Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Views and Reviews: Le Vieux Logis

Rachel, Dublin

Having recently returned from a wonderfully relaxing holiday in France there is one memory above all others that is keeping me going as I adjust back to the daily grind.  That memory is of our incredible meal in the Michelin starred restaurant of Le Vieux Logis in Trémolat, a small village half an hour's drive from Bergerac in the south-west of France. 

We had booked for the second last night of our holiday and the excitement and anticipation had been building all week.  On arriving we were shown through to seats in a courtyard in the meticulously tended garden and presented with the menu.  While we could have really pushed the boat out by going for the 'Caprice Gourmand' or surprise tasting menu at €98 each we decided that the 'Balade Printaniere' (Springtime Stroll) set menu sounded perfect along with the accompanying flight of wines (we were bamboozled by the enyclopedic wine list and thought it best to leave the choice to the Sommelier).

With our selection made we were presented with nibbles to accompany our aperitifs in the garden; this beautiful 'Petit Picnique' complemented our stunning surroundings perfectly.  We had mini confit tomato and pesto tarts, quail's eggs wrapped with ham, and cheesy bread sticks. 

Our table in the dining room was perfect, all the tables for two are around the edge of the room, on a slight platform, with partitions between each table allowing a cosy feeling while letting us indulge our passion for people watching! Our Amuse Bouche was a Vichyssoise with spring vegetables, ham, parmesan and local truffle.  This was accompanied by a miniature croque-monsieur to which truffle had also been added and it was insanely good, I'd go back just for another of these.


Trémolat is located in the Perigord, which is the Foie Gras producing region of France.  I was dubious about the sound of our starter - only in the Perigord would they come up with a combination of raw tuna and Foie Gras but I have to admit it really worked.  The tuna had been marinated in a tangy soy dressing and the richness of the Foie Gras completely balanced it. 

Our second starter was Asparagus with a truffle foam and an amazing egg yolk ravioli.  The pasta was thin and perfectly cooked while the egg yolk remained runny and oozed everywhere as soon as you cut into it. Very impressive. 

Our main course was another opportunity for the kitchen to incorporate local specialities in unusual ways and, again, it was a success.  Chèvre goat's cheese (the white lines) accompanied our incredibly moist lamb and provided a nice salty note against the rich jus.  I was also impressed with myself that I tried lamb's sweetbread for the first time and found that I liked the soft texture, complemented by the crisp breadcrumb coating it had been given.

Belts loosened, it was time for Le Plateau de Fromages. This was a stunning example of how a cheeseboard should be.  Each one was in perfect condition and was named for us.  All those to the left are goat's cheeses and there was a heavy leaning towards locally produced cheeses.  We could have chosen as many as we liked but our appetites at this point constrained us to three or four each.  My favourite was a semi-hard cheese flavoured with locally grown walnuts.

Our pre-dessert was a dainty pot of pannacotta, flavoursome local strawberries and crumbled Speculoos biscuit which has a fragrant, spicy-cinnamon flavour.

Our dessert was billed on the menu as 'Comme une Forêt Noire' and was as delicious a take on Black Forest Gateau as I have ever had.  The cake itself had a wafer thin, crisp layer hidden in amongst the sponge to give a surprising texture and the main dish was accompanied by a small bowl of cherry jelly and kirsch ice-cream.

This dish particularly summed up the incredible attention to detail that we had witnessed throughout the meal and I just had to include my close up photo of the teeny-tiny fragment of mint leaf that had been painstakinly placed in a miniscule dot of cream...

Finally, to make sure we hadn't one inch of room left, we were presented with petits fours of truffle chocolates and mini cherry clafoutis.  The clafoutis were the only small hiccup of the night as they were a little bit dry but this was the only less-than-perfect point of the evening.  We then retired to the 'Fumoir' or as the bf called it, 'The Man Cave' for a post dinner drink and some much-needed time to digest. 

As our last experience of michelin dining was disappointing I had been nervous about getting my hopes up for this meal but I need not have been worried.  The surroundings and service were without fault, our waiter was switched, without us needing to ask, when it became clear that our level of French was not sufficient to understand the intricate descriptions of the dishes.  The attention to detail shown by the kitchen and their inclusion of local ingredients in interesting ways was impressive and inspiring.  The wines we were served were also all drawn from the local region.  We had two different whites with the tuna and the asparagus, a red with the lamb and cheese and a Pineau des Charentes Rosé with the dessert, a type of fortified wine that was declared by the bf as 'now this is my type of thing'.

The menu including the flight of wines was €100 each, without the wine it would have been €78.  I felt that this was excellent value for the experience that we had and represented particular value for the wine as there is no way we would have chosen as well ourselves for only €44.  The only issue with the meal was highlighted by the bf when he pointed out that we'll never be able to come to Trémolat again without coming here for a meal.  I'm starting saving now.

Courtyard of the hotel

Le Vieux Logis
They accept email bookings in English through their website.
Should you require somewhere to stay in Trémolat, shameless advertising of house available to rent here.

1 comment:

  1. It is remarkable blog. I wanted to learn such type of the things that I have got from here at one platform. Thanks. click here