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Languedoc Roussillon


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Tracy,

Thanks for the continuing advice. I am now on holiday and loving the weather. My wife is very excited by the thought of all the crafty shops that seem to be in Pezenas...

I love foie gras so might need to go to the new place - it's called Gallery 5 right?

BTW love your raid the fridge concept - if only all hotels would institute that policy!

Off to Terasses du Mimosa tonight in Montpeyroux for our first meal out....I might try and post some pics for the delectation of all Egulleteers....

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I would be interested on your take on the Mimosa Terrace restaurant. Have heard very mixed reviews and we were underwhelmed when we went for Sunday lunch during the winter.

Gallery 5 is the place for Foie Gras - Bit tricky to find until you get used to the narrow streets of the old town of Pez.

Try to go to L'Entrepots - you need to call at least 1 day in advance and for the weekend at least 2 or3!

Have you got a table at O BonTemps? Nigh on impossible to get a table less than 3 weeks in advance - easier for lunch!

Bon Continuation!!

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Actually, I quite liked the Terrasse du Mimosa. Lovely sitting in the square, great for the kids to run around, excellent wine list by the bottle or the glass with only an 8 euro markup on the shop prices, most of the great and good of the area.

We drank a glass of Mas Jullien rose followed by L'Esprit de Font Caude and we did the tapas thing - interesting artichoke, mussel and chorizo and foie gras with chocolate (not totally successful); the kids had a very nice steak hache with mash. Not earth shattering food but tasty and about the right price. My main criticism would be the service which was a bit disinterested from the two female waiters, but the main man was obviously keen, spoke good english and was happy to advise on the wine.....

Unfortunately, food poisoning has laid my wife low following some seafood at Bouzigues today, so hopefully all will be better for our Sunday trip to Auberge du Cedre.....

I am not going to try O Bontemps, as there seems a lot of hype...

We will probably only have one day in Pezenas so I have some choices to make....what would be your top recommendation if you only had to choose one?

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Sorry to hear your wife got sick! It has been really hot recently and I don't know if it was Oysters that did it, but the Bassan de Thau does heat up and locals have told me not to eat Oysters when it has been hot for long period of time!

If Pezenas only gets you for one night it has to be L'Entrepots without hesitation 04 67 90 00 00 - use my name in vain (mention Tracy from Hotel de Vigniamont) if you want!

Glad to hear Montpeyroux was an overall good experience!

BTW L'Entrepots is closed on Mondays!

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So, booked up for L'Entrepots on Saturday...looking forward to it!

We went to Auberge du Cedre on a scorching hot day and it was a lot further to drive than we thought, so arrived rather frazzled. We sat in the Orangery which was very pleasant. The place has a sort of boho chic feel to it which is very relaxing. I started with a gazpacho of petit pois with goats cheese ice cream - very refreshing and just what I needed. Then on to a piece of Aubrac beef with origami of veg. The beef was delicious. For dessert we had the farandole of desserts i.e. a bit of everything - very tasty. Overall impressions were that this was enjoyable but maybe not justifying the long hot drive - it really is in the middle of nowhere. Wine list was excellent though....

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Whereas Le Temps de vivre was worth the short (10 minute) drive from our holiday home...

This is obviously a 2/3 man operation at lunch, to the extent that the chef served some of the courses to the diners.

We started with some amuse bouche of puff pastry with tapenade/sesame seeds, then a pre-starter of tomato gazpacho - perfect on a very hot day.

For starters saddle of rabbit with salad and a pistou dressing - rabbit was very tender and all nicely cooked.

Mains was an excellent cod with risotto of what appeared to be barley (epeautres I think, couldn't find it in the dictionary) and squid with a light butter/lemon sauce - delicious and showing some skill.

Dessert - the wife had carrot confit with lime sorbet and lime/vanilla sauce - this was really interesting and showed the chef's 3 star backround. I had a perfect chocolate fondant with a chocolate glace and some milky frothy topping.

All in all, the most accomplished meal we have had so far and we will probably return by the end of the holiday - hopefully they will have some more staff when we do.

Today, awful lunch while visiting the market at Clermont L'Herault, not so much the food which was basic but bad service. Ah well, tonight will probably crack Le Carignan from Domaine d'Auphilac which I bought from Terrasse de Mimosa....

Tomorrow we are meeting my sister-in-law in Narbonne at la Table de Saint Crescent (1 michelin star) which looks a bit fancier than anything we have had so far.....

Edited by Gavin Convery (log)

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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The location of la Table Saint Crescent is the weirdest I have experienced of any restaurant other than my local McDonalds Drive Through. It is overlooking one of the busiest roundabouts in Narbonne, next door to a heliport opposite a DIY store and near where the mile long Renault trains transport their cars to the rest of France. On the positive side it is located in the Palais du Vin with vines growing out front and a wine shop showcasing the best of the region. Some pre-prandial shopping was therefore called for.....

They have done the best they can with the location to make it a peaceful oasis amongst the sirens and helicopter landings. As noted by other reporters the service is a little distracted but still professional and the cooking, surprisingly, is cutting edge with various molecular gastronomy favourites such as liquid nitrogen meringue bombs and test tube milkshake holders.

The value is also good - 45EUR for 4 courses including 3 glasses of simple matching wine. I won't go into the details of all the courses as they are so complex to describe but include ravioli of oysters with summer truffles, a chicken dish a bit like a Kiev filled with foie gras, a simple slab of beef, the aforementioned testube with coconut and caramel milkshake partnering macarons with lavender and honey flavours. I made some of the less good choices but all were agreed that this was very good cooking with nods to their near Northern Spanish neighbours.

If you can get past the location, you will find this an enjoyable if at times surreal experience whether on the plate or off it....

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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In contrast our next meal was in an idyllic location overlooking the Gorges de L'Herault in the UNESCO world heritage village of St Guilhem le Desert.

Guillhem D'Orange Hotel is the posh hotel in this village and they have a nice restaurant attached with a large outdoor space which got completely filled up while we were there. We had made sure to book so got one of the best tables. We selected from the 3 course 19EUR menu which was very good value.

My starter was a flan with "the flavours of the country" - a sort of mini quiche with goats cheesey mushroomy flavour - kind of difficult to identify but tasty nonetheless. Main was veal with emmental in a filo parcel, nice cheesy mash, salad. Dessert was a soup of fromage blanc with coconut ice cream and mango coulis. Very refreshing and again tasty. This is not super refined cooking but was all nicely presented with some thought put into the flavours and very good value at the price. Then you look at the wine list and see even better value - at most markups were 100% but in a lot of cases much less. Some very good wines from the region including the one we had - Le Pradel from Terrasses d'Elise. This is an unusual 100% Cinsault wine and really showed what this region is capable of - for me this was a world class wine and the best of the holiday so far. Price 36EUR, ok double what I paid today for it in a "caviste" but still a bargain....

In summary, a good reliable choice in this area with a great view, excellent winelist - only downside was the service was a bit amateurish other than the head man who was passionate about wine and really knew his stuff.

Edited by Gavin Convery (log)

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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So today we finally got to Pezenas through the holiday traffic - the A75 was completely clogged with cars goin to Spain, so the satnav was working overtime trying to find an alternative route. We arrived with enough time to find L'Entrepots, away from the main historical centre. In fact there is only a small doorway, but when you go inside this opens up to a very large contemporary designed restaurant with a reasonable sized courtyard at the back shaded with sails in that very modish fashion. So far so good.

Service was very friendly from our waiter Nicolas who spoke pretty good English, to which we switched after various half english/ half french conversations.

We went with the 3 course menu at 26EUR, with 2 choices at each course. My better half had Cod brandade, I had a glass pot with aubergine caviar, sheeps cheese and red pepper mousse. Both very good and beautifully presented. Mains were perfectly cooked Tuna on a seafood risotto, and Duck breast with Summer vegetables and wild mushroom ice cream. The kids were treated to a lovely steak hache with the "best chips in France" - more english style thick chips than french frites. The quality of the steak was excellent.

Desserts were a classic fondant au chocolat, much loved by myself and the kids and Rum Baba with lots of rum!

Winelist short but intelligent - we had a rose at 16EUR.

Although this is not in the main tourist areas, it is all the better for it as this is obviously aimed at a more intelligent consumer. For those urban foodies missing their fix of style along with their dinner, L'Entrepots is a perfect destination. It also scores on best service of the trip so far.

My thanks to Tracy for the firm recommendation...they did know who you were...Nicolas says hi! ;-)

Edited by Gavin Convery (log)

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Thank you for posting such fine observations Gavin.

Good to hear Entrepots was on form. My only grumble is the lack of everyday priced wines on the list, the reds started at 20 € for the house specimen.

La Table Saint Crescent has history. The current chef Lionel Giraud's father Claud had a restaurant in Narbonne that achieved two Michelin stars that went bust in the early '90s, but he bounced back. After a spell in a neighbourhood site he obviously stuck a deal with the Palais du Vin that lower overheads and offered exceptional value, especially for everyday wines as you experienced. This decade Lionel has gradually taken over and is moving the cooking forward with his cutting edge creations, but there are some more restrained offerings on the carte. Personally I find the location ideal if one is driving as it's out of the town centre.

Le Temps de Vivre is the subject of Patrick Moon's book Arrazat's Aubergines. A good read that also covers other local gastronomic highlights. The restaurant struggled with the upgrading of the Lodeve bypass that caused dreadful bouchons for at least two years. They have keep going and you always know Laurent will be personally preparing your plats. His mentors were the Pourcel's at Le Jardin de Sens in its heyday.

Your not alone is failing to find a decent meal in Clermont l'Herault.

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  • 1 year later...

Wow, 2 years since we were last in Languedoc and no replies since....surely things have moved on since then?

So far haven't arranged much on the restaurant front as we have 1 week in Spain (Girona) first and I have to say that area is world class in terms of the choices you have. Suffice to say we are going to my favourite current restaurant in the world (Celler de Can Roca)....anyway back to Languedoc....

Currently have Le Parc Franc Putelalt booked for the evening to end off our day trip to Carcassonne - anyone been here recently? Michelin seems to have it as an aspiring 2*. As we are staying near Minerve we will be making a trip to Relais Chantovent, but I assuming no urgency to book....will be using Graham Tigg's website as the definitive guide as usual, so probably a trip to Homps and maybe Octopus in Beziers.....any up-to-date recommendations in the Beziers/Narbonne/Minerve region?

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I have been to the Relais Chantovent quite recently and was impressed. It's a lovely room and terrace and the lunch time menu was good value and very good to eat.

Most of our eating in the Languedoc tends to be a bit further inland - so the places I would recommend are:

L'Ochre Rouge in Herepian

Auberge de Combes, in Combes (above Lamalou les Bains)

Les Marroniers in Lamalou (go for his signature starter of oxtail and pate de foie gras - fab)

Le Petit Sommelier in Lodeve

A really nice wine bar in Bedarieux which serves plates of charcuterie and cheeses

Should you find yourslef in Nimes, Cosy Wine (strange name choice, but it is run by French people) is lovely.

Please do report back - there is little or nothing about the area on this or other foodie sites. As you said, it's amazing that the last post on this thread was two years ago.

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  • 5 months later...

While I'm here scoping out ideas for Nimes this year, just a quick update on last summer.

- Le Parc Franck Putelat - would agree about the aspiring 2*. Really enjoyable food, nice room, very convenient as just under the walls of the Cite, will possibly return this year....

- Relais Chantovent - nice bourgeois food, a little overdone some times, maybe spoilt by the HUGE number of flying insects in the restaurant!

Can't say that anything else stands out....we spoilt ourselves in Girona....a much better area for food....!

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Le Temps de Vivre is the subject of Patrick Moon's book Arrazat's Aubergines. A good read that also covers other local gastronomic highlights. The restaurant struggled with the upgrading of the Lodeve bypass that caused dreadful bouchons for at least two years. They have keep going and you always know Laurent will be personally preparing your plats. His mentors were the Pourcel's at Le Jardin de Sens in its heyday.

For what it's worth, I received the following in a 2010 email from Patrick Moon: " Le Temps de Vivre closed a couple of years ago, after Laurent and Laurence split up."

eGullet member #80.

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For what it's worth, I received the following in a 2010 email from Patrick Moon: " Le Temps de Vivre closed a couple of years ago, after Laurent and Laurence split up."

I was told last year Le Temps de Vivre had closed, but this perhaps explains why on our last visit Laurent was running the whole show (kitchen, front of house). Not the most relaxed lunch experience sadly.

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