Wednesday, November 6, 2013

5-Star Dining Just Around the Corner

Donna-Lane mentioned wanting to dine at La Bartavelle so frequently as she was preparing to train down from Geneva to Argeles-sur-mer that I almost thought a meal at the restaurant was more a priority than seeing me after being apart 3 1/2 weeks. (Of course, she hadn't been to La Bartavelle, nor ASM, for more than 2 months.)

La Bartavelle (http://www.restaurant-labartavelle.fr/) is the finest dining in ASM and the deep south region of France, by any guide's reviews, and is the equal of some of the premier boutique restaurants in Paris. Owners Thibaud and Stephanie have a passion for food and presentation that comes through with exquisite taste, style, and quality.

We are indeed fortunate that the restaurant is around the corner, no more than 100 metres from where we live. Tuesday was our first opportunity for lunch, and when D-L saw canard (duck) on the menu du jour chalkboard she did a 'Yes!' fist pump.

Good thing I had made a reservation when I bumped into Stephanie Sunday evening because the place was full - even though we are well beyond tourist season.

The amuse bouche (photo above) featured warm scrambled eggs with finely chopped mushrooms and a petite toast.
The soup: cauliflower avec jambon, a cream swirl and croutons.
Main course: Roast duck draped in a grape sauce and mashed potato flavoured with olive oil. (D-L advised me it's not polite to lick the plate in public.)
Dessert: white chocolate crumbs and raspberries in a whipped soya cream flavoured with vanilla. Mmmmmmm.

The wine was light and fruity, sort of a cross between a rose and a white zin. The espresso was a nice finishing touch, though we lingered well after, not really wanting to leave and get back to our respective work places.

D-L told Stephanie she liked Nespresso coffee machines but would prefer it much more if spokesactor George Clooney came in the box. Stephanie quickly quipped, "I already looked; he wasn't in there."

La Bartavelle is where we had our "Family and Family-by-Choice" pre-wedding dinner in August, and they closed the restaurant for us as a private party.

Wonder what we'll have at La Bartavelle next time?

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