Friday, June 17, 2005

La Rochelle

We just left La Rochelle and we miss it already. It was definitely our favorite place so far. It was also absolutely filled with wonderful culinary experiences.

Our first night, we arrived at 9 PM on a Sunday so by the time we trecked to our hotel with all our bags, we were exhausted, hungry and worried about missing dinner. We tried two restaurants I'd read about and both suggested we go to Food and Bar, just down the street, which serves until 11 PM. We followed their suggestions (could two delicious-smelling restaurants be wrong?) and were certainly glad we did!

The Boy was worried it was "too trendy" for him, and it did seem that way, with the waitstaff dressed entirely in black. But we soon overcame our trepidation when we tasted the food and admired the menu. Unfortuately, I neither took good notes nor asked for a menu, so I can only offer what I remember (meaning what we ordered).

I began with a Sticker de Tourteau de Plein Mer, a deep-sea turtle pot-sticker. This came as a long egg-roll filled with turtle meat and drizzled with a slightly-sweet soy-type sauce. It was truly wonderful, though I wonder if perhaps it was crab and not turtle? I know the word Tourteau in French is used to describe both.

The Boy had a Pate au Lapin et Truffes, a rabbit and truffle pastry. The rabbit was ground and wrapped with truffle pieces in filo dough. It was accompanied by two extremely long chives, most likely onion, that added a hint of spiciness to the rich dish.

For my plat, I had Veau au Caramel, thick slices of veal with a sauce of rich caramel on the side to be drizzled all over. It also came with a side of lentils with thick slices of what tasted like Parmesan cheese. While caramel and veal sounds like an odd combination it was really great. The caramel was definitely sweet but, applied with a gentle hand, it perfectly complemented the delicate Veal.

The Boy enjoyed Cochon Noir, black pig. While not actually black, it was accompanied by mashed potatoes and had an Asian taste.

We also enjoyed a bottle of Pinot Noir, Tres Noir, suggested to us by the sommelier.

Other highlights of La Rochelle:
Marche open every day.
Le Comptoir des Voyages, a restaurant on the same street as Food and Bar.

Food and Bar
Rue St-Jean-du-Perot
La Rochelle.

Next: Bordeaux.

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