Well, this is meant to be a quiet time of year but I am pleased to report that we have been very busy. That of course is the pre-cursor to an excuse that it has been ages since my last Chef’s Blog. Well it beats, “The dog ate my homework Sir.”
Valentine’s evening was a fabulous event and went orrrfffff without a snag. The quail stuffed with foie gras was preceded by lobster and we finished with cheese and a specially created chocolate dessert. A great success.
We have also hosted several private dinner parties for groups. If you have a special event planned, perhaps for an anniversary or birthday then we can help provide a very special evening or lunch to suit your requirements.
Opening hours/new menus
At present we are only open on Friday and Saturday evenings plus Sunday lunchtime BUT we are very happy to open at other times if you have a table of four or more, just email or phone and we are very happy to open especially for you.
We will be extending our opening days very soon and we will be launching our new Spring menus at the same time. However, we are pleased to report that since last week we have been featuring asparagus soup and the asparagus is from the Languedoc. Creamy and rich, it is a lovely starter.
I will say that when I saw the stock which is very early this year, I bought all the five bundles that our green grocer had. It was not priced and I always lecture Val that she should check prices prior to buying but my excitement got the better of me. It was only when I got hope that I reflected on the total price which seemed quite high fpr thr selection of fresh vegetables that I had purchased. Imagine my shock when I saw that each bunch had cost 15.65 €! I am pleased to report that this week the new stock cost less than half that. Of course there is loads of cheaper Spanish and Peruvian asparagus around but as always we prefer to use local stock when we can. It is on our 21.90 € evening menu or the 19.90 € lunch menu. Served directly in a fresh bread bowl it is a lovely dish.
New/Special offer wines
We have several new wines on our enlarged wine list including two further vintages from 2016 and 2017 to join the fabulous Gerard Bertrand Tauteval (Robert Parker 91). All remain on special offer at 29 € (normally 39 €). The ’15 has been our best selling wine this year and is a spectacular wine. A blend of Syrah, Greenache and Carignan it has a subtle softness to balance the depth of flavour and the tannins are deep but soft.
Also new to the list is Les Darens du Languedoc by acclaimed winemaker Jeff Carrel. A blend of particularly old Grenache vines (which give reduced yield but better quality than younger vine plants) and with some Carignan and 5% Syrah. The wine is on limited release and quantities are low so we were lucky to secure our stock. Priced at 21 € it is good value and the wine has a lovely, long finish on the palette.
Ready for summer, we also have two new rosé wines. Both were recommended by an old friend still working in the wine trade. Both are excellent. First, we have Chateau Chevalier from Provence. This Gold Medal winning wine is on limited release and it was only due to referencing our friend’s name that we could buy stock. The magnums have not arrived (and probably never will) but I am very pleased to report that we were able to obtain 36 bottles only of the normal 75cl bottle size. On special offer at 24 €, it is an excellent wine with a long finish to the palate and, even more importantly, has a freshness, perfect for a hot summer’s day.
The other wine is an absolutely superb rosé from the Herault. 2019 Le Marlies is quite simply the nicest rose I have ever tasted. Val loves rose but it is niot my cup of tea (actually I deteste tea but you get the idea). This wine blew me away and the flavour is just lovely. Along with the other wines above, this wine at 21 € is highly recommended.
On special clearance we have Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rose at 18 € (normally 24 €). Limited stock.
Once again we have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2020 with Tripadvisor and all other awards such as Guide Petit Futé and the coveted and very difficult to obtain Tables and Auberges have also been re-awarded for this year.
We have the new Tables and Auberge 2020 guide books which list the absolutely best restaurants in France (including us!) on special offer at 5 € (RRP 9 €).
On all the last Sundays we have been full on our sun terrace and we hope that we continue with good luck weatherwise. It is a lovely place to while away a lazy lunch.
On a sobre note we are all aware of the threat from this unpleasant virus. We would like to reassure all our friends and clients that we have raised our already high hygiene standards to the best level we possibly can. We have a professional cleaner who cleans the restaurant and kitchen every day and we have disinfectant hand wash available for guests which we request is used prior to entering the restaurant. All door handles and the lavatory are cleaned after every usage. We will not be shaking hands or kissing friends until after the pandemic is over. We have also increased the distance between tables for your security.
We want to assure all our visitors that we are doing everything possible to ensure a safe and pleasant visit.
We hope to see you soon.
Chef Paul and Val