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March in Languedoc


scordelia
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My husband and I are spending a week in Languedoc. We are staying in Olinzac and plan to visit Narbonne, Carcasonne, Toulouse, Moissac, Conques and Albi to name a few. Where should we eat? We also will be cooking at home, so what local delicacies cannot be missed? Oh, and we plan on sampling plenty of the local vintages, so wine rec's are very welcome as well.

We are flying into Toulouse on a Saturday and will be tired and hungry, so a nice but not too heavy lunch rec would be very appreciated as well as a place for a special last dinner in Toulouse the night before we leave.

I look forward to everyone's suggestions. Thanks!

S. Cue

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Not sure what price range you're talking, but here are some suggestions:

Relais Chantovent in Minerve isn't too far from you. we had a lovely lunch there recently - very good value at around 22 Euros for a three course meal. Lovely room and great cooking - traditional food in a modern style.

Carcassonne isn't great for food, but I know there are one or two places known for good cassoulets - so if you Google it, then you may find somewhere in or near the Cite.

We had a good lunch in Narbonne - I'm not 100% certain of the name of the restaurant, but I think it's the Brasserie L'Estagnol - again, good value and good food.

If you visit Beziers, there is one of the Pourcell Brothers' outlets - the Comptoir de Compagnie - Ive not been to the Beziers one, but have been to the Montpellier and La Grande Motte branches - excellent food. There are also some nice small places near the cathedral and Les Halles for more traditional lunches.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the mountains to your north and north west - it's stunning scenery and there are some excellent fine-dining type places worth going to. The Ochre Rouge in Herepian is sad to be one of the best in the region, and Les Marroniers in Lamalou Les Bains is wonderful too - and he has an amazing value lunch and evening menu at 14-15 euros. Further into the mountains is the Auberge de Combes - great food and amazing views across the mountains from floor to ceiling windows.

Pezenas has one or two places worth a visit if you are in the area. I like Apres Le Deluge, and there are some newish places which have been recommended on other sites.

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For strong Michelin 1*s in the area I'd recommend Octopus in Beziers and La Galinette in Perpignan. O'Bontemps in Magalas is up there as well and great fun.

En Bonne Compagnie in next door Homps has a nice Canal setting but doesn't open until Easter.

Les Halles in Narbonne are excellent for local produce. You will be on the border of duck and goose territory. A bit early for new seasons produce, but you should be OK for Asparagus later in the month.

Plenty more restaurants and notes on local dishes plus wines on my sites (see signature). Have a great time.

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Oh, please include Le Mimosa in Saint Guiraud. For a number of years we have enjoyed a fine dinner, cooked by Bridget accompanied by David's superb wine pairings, either wonderful local choices or from his considered and sophisticated list of wines from farther afield. After being so cosseted at the restaurant, we fall into a luxe bed at their adorable hostel a few km away in St. Saturnin de Lucian.

Actually this thread makes my mouth water as we look forward to enjoying the Pugh's hospitality early next month.

eGullet member #80.

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Oh, please include Le Mimosa in Saint Guiraud. For a number of years we have enjoyed a fine dinner, cooked by Bridget accompanied by David's superb wine pairings, either wonderful local choices or from his considered and sophisticated list of wines from farther afield. After being so cosseted at the restaurant, we fall into a luxe bed at their adorable hostel a few km away in St. Saturnin de Lucian.

Actually this thread makes my mouth water as we look forward to enjoying the Pugh's hospitality early next month.

Le Mimosa

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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If you are going as far north as Conques you should swing over to Belcastel. Its not far. Not only is it a very pretty village you can have a meal and/or stay at Le Vieux Pont. A Michelin 1 star that's just great.

While up that way it would be a shame to miss St Cirq l'popie; without question one of the prettiest villages in France.

Also, do not miss the Victor Hugo market in Toulouse; mind blowing.

There's also a one star restaurant in Albi called Le Ingress d'Violin (I think ) and a one stat in Cordes whose name I can't remember.

Give me a PM with an email address & I'll send you my restaurant list for the area around Parisot (82160) where we live.

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Do you mean Olonzac and not Olinzac?

Neither viamichelin or Google map can find Olinzac.

If it is Olonzac, it is nearer the coast.

Conques, although beautiful, would be quite a long drive northward. At least 4 hours one way.

By the time you get there, it is time to drive back.

If you are staying near Conques for part of your stay, then I recommend the market in Villefranche de Rouergue, a great market in the bastide square. I also second the nearby beautiful village of Belcastel. But if you are just planning a day trip for this, you'd be visising these villages at night !

:unsure:

on the coast, Sète is not only a pretty coastal town, it also has a wonderful market with great oysters from L'Etang de Thau.

In Sète, you must not miss a taste of the local specialty tielles. The best tielles can be found in a "no name" place on quai de la Résistance. Look for a long queue outside an unremarkable place that looks like a pizza takeout.

Sète is very near Pezenas which I agree is a beautiful gem.

Edited by Parigi (log)
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Do you mean Olonzac and not Olinzac?

Neither viamichelin or Google map can find Olinzac.

If it is Olonzac, it is nearer the coast.

Conques, although beautiful, would be quite a long drive northward. At least 4 hours one way.

By the time you get there, it is time to drive back.

If you are staying near Conques for part of your stay, then I recommend the market in Villefranche de Rouergue, a great market in the bastide square. I also second the nearby beautiful village of Belcastel. But if you are just planning a day trip for this, you'd be visising these villages at night !

:unsure:

Yes, Olonzac, sorry about the spelling. We are spending the night in Conques because I really want to see the Abbe Sainte Foy and the town. I teach art history, and Sainte Foy is a very important pilgrimage road church that I teach about, but have never seen. So lunch and dinner in Conques.

S. Cue

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Hate to be negative, but you may well be disappointed in Conques. Certainly it was (is) an important stop on the pilgrimage trail, but....

I can second the recommendation about the market at Villefranche de Rouergue Its a great regional market; every Thursday morning. As we live only 20 minutes away we go frequently. I must say, however, that my favorite local market is in Caussade on Monday. You could visit either one if the day is right as you best (quickest) route from Conques back down South is via Villefranche, Caussade, Montauban & Toulouse. This route should take closer to 3 hours if you don't stop & will cost about $20 in freeway tolls. (you can stop by our house for a cup or coffee, tea or wine since you'll pass very nearby.)

The slower route via Castres, Albi, Cordes sur Ceil offers more interesting scenery, but will take at least 4 hours. (By the way the newly restored market in Albi is great and open every day. Also, the Toulouse Letreck museum is well worth a visit as is the cathedral.And Albi has an abundance of good restaurants)

Finally, since you will be staying nearby I can recommend a visit to a winery named 'Pujol-Izard'. They are in 11800 Saint-Frichoux. Its run by a lovely family.Very nice wines at reasonable prices. One of the sons is married to the daughter of a local friend of ours. He stocks & sell their wine from his farm just up the hill from us. Its our 'house' wine. Its probably less than 10 km from where you are staying.

have a great trip!

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The starred place in Albi is L'Esprit de Vin. We ate there a couple of summers ago and had a very pleasant lunch. If I remember rightly, there was a bit of experimentation in the food, but nothing too wild. It was good value, I think. Albi's well worth a visit - a lovely city, which is making an effort of doing itself up. The cathedral is one of the most arresting buildings I have ever seen.

Cordes' starred place is Le Grand Ecuyer. It must be four years since we visited. I remember it being a good meal, with the unusual feature of each course being a trilogy - effectively three dishes at once. Interesting stuff. La Falaise in Cahuzac-sur-Vere (between Cordes and Gaillac) is worth a visit as well. Quite a small place, precise cooking and good local wines.

PS

Edinburgh

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.......

Finally, since you will be staying nearby I can recommend a visit to a winery named 'Pujol-Izard'. They are in 11800 Saint-Frichoux. Its run by a lovely family.Very nice wines at reasonable prices. One of the sons is married to the daughter of a local friend of ours. He stocks & sell their wine from his farm just up the hill from us. Its our 'house' wine. Its probably less than 10 km from where you are staying.

Interesting timing. I came across this interview with Pujol Izard yesterday having never heard of it before. In French though.

Pujol Izard on Love that Languedoc

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's also a one star restaurant in Albi called Le Ingress d'Violin (I think ) and a one star in Cordes whose name I can't remember.

I think someone has indicated that the name of the restaurant in Albi is something completely different, but you might like to know that the term 'Violon d'Ingres' is often used for what we would call a hobby - something for which you have a passion, other than your real job. Comes from the painter Ingres' passion for playing the violin.

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