Saturday lunch out

I don’t often write in detail about restaurant food, but yesterday on a trip to Clérmont l’Hérault we found an excellent restaurant tucked away on the edge of the old town,  near the streets where the open-air market is held every Wednesday.  Le bistrot du Marché, les remparts, offered an excellent 20 euro menu, so good that unusually I had my camera out for every course, prepared by a chef who seems to have some very exciting ideas while staying true to the flavours of the Mediterranean.  All three courses were beautifully presented and served.  It was one of the best restaurant lunches we’ve had for a long time.

For the entrée the three of us made different choices:

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smoked salmon with brousse fresh cheese

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gratin of oysters with leek, carrot and Noilly Prat

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terrine of aubergine and tomato with jambon cru

For the main course we had

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salmon with a cheese crumble crust

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and steak, cooked rare, with olive, tomato, wine and orange jus

Much as I love the simple lunches we often eat in small village cafés and seaside restaurants, I always think that the sign of a really exciting dish is when I can’t imagine how I would make it at home.  This jus was one of those dishes.

The desserts were delicious too:

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crème brulée with ginger

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and Marquise de chocolat

On the way home we stopped at the cave cooperative at Fontès, famous for its rosé wine, and bought some of its Prieuré Saint Hippolyte rosé, full of the flavour of the syrah and grenache grapes used to make it, a bottle of which went very well with the very light supper we ate much, much later!

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6 thoughts on “Saturday lunch out

  1. Little restaurants like that are as rare as hens’ teeth in modern France. The pictures looked great and the description – especially the little aside about the jus – said it all. Nice post to read while I cook on a beautiful sunny afternoon which reaffirms why I love living here.

  2. Oh pretty… you lost me at “Marquise de chocolat “, though – a chocolate dessert I’ve never heard of? Amazing!! Now I’m finding recipes for it, just in case I need more calories some day ;-). Mmmm… thanks for sharing!

  3. I would have loved to make a meal of all three entrées — something I could do here in the United States, but probably not in France. The terrine of aubergine and tomato looks especially interesting; perhaps you could have a go at recreating it, and then share the recipe with us?

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