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Dordogne restaurant recommendations - help me update the list

Dordogne restaurant recommendations - help me update the list

Jun 28th, 2013, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,110
We spent a wonderful week in Sarlat last Sept.'12.
I'm going to agree with maitaitom about "L'Instant Delice" in Sarlat. We had 2 excellent meals there.

Another place we loved in Sarlat was "Chez Les Gaulois."
StCirq recommended the tartiflette there and it was outstanding.

Neither one of these restaurants are in the same category as Le Presidial for example, but we loved them all the same.
TPAYT is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 02:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Just returned from the Dordogne and have a rec that is hardly a Michelin restaurant but was one of our favorite restaurants of our trip. After a visit to Lascaux, we headed to St. Leon-sur-Vezere to have lunch at Le Petit Leon, but it was closed. ( Chez Les Gaulois, recommended above, also was closed until later in June). I had read about Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe on this forum, so we headed over there. It is VERY casual--picnic tables along the river. You order inside and take your meal outside. We had plates of charcuterie and cheese--absolutely loved the food and the setting!
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 5th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Thanks everyone. I'll try to incorporate all these great reviews. We leave a week from Sunday although it will take us a while to make our slow travel to the Dordogne. Our stay there isn't long, so we'll have to be very diligent to make it to more than 2 of these places. Can't miss our favorite night markets either! And the Thursday night event at Marqueyssac.
christycruz is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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La Table du Terroir in La Chapelle-Aubareil also gets my vote for inclusion on the list. One of the best meals I ever had. Superb confit de canard and a good yet not expensive wine list.
Langcraft is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 05:19 PM
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In Tremolat the Bistro d'en Face is now called Bistro de la Place. In Monpazier you can add Privilege du Perigord, Bistro 2 and Eleonore's, which I think are all better than La Bastide. In Beynac there's La Petite Tonnelle. In Ste Sabine-Born (tiny hamlet just west of Beaumont du Perigord) is a one-star restaurant really worth the visit - very inventive. If you want to go as far west as Bergerac, there's L'Imparfait and Le Vin'Quatre. Howe much of the Dordogne do you want to cover...so far this list is really mainly focussed on the eastern side!
rosemaryoz is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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We recently enjoyed Les Jardins d'Harmonie in Sarlat.
KTtravel is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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Here's an upgrade on several restaurants on the list, and the addition of a new one. First the negative, since I promised a review.

I do not usually recall the specifics of a meal aside from a dish here and there, but this one, while not awful, deserves a full analysis. We called la Métairie and made reservations for 8 p.m. on a June Saturday night. We arrived , were greeted and seated in a room that was pushing to the farm barn a little too much--pleasant but not my style. The carte offered menus ranging from 25€ to 60€, the latter having truffles in every dish. Of that latter menu, only the sweet breads interested me--I did not choose it. My wife chose the "sea and lake" menu and I chose the "goose" menu. We both started with a tourain blanchi "qui promettait." We've had insipid versions at local "repas de chasseurs" and this one proved that garlic soup need not be bland. We think that the tourain was prepared in advance and that very finely chopped garlic was added at the last minute, cooked just long enough to eliminate most of the bite but leaving the taste of garlic.

Next came a duo of salmon in a very good pâte feuilleté where the hot smoked salmon overwhelmed the fresh salmon. I am of the opinion that hot smoked fish should not be re-heated because it then tastes as if it was treated with liquid smoke. I had a trio of goose charcuterie: sausage, rillettes and prosciutto. Either the sausage or the rillettes should have been replaced by foie gras or pâté de foie gras; they tasted too similar and the rillettes, in a desire to upscale them, were not as fatty as I would have liked--they should spread like butter.

We were served a single roll each with the meal; my wife's was very good, but mine was so cold in the center that I believe that it had been frozen. They took the roll back and surprisingly were out of rolls and gave me four slices of very good bread as a substitute. Only 4 or 5 tables were occupied that evening, with maybe 12 persons total, which makes me wonder how they could run out of rolls that obviously did not come out of the bakery's oven that day.

The main course for my wife was smoked (again) sturgeon steamed in parchment, except that it was not parchment but thin plastic that her fish knife could not pierce. I tried with my meat knife, and at that point a staff member came with scissors to cut open the plastic. The dish came with a trio of rice which was served plain; it needed something to enhance it--some herbs or spices. Between the plastic, the taste of liquid smoke and the bland rice, the dish was a failure. I had three goose chops werved rare with sauce on the side; it was as if the goose body was sliced crosswise, bone and meat, so that each piece of meat was attached to a flat bone (definitely no leg bones). The meat was excellent. The vegetables were just a garnish--3 matchstick of carrots, 3 of courgettes, 3 of white asparagus. The plate also had a large timbale of pommes sarladaises with the addition of a morel--generally I have been recently disappointed by pommes sarladaises and compressing them in a timbale does not help. All the dishes described so far also had a fresh green salad which had a very good dressing.

My tiramisu was fine, but my wife's raspberry mousse tasted artificial. She did not finish it.

The wine and service were fine.

My impression is that the only really fresh item of the 4 principal dishes were the goose chops and the lettuce. Even the vegetables appeared cooked in advance (the carrots were overcooked, the courgettes still had some crunch), and the fish was obviously smoked in advance and re-heated for the two courses. Given a choice, I would take the Auberge de Mirandol in Sarlat, whose menu is more copious with fewer pretensions but disappointing pommes sarladaises. Its regional menus run less than 20€ for 5 courses as of June 2012. We paid 32€ and 28€ for our meal at la Métairie.

For the other restaurants worth mentioning:

We sent for a wine tasting at la Gabarre. The food was not the point, but it was good, and we would go back again if in the area. I can see that reservations are necessary.

l'Imaginaire in Terrasson lost a star, but we did not have the impression that its quality declined. My wife thinks that our meal was better than when we ate there under a Michelin star.

La table du Pouyaud near Périgueux also lost a star, but we did not feel that it deserved one the last time we ate there. We gave in a second chance--the food was good, equal to our previous visit, but if in the area, we would choose l'Essentiel over it.

Our find was our last meal in the Dordogne. We made reservations for a Wednesday night at La Cuisine in Thiviers. It has three set menus and we chose the most expensive--25€ for three courses. The food was well prepared and inventive, based on local products. With drinks and coffee we expected to pay around 70€ for two, but it cost only 49€ because meals are at half price on Wednesday nights. We'll go back again
Michael is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Correction: La Cuisine cost only 39€.

A disappointment with La table du Pouyaud: we chose the menu surprise and the only surprise is that we did not know which dishes from the carte the chef would choose. We had expected dishes made specifically for our table.
Michael is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Some comments - not sure who recommended La Metairie, or when. Our understanding is that the ownership has changed, and it is not as good as it was. Haven't been recently, and so I don't know if that's true, but we weren't encouraged to try.

On the other hand, a restaurant that we didn't know is La Table de Leo in St Avit Seigneur. We actually went because we remembered the restaurant was very good – and it turned out the one we remembered had closed, and this one opened. It was in fact excellent, with a charming young couple who have only been open a few months. We recommend it. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Aquitaine.html

So much for lots of planning - the place you want to go to may have changed hands, sometimes for the worse, sometimes not.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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La Métairie is part of the original listing on this thread.
Michael is offline  
Jul 18th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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Although not technically a sit-down restaurant, here is a little bit about one of our favorite meals in the Dordogne.

"We hopped back in the car for a beautiful drive to a quaint, picturesque village (there seems to be a theme here), a place where Kim’s description of these types of towns certainly fit. “This place is felony cute,” he said. The town is Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère.

Walking through the town located on the Vézère River, we went searching for a restaurant, three of which were closed. No wonder the French stay skinny, there’s never a restaurant open to eat.

Then a thought occurred to me (hey, it happens). I remembered someone writing about a Dordogne town that would be a great place to picnic, and I thought I remembered that this was the place. I guess the Liqueur de Noix doesn’t kill as many brain cells as I thought.

When Kim and Mary went inside a little church, I walked down to the river and saw a spot where picnic benches were lined up. There was also a little store to purchase picnic provisions. Although I am a tough trip taskmaster, even I realized it was time to Stop and Smell the Fromage.

First, I walked along the riverbank where there was a picnic table complete with beautiful tablecloth (Sarlat Market Day flashback), plates, silverware, wine glasses and a British gentleman who was setting it all up. I asked the chap (I think when you talk about Brits, chap must be used), what was up, he said that this is a place he takes his small tours for a wonderful Dordogne experience. It was quite a spread.

Le déjeuner sur l’herbe was the one-stop shop for our makeshift picnic. Since we had stopped to smell the fromage, we decided to eat some, as well. We ordered a plate of various cheeses, charcuterie, bread and a large bowl of Vichyssoise, along with a bottle of vin Rouge to top it off.

We basked in the glorious sunshine (ok, that sounds way too romance novel-like) and had a great picnic. If you are looking for a bucolic spot in the Dordogne, Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère is where you want to spend some quality, relaxing Dordogne moments. Of course, our group can only relax for so long, so we paid the bill and off we went for our next stop of the day."

maitaitom is offline  
Jul 18th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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We LOVE Déjeuner sur L'Herbe, but when it's open Le Petit Léon is also a treat.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 19th, 2013, 01:40 PM
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The 'little church' you mention is one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in the Dordogne, if not in all of France. Great concerts there in the summer St Leon is one of our favorurite picnic spots, one of the few with tables - plus the church, 3 chateaux, the Vezere river, and often ducks looking for handouts. Luckily the angry goose we met there one day has moved on. We bring our own picnic and enjoy, sometimes waiting to go to Lascaux. Highly recommended.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 19th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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"The 'little church' you mention is one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in the Dordogne"

That's the church where I read about the legend that a servant shot an arrow at the cross in front of the church and fell dead with his head turned the wrong way. The legend goes on to say that the grave was opened in 1890 by members of an archaeology society, and they found a body with a head which was positioned back to front.

I got some nice photos there. It was a very pretty church (inside and out), but I didn't see anyone with his head screwed on the wrong way unfortunately.

maitaitom is offline  
Jul 19th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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It's a romanesque chapel, classified as a Monument Historique, and if I'm not mistaken, and I may be, on the Route de Compostelle.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 20th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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tomboy is offline  
Aug 21st, 2013, 05:39 PM
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Hi all,

We actually stayed at the Chateau de Monrecour and enjoyed a wonderful meal there.

And I second the suggestion for Chez le Gaulois. We liked the charcuterie platters, tartiflette and homemade ice cream for dessert.

One other suggestion is L'Eole in St Cybranet (near Domme). They specialize in summer truffle pizza!
jacolis is offline  
Aug 29th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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We are back, and sad to say I'm terrible at trip reports.

I heard about the truffle pizza but didn't get a chance to try it. I heard it might be the only thing there worth trying though? There was a recommendation to call ahead and make sure they'd be serving it.

We ate at Bistrot d'Epicure near St. Cyprien (on the list above). The food was fantastic and nicely presented, and the service was expert but very comfortable. Loved the (king charles?) dog lying on the reception table when we arrived. We were able to get reservations same day.

We also went to Belle Etoile for a final dinner with my in-laws and our 10 year old daughter. Their prices went up a bit since we were there 3 years ago, but it's still more than worth it. They said that if you give them a week's notice, they will arrange a vegetarian "formula" for a guest. We didn't get to sit on the terrace, but there's a larger table in the opposite corner with doors they open when the weather's nice. Sitting there is just as good as the terrace, with a view of the swallows getting their own evening meal (and every so often flying into the restaurant).

We also went to two night markets, and I'm starting to think I should make a list of those rather than the restaurants. They are too much fun. We went to Wednesday night's Belves and Saturday night's St. Pompon, but in the past have also gone to St. Cyprien's and Audrix among many others.

Yes, sorry for the heavy Perigord Noir bent to the restaurant recommendations, but that's what I'm familiar with.
christycruz is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 07:52 PM
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Bookmarking (full-on planning begun for this July!)
tekwriter is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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We went to Auberge de La Salvetat near Cadouin as it was recommended as somewhere I can eat gluten free. It is a hotel but has a super restaurant. We had a great meal on the terrace with nature all around us. Veg options too. Varied menu.
RoseCope is offline  

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