WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

24 June 2011

Montpellier / Béziers area restaurants & wine bars

(Read on for listings at the bottom)

1. Les Caves de Trinque Fougasse
Trinque Fougasse is a lively Montpellier wine bar and restaurant institution, and I finally  went there not so long ago having tried at least once in the past but couldn't find it! Montpellier isn't the easiest of cities to navigate your way around, for the uninitiated non-local (well, I did live nearby for six months going back a few years) - especially with yet more serious roadworks currently underway thanks to the latest ambitious tram-line extensions (a good thing of course, when all completed...) - and Trinque Fougasse is found a bit of a way north of the centre lurking among university buildings etc. Anyway, it's worth the trek for its usually buzzing atmosphere, fairly huge wine selection from the Languedoc & Roussillon and no-nonsense hearty Med food.

Click to view YouTube video of new summer platter

They describe their cuisine as "ni gastronomique ni cantine" meaning it's somewhere inbetween: not trying to be fancy or pretentious but certainly not school dinners and still good quality. Set menu options include: at lunchtime, the day's special for 12€ or for 14€  combine it with a starter or dessert; or go the whole hog and have 3 dishes for 16€. The kind of thing they're good at is tasty charcuterie - cured hams and sausage - mussels, tapenade and brandade (olive paste, very garlicky mashed salt cod and spud), sizzling squid on a hotplate, beef tartare and steaks, "Emincé de magret," a kind of cottage pie but with duck, cheeses from the south etc. They do a large combo-platter including some of these dishes plus homemade orange gâteau for 20 euros at lunchtime and 25 euros for dinner.
As you go in, you pass through their wine shop so can browse the wine list on the shelf (not actually a huge difference in price between drinking it in or carry out, from memory), and they have a bigger range available for sale on-line. TF also organizes regular tasting events with winegrowers showing and talking about their own wines, run a mini wine school and hold jazz evenings etc.
1581 route de Mende, 34090 Montpellier. Tel: 04 99 23 27 00, and lots more info @ trinquefougasse.com.

More restaurants & wine bars reviewed or mentioned on this blog:

2. Folia restaurant @ Ch de Flaugergues - Montpellier
3. chez Paul[e] - Montpellier
4. Chez Boris - Montpellier
5. La Raffinerie - Béziers
6. Le Chameau Ivre - Béziers
7. La Distillerie - Saint Marcel sur Aude

8. Marie-Jean - Sète

9. Le Plaisance - Bourg, Bordeaux.

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