it happened, Friday was the last day of service before a two-week vacation. So now O Moulin is closed until Thursday, November 12. A chance for me to diet?