We decided to compose our own tasting menu both days.
We went to the lounge first for our customary 2 coupes de champagne. Amuses in the lounge – a spoon of presse de celery and another of “something.”
In a tall shot glass, there was basil puree topped by pink foam that turned out to be tomato.
We were escorted to the dining room that is quite contemporary with huge rectangular tables for 2. First there is a butter service – 4 different kinds – goat milk butter, sweet butter, semi-salted butter and “avant-beurre” that was served like a quenelle and shaped with 2 spoons. Then the bread service – 7 different kinds of bread are done in house and I would say that these were the best breads of the trip with the nod going to the brioche made with salty butter – outstanding.
2nd Amuse at the table – 3 “sake-type” cups of cream of foie with a crispy cracker on top, tuna tartare and something that I couldn’t identify except for the saffron component.
First Course – Huitre et caviar d”Aquitaine emulsion de pamplemousse – On a large glass plate with a shallow bowl center was a small oyster topped with caviar and grapefruit mousse/foam that hid more oysters. This was a superb pairing – inventive, but also delicious.
Second Course – Saucisson virtuel, craquant de lentilles au lard. I am not sure I can describe this dish accurately. Lucy, our server, who was delightful, wheeled a large serving cart to our table. In a large glass bowl was what looked like a sausage. From what I could gather (and here is where notes and memory are a mess) chopped raw rabbit is encased in a thin membrane and cooked sous-vide. As it cooks, the rabbit coagulates. Lucy breaks the skin and the rabbit mixes with a delicate oyster bouillon. Other components of the dish include oyster foam, garlic and leeks. Served on the side is an amazing cracker of lentils and bacon. This is imaginative cuisine done with the utmost finesse.
Third Course- Turbot à l’huile de l’ostal et croque au sel, épices et lie de vin.
A perfect, thick piece of turbot is cooked in a salt crust and I am not sure what Lucy meant by this but my notes read a confit of olive oil. We were told that olive oil is 38 years old. The turbot sat on a gelee made from the salt of wine – merlot. The sauce was an olive oil emulsion that had the mouth-feel and texture of a mousseline. On top was a long, thin baton of “spicy” bread. This was just an OH MY dish – exquisite in each detail.
Fourth Course –
a gift from the chef
Risotto de soja, jus d’huître et truffes. Presented in a small glass bowl, the soybean sprouts are cut like grains of rice and then cooked like risotto with oyster juice, parmesan, butter and topped with a small slice of black truffle
Fourth Course- John
Agneau de lait de Monsieur Reyes cuisiné de 3 façons, legumes prepares en cocotte The lamb comes from a small producer, Monsieur Reyes. There is no way I am going to be able to describe this dish. One I didn’t get to taste anything – John was being a hog and two my notes are a mess with just the words lamb confit, lamb sausage, filet, chop. Hopefully, you will be able to deduce the dish from the photo.
The vegetable side dish served with the lamb.
Fourth Course – Me
-Spaghetti au ris de veau, cèpes et truffes.
This was exceptional. You are presented with spaghetti that has been wound into something resembling a sphere. The spaghetti ball encases a mixture of cepes, sweetbreads and black truffles. I also thought Lucy mentioned something about farcie de volaille (chicken), but again my memory is hazy and my notes a mess. This was just a great dish – visually exciting as well as delicious.
A chocolate ball infused with passion fruit and a caramel sorbet in an infusion of citronnelle.
Crystallized eggplant millefeuille with a rich, intense basil sorbet.
Baba a la broche, gros bonbon glace rhumn raisin
We stayed at Cordellian Bages and itt is beautiful at night.
Second Lunch at Cordellian Bages
Again, we went to the lounge and had our customary 2 coupes de champagne.
In the two spoons cantal cheese with ginger and candied pressed celery. In the glaass a bottom layer of goat cheese topped by spinach “foam.”
Amuses at the table.
Again 3 “sake-like” cups
Smoked sturgeon tartare topped by ?, Strawberry Cream and Basil, and a Sweet Cloud of something with ssweet red pepper oil
First Course – Presse d’anguille fumee terre et estuaire, toasts de cereales et pomme acidulees – On the bottom was more or less a foie gras pate, then a thin layer of smoked eel and topped with an apple and port gelee. It was accompanied by toast studded with black and white sesame seeds. The combination of the eel with the foie was just wondrous – a definite “fatty mouth feel.”
Second Course – Pate de concombre au caviar/galette d’epeautre –
The bottom layer was cucumber gelee, then a layer of onion cream and finally a layer of caviar. The wheat galette was perfect.
Third Course – Huitre/petits pois, opaline de cacahuete – At first glance, this looks like a green pea mousse topped with a cracker and oyster foam. Deconstructing the dish a plump, briny oyster is enclosed in the pea mousse with the “cracker” addding the crunch.
Fourth Course – Sardines, pomme a l’huile
The sardine sat on a crisp, rectangular potato chip and was rolled around itself. My notes say something about pommade and fish bouillon, but I don’t have a clue what I meant. To the right of the sardine was potato encased in a gelee square.
Fifth Course – Raviole bras croises, pomme verte et hareng fume – The ravioli was filled with green apple and smoked herring, sauce was based on a mozzarella and cream.
Sixth Course –
My husband – Filet de boeuf Blonde d’aquitaine fume aux sarments, pomme de terrre confites au jus a quintessence
I just can’t do this dish justice. The smoky aroma of this dish when the cellophane was unwrapped was absolutely intoxicating. More importantly, the aroma equalled the taste so this wasn’t theater but food. Again, I am doing a complete unjustice to Chef’s Marx’s food. I do remember some sort of burning mixture and from horrible notes I do know that cabernet sauvignon vine shoots were used for the smoking in this package. My husband was literally intoxicated with the aroma and had no intention of sharing. The meat itself was juicy and infused with this smoky flavor.
Me- Caille prete a deguster, arome tagine
The quail resembled a pyramide and the taste a mimic of a Moroccan dish. Next to it was a cold gelee with peas – each pea had been skinned and halved exactly and perfectly. Someone is spending a lot of time in the kitchen doing prep.
Cheese (not pictured)
Two perfect meals and I would go back in a heart beat.