I found it in one of the most famous gastronomic region of France: Dordogne, especially known for its truffles, the black gold, its historic fruit, the walnut and its refined duck meat. Food over there is a religion, you talk food and you live food.
This traditional restaurant is located in Brantôme, a city in the South West of France well known as « the Venise of Périgord”. Brantôme attracts many tourists for its beauty but also for its various renowned gastronomic restaurants.
It gathers four of the essential aspects together that, to me, contributes to enjoy your time in a restaurant.
1. The food, generous homemade dishes
As the owner advises you before it comes to order, no need to take a first course with a main one if you are not a big eater. One main dish is enough if you want a dessert. The plates are well filled out!
That is why you can only order à la carte, between various “Tartines”(8€), “Salads”(14€ to 20€),four or five “Main courses”(14€ to 20€) and “Desserts”(6€). Every plate is made at your request with fresh and local products.
The tartines are very generous as well as the salads. One tartine is served with a bowl of fresh salad and cherry tomatoes dressed with an homemade vinaigrette. The Vegetarian tartine is made with a base of béchamel sauce, vegetables tartare, then crunchy zucchinis with dry tomatoes, goat cheese, pistou and to finish a bit of gruyere cheese at the top of it. The bread is toasted and light in the inside, so you don’t feel forced-fed like a duck at the end of your meal. I even think my lovely english neighbours would agree on that.
For a more original taste you can choose the Exotic salad made with grilled shrimps and chicken, pieces of pineapple and croutons. All of this at the top of a mixed lettuce with tomatoes dressed with the homemade vinaigrette. A basic and simple salad you may think, but the fresh ingredients make the difference with other already made salads you can generally find.
If you also want to taste specialties of the Périgord region, you are in the right place. La Récré Gourmande proposes you to taste its Duck magret served with fresh salad, homemade french fries and peaches panned. You can easily notice the good quality of the duck, it is even said to be the best one in town. Usually eaten as medium rare meat, tender and well cooked, it melts in your mouth.
Now, if you’re looking for an exotic taste you can order the Lamb Tajine with its crunchy almonds and dry abricots cooked in a secret half salted and sweet sauce, served with thin and light semolina.When it comes to your table you can already feel a heady smell of spices and when it comes to your mouth the spices explode but without burning your tong out.
Finally, we’ve got the desserts. From the basic Ice Cream sundaes (most of them artisanal ice creams) to the most refined Café gourmand, you have various choices to end your meal with a hint of sweet.The Café gourmand is very interesting because it is a mix of every dessert but much smaller. It gives you the opportunity to taste every delicate dessert the restaurant proposes. The Fondant au chocolat is meltingly soft and not too sweet, the Tarte tatin is crunchy and fruity, the Crème brulée is tasting real vanilla and caramel and the fruit salad is fresh. The quantity seems small, but well enough after a main course.
2. The atmosphere, a good one makes you better enjoy the food
The restaurant is located out of the center of the city, in the “Domaine de la Roseraie”. A cozy and typical place from the region, a wonderful and authentic property made of exposed stones walls and floors. In the winter you can eat inside close to the huge fireplace and in the summer enjoy the terrace surrounded by flowers such as roses. It is such a charming place to warmly welcome families, couples or friends. You are so comfortable that you could almost feel at home… but careful no feet on the table or no eating with your hands.
3. The staff members, at least a smile and I may come back
Colette and Yann are the owners of the restaurant. Colette is the self-taught chef and Yann, when he doesn’t help for desserts, is the waiter. You can ask everything about their menu, they know it by heart and they are pleased to explain to you the origin and the way of cooking it. Yann serves with amusement and share his good mood with its clients.
4. Prices, a good quality-price ratio makes the last positive point you will remember
The quantity is way enough, the quality is good knowing the origin of the products. They use delicate fresh and local products without making us to pay too much for this quality. Today they extend their menu with burgers made with local products such as truffle.
This restaurant is more than good homemade meals, it is a restaurant with owners sharing their passion of food with you.
After this crush, I could have left everything for that, stay there, live many experience and try the whole menu. I chose not to let my feelings lead me to it and went back home, fully satisfied, to share this culinary experience with you
If you choose some day to go there, please let me know, so we can share our passion for food together.