A couple of weekends ago, we had an odd experience with the restaurant that’s become our favourite for fine dining and that’s within easy driving distance, O Moulin in Carsac. We had checked out its take-out menu online, and liked the look of it. So on a Wednesday evening Jan telephoned the restaurant and left a message on voicemail for a Sunday pick-up.
There was no reply, so she phoned again on Thursday, and reached the chef directly. He reported that he had received our message, and was very sorry, but they were completely booked. But it’s takeout! How could they be fully booked?
The answer, I suppose, is that the chef had ordered a certain number of ingredients, and couldn’t add more. Oh well — I roasted a leg of lamb instead.
This past Sunday, however, we struck take-out gold, and were just delighted with what we received — three courses for just 23 euros per person. Here’s a look at our meal, starting with the entrée.
On O Moulin’s online menu, this was called “Tataki de truite de Borrèze, crémeux de choux fleur au wasabi.” Or, as you might call it, “Tataki of Borrèze trout, with a cauliflower cream flavoured with wasabi.” This was delicious, the fish incredibly moist and delicate. Here’s my serving:
To explain a bit, tataki is a Japanese word for a style of cooking, in which fish (salmon, for instance) is cooked at very high heat for a very short time, so that the result is a delicate dish that seems to be either poached very briefly, or marinated (like a ceviche). The interior of the fish is, basically, raw. One salmon tataki recipe I consulted said to plunge pieces of salmon into boiling water for just one minute (!), and then to cool them in ice water.
And in case you were wondering, Borrèze refers to a small river of the same name that flows through the village of (you guessed it) Borrèze, not far from Daglan.
Next came our plat principal — a braised quail, cooked “in the spirit of a tajine,” with semoule (a grain product, that I would describe as couscous) and vegetables flavoured like a North African dish. Again, it was just delicious.
The final touch was a mousse of mango, served on a sablé breton (a crisp, thick cookie that seemed to me as if it were flavoured with orange); on top were shavings of fresh mango as well as whipped cream. Here is my dish:
To us, it seems remarkable that we had all this enjoyment for just 23 euros each. And now we’re thinking that we’ll be ordering the O Moulin take-out menu for our Christmas Day lunch.
A truffle follow-up. Just recently, I wrote about a rather large black truffle that Jan bought (for 75 euros) at Daglan’s weekly truffle market on Sunday. Afterwards, she cut the black beauty into four parts, wrapped three of them in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer, and shaved the remaining truffle to sprinkle over and through a dish she made with pasta and sausage. Here’s how it turned out: