le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Pot de Lapin - Saumur

We've been to the Pot de Lapin a few times before and always had really good food, bistro style, simple, unpretentious and tasty. Last night however was a disappointment which is a shame as we had been looking forward to it for a while.

Absolutely no complaints about the service, people, ambiance or wine - just the food which didn't live up to expectation last night. What did we eat?

Well, I started with Piemontese a la langue - a take on the traditional Piemontese salad of new potatoes and tongue with a little ham, all bound with a mustardy mayonnaise. Flavour ok, quite rich but the tongue was clearly a left-over and was tough. Nigel had the oeufs en cocotte - simple and rich and made using blue cheese. This is one of the signature dishes of the Pot de Lapin and while it was enjoyable we questioned the use of blue cheese in the dish. I would be interested to know if it is always made with blue cheese as the flavour seemed to overwhelm the delicateness of the eggs.

To follow I had thigh of rabbit stuffed with lemongrass and delicate Thai spices with coconut milk. This was extremely tender and tasty - the accompaniments were less exciting - haricots rouge and very overcooked sliced carrots. The presentation was pretty average and I think the dish could have done with something lighter. The other main was beef tongue served in a Tandoori sauce with haricot blanc (white beans) and the same carrots. Our general consensus was that these dishes were of average quality - disappointing.

We enjoyed a reasonable cheeseboard, declined dessert and had a coffee to finish.

Star of the evening was the bottle of La Grande Reserve, Le Mas des Flauzières, Gigondas 2005. Great fruit on the nose, notes of chocolate, black fruits, coffee and smoke led into a rich soft palate with elegant tannins that worked well with the spice in the dishes and did not clash in terms of weight or tannin. We paid 28 Euros for this - good value we thought.

Downside of the evening - paying 50 Euros for the taxi back to Cumeray, a 20 minute drive from Saumur. This equated to nearly two thirds the cost of the meal itself which for 3 courses each, an aperitif, and the excellent bottle of red came to 80 Euros for the two of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment