Monday, 12 September 2011

Eat your foie gras, now

After a day of driving up and down Le Routes des Chateaux we return to Le Brasserie du Lac. We had reviewed the menu the night before and T would like to try the braised veal shank ("Osso buco style"). The day had been a fine day and we have started filling the trunk with St Julien wines that will be stored away for the next 10-15 years. The drive had led us from Margaux and up north along the west bank. We had had a nice lunch in a seaside restaurant in Pauillac.

K had a salad with smoked ducks breast and T had a basil-infused gazpacho for first course. Then a slice of halibut with thyme and cracked wheat. To this a large Gruyére cracker. The best part of the meal was the cheese, 3 slices of fourmes (french blue cheese). We had a bottle of Moton-Cadet Réserve 2007 to go with the meal.

Back at the brasserie du Lac problems arose when we tried to order a half-bottle of white wine. Yesterday we had settled for the Rochemorin as the only Pessac-Leognan available, but this night even that was out of stock. The waiter came back with a Graves Floridenne 2004 but that had died. At this point our waiter was very embarrassed, as he said. We got the feeling that at this place one of the main criteria for hiring staff was their ability to talk English. That is not to say they were not very polite and overall we clearly recommend the place, but they did seem a bit distressed at times. T had been looking longingly at the golf course which of course is the main attraction of the place and it seems to us that for a golf and wine lover this is clearly a place to stay for a longer period.
Anyway, a new bottle of the 2004 Graves was opened and it was better, but they will not last longer than this season. With the wine we opted to split one of the dishes from the Fish and Risotto section of the menu. This we had also looked at yesterday and decided that it fell into the category of you can have too much of a good thing: Risotto with bacon and foie gras and a gruyére cracker again. The French risotto is often strange to us and so it was also today. It was made of brown rice and the slice of foie gras on top. Predictably the combination did not appeal much to us. In fact K soon finished and left the rest to T with the words, "Eat your foie gras, now".

 For our main course we had the braised veal shank. Even if it was very tender the serving did not agree much with us. It was placed on pile of over-cooked penne pasta and heavily laced with orange and orange zest. With it we had a bottle of 2000 Croizet-Bages, which on the other hand was very nice.
Not dessert for us today, but instead a coffee and a 1982 Cognac XO for T and a an 83 Armagnac for K and so we were glad to have stayed at the hotel as it only left us 200 metres home.

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