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Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts

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.

22 December 2010

Cherbourg resto tip (vegetarians don't read on)

I recently found myself 'between ferries' (as you do) in Cherbourg, north coast of France, and came across a nice little trad eatery called Le Pantagruel, which specialises in "grilling meat over a wood fire" in that 'watch the chef cook it in front of your eyes' fashion. A simple classic melted goats' cheese salad (€6) was accompanied by a glass of nondescript although harmless Chardonnay(€2.50: I didn't note a vintage or where from but probably the south somewhere). Followed by a wee glass of much better St-Nicolas de Bourgueil red, from the Loire Valley (€3.20: again no vintage stated and I've forgotten which domaine now), probably 2008 or 2009 I'd guess from its youthful fruitiness; which went well with a delicious "magret de canard" (duck breast fillet) and wood-baked potato (€13). And to finish off - nearly finished me off actually - their "Gers cup" homemade prune ice cream with a hefty glug of Armagnac poured over it (€6).
43 Rue Tour Carrée, Cherbourg. Tel: 02 33 03 08 31.

Other French restaurants & wine bars mentioned or reviewed on my other blog (Montpellier, Béziers, Bordeaux...):

27 June 2010

La Distillerie restaurant - Saint Marcel sur Aude

Just unearthed their shiny black & silver card (must sort out that huge pile of business cards some day...): I went to this "smart minimalist" place back in March with a big party of Minervois (goes to my 2009 Languedoc vintage report) winemakers and other wine scribblers, educators, importers etc. The owners have nicely refitted this former distillery leaving a sense of industrial space without it feeling like a warehouse. The food was good - we had a set double-ducky menu, simple yet pretty classic - and their site says they do a €12 lunchtime menu, which is difficult to find in France anymore. From memory, you can get a good deal evenings too with a menu at about €20 I think; and they also do tapas etc. My favourite Minervois wines with the meal: 2001 Château Bonhomme "Les Alaterres" red, 2007 Château Tourril red and textbook sweetie 2008 Domaine Barroubio Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois. Chemin des coopératives, 11120 Saint Marcel sur Aude. Tel: 04 68 33 38 56, ladistillerierestaurant.com.

16 March 2010

Marie-Jean of Sète

Not a sexually confused Frenchwo/man but a rather nice restau, where I ate last week in the company of lots of Languedoc winemakers and fellow international journos on a trail of discovery. Sete, so to speak (doh!), right on the canal calmly watched over by rusty yet sturdy fishing boats. The raw shellfish platter to start was a feast for the eyes, if you're into something that fresh out of water, although I had a different dish (quite, although not very, tasty goats' cheese and sun-dried tom tart) as I find oysters, well, degusting, for want of a better word. Close to excellent fillet steak to follow "tasted" with a variety of Corbières and Minervois La Livinière reds. A wee bit of each one I mean... I quite like Sète, actually, fairly horrible all around the town (the industrial porty bits, I mean, rather than the sea and hills) but cute in the centre with its lively canals and bridges. Anyway, if you're ever in town: Restaurant Le Marie-Jean, 26 Quai du Général Durand, 34200 Sète. Tel: +33 (0)4 67 46 02 01 but I couldn't find a website.

01 March 2010

"Soy Argentina" @ Alexis bar & grill, Dublin

Well, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin in fact, but close enough. This buzzing and quite smart restaurant does a good-value "early bird" menu (not sure how early as it didn't say on the menu, but they're open from 5.30pm I think) for €16 (2 courses) or €20 (3), which is pretty hard to beat in the overpriced Dublin area especially when the food is as tasty as it was when I was there last week. We had this Argentinian white wine with our meal: 2008 Finca la Linda Viognier from Luigi Bosca in Mendoza (€22) - click here for full review (on my "wines of the moment" 2005-2010 page, scroll down to Argentina). More info @ www.alexis.ie.
Piles more Argentinian wines (archive page) here.

01 June 2003

Wine Magazine bar & restaurant reviews

Follow these links to four bar and restaurant reviews written for Wine magazine (UK) in 2002 and 2003 (now defunct in this format: the title was bought by another publisher a couple of years later, and by another since, and renamed Wine & Spirit International):
L’Ambassade des Vignobles, Marseille
Chine Rouge, Manchester
Kro2, Manchester
Choice bar & restaurant, Manchester

Another Manchester resto is review here: Miyako (sushi) penned for Harpers On-Trade magazine, as well as a
 brief investigation into and review of sushi restaurants in Manchester... Plus a few thoughts on licensing policy and growth of late bars in the city centre...

And there's more Madchester food etc. on this page:
City Life (Manchester) 1998-2003: wine columns, food & drink guide and travel pieces...


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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.