On Saturday night, our conference host took us to a small, family owned restaurant La Table De Beaurecueil. The place was about a ten or fifteen minute drive from the town center and set against a landscape of mountains and countryside.
The restaurant was obviously operated by the owner and his wife, who together, ran the entire service for our group — while serving the rest of the restaurant on the regular menu. Impressive! We were very well taken care of, as were the other patrons I observed.
One chef operated the entire kitchen, with an open view format to guests’ tables. Here you can see him setting up the first course for our group.
As we sat down the lady of the house brought around a local rosé wine made with peaches. It was unbelievable crisp, light, and flavorful. Each table was topped with a small cutting board of locally made sausage and cured ham, fresh breads, and a small bowl of olives. Then came the first course.
This was one of the most wonderful things I think I have ever eaten. It was so visually appealing that I immediately couldn’t wait to taste everything in front of me. The layout of the dish suggested that it should be eaten in turn, and so I started with the curious little pot with the inviting spoon. The green was a mixture of mint and basil pureed into an aromatic spread over cod fish at the bottom. Amazing.
The light green salad made for a wonderful transition to the larger pot of a red and white mixture. The dish was a lobster crème with vine ripened tomato coulis. The flavors: spectacular. The tomato stood out like I have never tasted before and the lobster was confined to the crème. When you stirred the two, the flavors complemented each other, but still retained their composure. Honestly, this was an incredibly executed dish. Truly delightful to eat.
Above is the “trou normand” or “Normandy hole” course. This is traditionally a light sorbet in alcohol served in the middle of the meal. The idea is to cleanse your palette and allow your stomach to transition to the next course of food. As my dining companion informed me, the French also believe they serve an important digestive function. The one we had was made of local thyme and rosemary herbs. Somehow the chef was able to blend these strong flavors into a very light and refreshing sorbet.
The main course was a portion of Cornish hen, roasted on a spit and served over green peas with a light sauce. The meat was tender and juicy with a wonderfully roasted flavor. This was served with small pot of potato and artichoke hearts smothered in French cheeses. Needless to say, this was indulgently delicious.
The dessert some kind of a cream with strawberry jelly on the inside, served with an edible sugar spoon. I am not a big dessert person and honestly didn’t care for the cream – but the strawberry filling burst with the flavor of the fruit and was a nice finish to the meal.
Overall the meal was amazing – certainly something to celebrate and be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy!