Friday, October 26, 2018

Semi-Gastronomique Lunch

Our French friend Cedric is going to culinary school now and working at a restaurant in Limoux, a town about half an hour away.
The restaurant is listed as semi-gastronomique. Gastronomique is probably what we consider a gourmet restaurant, but as our friends Jim and Theresa learned in French class, a gourmet is a person, not a kind of restaurant or cooking.
So we gathered for a semi-gastronomique lunch the other day, three American couples and Cedric, whose French wife Valerie wasn't feeling well.
The restaurant is called L'Odalisque and it  hasn't been in operation for that long.
The sign on the side of the building, along with a knife and fork
It has a simple decor with beautiful stone walls. Lunch is served from 12-1:30, so be prompt. The lunch prix fixe menu is 21 euros per person for three courses -- entrées, plats (main course), and dessert. The price is 26 euros if you include a glass of wine and a coffee at the end. 
The seven of us had just received our starters or entrées, when the waitress took this picture.
We had three choices for starters. A long thick strip of salmon with dollops of wasabi on top, a ricotta cheese mousse with tomato confit, or a oeuf cocotte, that is egg white baked over vegetables in a serving cup then topped with the egg yellow. Earl and I got the last two options and traded half way through. But Jim gave me a bit of his salmon and it was yummy too.
For the main course, we had two fish dishes to choose from or lasagna. Cedric, although he's from Corsica, doesn't like fish, but he told us that the fish he has eaten at this restaurant has been converting him, so I had to try the fish.
Here's my plat, with a crispy coating on top of the fish and mashed potatoes underneath.
Even the presentation was beautiful
Halfway through the plats, Earl and I switched again. He had strips of fish in a fennel sauce (maybe) along with tiny half potatoes topped with broccoli. The potatoes were crispy with a crunch of sea salt.
Cedric also gave me a bit of his lasagna which was delicious. In France, they don't use a tomato sauce in lasagna, but a bechamel sauce.
You might think I would be too full for dessert, but the bowl of chocolate mousse was so tempting that I finished more than half of it before letting Earl have the rest.
I've eaten a number of chocolate mousse(s) in France this year, but this one was the best, light and airy with just enough dark chocolate.
Some of us finished with little cups of espresso, that were accompanied by fingertop-sized meringues.
The restaurant only accepts cash, so we scrambled to figure out the bill before toppling out to the sunshine of the afternoon.
Cedric next to the restaurant where he's sharpening his culinary skills
We said goodbye to Cedric and made our way home, through all the roundabouts that lead back to Quillan, our home for a few more days before we fly back to the States for a three month hiatus.
Still wringing joy from the good life in France.


sillygirl said...

Looking forward to you writing about the "culture shock" of returning to the U.S.!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Tasty and Delicious.. What a fab price and with your lovely friends.. Amazing. How do they do it? .. Nothing like that here.. You both look so young and refreshed. Thinking of you as you travel back to the USA.. Xx

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