Dordogne restaurants?

Dec 15th, 2004, 06:59 PM
  #1  
pdx
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Dordogne restaurants?

Any restaurants we shouldn't miss while we're in the Dordogne region late January? So far we have one night in Moissac, three in Sarlat, and we'll see what happens the next 5 days. Looking at internet sites I see a lot of restaurants and hotels are closed for the month or the season. But, it's truffle season so I'm counting on lots of restaurants being open and ready to let us eat to our hearts' content. We'll have a car so we can go anywhere you suggest. Thanks in advance.
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Dec 16th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Try Le Moulin de l'Abbaye in Brantôme, but it is pricey--we paid 241 euros for two.
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Dec 16th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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The following is from the restaurant section of my 20+ page Dordogne itinerary. E-mail me if you would like the full itinerary.

I will post the restaurants in 2 responses

L’Espanade in Domme 05 53 28 31 41
This is a Michelin 1 star restaurant. (lost star in ’02)
We had a great table by a window overlooking the Dordogne. Though a 1 star restaurant, the service was most pleasant We had a great dinner, Daddy & I each had the “turban of eggplant caviar”. The turban was a slice of marinated eggplant wrapped around caviar. This was followed by lotte (monkfish) en casserole. Daddy started with lobster bisque, then followed with filleted sole with cepes. Stu had the menu a 380FF. He started with a pan seared foie gras, then lobster ragout with a potato millefeuille. Then, he had lamb with truffle slices with a vegetable flan and a “package” of other vegetables. We had a cheese course & selections from the dessert chariot. The dessert chariot was the restaurant serving piece equivalent of an architecture “folly”. The chariot incorporated all sorts of swiveling trays, shelves, and lids – accommodating all the gateaux (with a heavy leaning toward chocolate), the bowls of fruit based sweets, and a number of sauce boats with the “de rigeur” selection of sauces appropriate to each dessert selection. Chocolate mint cake landed on Stu’s & my plate, & daddy went for the Black Forest cake.

St Cirq has reported that the following restaurant appears to have closed - darn, it was our favorite.

Jardin d’Epicure - outside of St Cyprien, on the north side of D703 before the turnoff to St Cyprien & Castels. 05 53 30 40 95

Since the evening was somewhat warm, we opted to sit on the terrace for dinner at Jardin d’Epicure outside of St Cyprien. The dinner started with 3 pastry type amuse bouches, & one (probably gesiers) en brochette. This was followed by small cup of chilled cantaloupe puree. I had the menu a 170FF, starting with smoked salmon in a chive crème fraiche sauce, followed by daurade with tomato basil fondant. I had a cheese course (and, as always the case one helping of house made fromage fraiche). All followed by a chocolate mousse cake. Stu had the menu a 295FF (toujours le gourmand!). He started with a salad with vegetables and pan seared foie gras, with a sour type dressing, then bar (fish) with awesome (I tasted) eggplant caviar, then “lasagna” of riz de veau (sweetbreads) which was only a lasagna in that 2 feather light sheets of pasta were placed above & below the sauced entrée. His cheese course was truffled goat cheese with walnut oil and dessert was a chocolate gateau with an almost liquid center served with strawberry compote & candied orange rind. The owner/chef/waiter came out several times to chat & genuinely seemed to enjoy our praise (which was well earned). He said he had been up since 4AM, personally buying the restaurant food and, since his wife was home with their new month-old baby, he was doing many jobs at the restaurant. He was looking forward to tomorrow when the restaurant would be closed so he could get some sleep.

We ate here a second time:

This time we ate inside and, as before, had a great dinner. Daddy & I each had the menu a 170FF. We both started with foie gras mi-cuit with rhubarb compote. I then had daurade (as did Daddy) with tomato coulis followed by a cheese course & sumptuous chocolate dessert. Stu had the menu a 260FF, starting with escargots with onion, fava beans, & rosemary cream. He then had sole with cepes, followed by lamb medallions with olives & basil. The cheese course was a cabecou cheese with truffle slices, and dessert was an orange crème brulee.

Sept ’03
Stu had the Menu a 62E (big splurge) & I had the menu a 38E. The restaurant was just as we remembered it – the owners (now) 3 year old daughter was socializing with the dining room. We remembered in 2000 how exhausted the chef was – trying to perform all roles while his (new mother) wife was home with their newborn. We both started with an amuse bouche tomato sorbet with basil & a very dense, creamy froth on the top. We also had a small plate of savories including gesiers, smoked salmon, halved cherry tomatoes with a small mozerella ball on top served with a tooth pick. Stu’s first course was a “declinization” of 3 foie gras: mi cuit, poele, and a crème brulee style served with a fig quenelle & a small green salad. This was followed by a riz de veau ravioli with a creamy morrell sauce. Then Stu had bar (a fish) with polenta & a creamy veal stock sauce with black truffles. After the fish course, he had pigeon with preserved garlic & a basil spice sauce. Stu’s cheese course was slices of chevre with summer truffles with oil & fleur de sel, accompanied by toasts. His dessert was a grand Marnier soufflé (it rose about 4” above its ramekin) served with a timbale-sized glass of grand Marnier which he drizzled over it. I started with foie gras poele accompanied by a small pear tatin & served with an apple juice reduction. I then had the rouget with tomato & basil pesto. I had the selections from the cheese chariot, followed by a “minestrone” of red fruits. We remembered that on our previous trip, this was perhaps our favorite restaurant. If anything, it is better now.

La Plume d’Oie in Roque Gageac 05 53 29 57 05

This restaurant is right on the road bordering the Dordogne. We both started with the house aperitif (couldn’t quite put our finger on the contents, but it may have had some peach liqueur). I had the menu a 195 FF, starting with what was called a “bisque”, but actually was 2 lobster ravioli (perfect pasta with melt in your mouth stuffing), with a fabulous lobster sauce. Then I had the “declinaition” of fish. Although I had my dictionary, I could not find this word defined in a food context (the related verb was “to reject”), but decided for “go for it” anyway & it was a good decision. It was 3 different fish fillets beautifully sautéed & sauced. No cheese course for me, but the desert was incredible chocolate mania !!! – a small cup of coffee with ice cream & chocolate drops which were partially melted, with a round of what was basically chocolate truffle filling topped with hard chocolate and (yes there was more !) a ball of chocolate sorbet. I figured that with the coffee & chocolate, the caffeine would keep me going for a week. Stu had the menu a 295FF starting with the foie gras in aspic – but unfortunately, we forgot to write down his remaining courses.

Sept ’03
We were the first people there; we remembered the hostess/co-owner from our prior visit: quite a character. Stu debated between the 24 and 35E menus, ultimately deciding on the 24E menu with langoustines & scallops as an a la carte addition. We had two wonderful Amuse Bouche courses: pastry cups filled with buttery sauteed cepes and a thin, fried crispy “tortilla” square topped with fromage blanc and then topped with a walnut. THEN, we had a small cup of cold potato vichyssoise soup garnished with chopped chives! Stu then had 3 langoustines and 3 scallops in a buttery saffron sauce, while I had a langoustine ravioli with a buttery crustacean sauce – so rich a sauce spoon was provided. We both had the cannette next (it was served on this menu for two only). This included the breast in a red wine reduction and a confit of the leg in a pilaf with vegetables. There was also a tian/quenelle made with a grain (described as ble, wheat on the menu). For dessert, Stu had an assortment of three chocolate decadences. I had a creation with meringue wafers alternating with layers of peach fondant, all with a peach coulis.


La Treille in Vitrac 05 53 28 33 19

This is a small, low key family owned hotel/restaurant in a nice setting. We ate in a glass-enclosed dining room that could be opened to the outdoors in warmer weather. I had the menu a 138FF. We both had an amuse bouche of smoked magret de canard with melon. I started with the marinated salmon (diced with olive oil, onions, cucumber, & tomato), followed by fillets de rougets (red mullet fish) served with tapenade. This dish was simply awesome !! I then had another amuse bouche. This was, I believe, intended to somewhat equalize the number of courses between Stu & me (the server said I would be waiting between courses because of Stu’s selection & all I could say was “c’est normale”). I choose what seemed to be the lightest dessert: 2 balls of sorbet (I asked for only one – cassis), & even that was way beyond simple – it was served with a splash of some sort of liqueur & topped with a light cookie/gallette. Stu had the menu a 235FF. He too had a special amuse bouche of seared foie gras, followed with a crustacean soup – creamy with chunks of seafood plus several langoustines at the bottom of the bowl. Then Stu had a “tart” with pastry, caramelized turnips and seared foie gras. Then !! Stu had 3 pieces of white fish sautéed and served on a bed of cepes, fava beans, & accompanied by a “signature” garnish of small tubes of cooked pasta, stuffed with cheese & then sautéed. This was followed by a “breather” course of sorbet mirabelle – that is, plum sorbet with prune liqueur. Then came a pastry packet of pigeon breasts (squab) with candied nuts and a perigord sauce. The legs of the squab were roasted & served outside the packet. With a paltry !! number of courses, the dessert was preceded by a “small dessert” – a crème brulee served warm. The “real” dessert was a rich chocolate gateau served with coffee ice cream. Incredibly, Stu’s meal (excluding the amuse bouche for the table) was 8 courses !!! Even more remarkabely was the fact that this meal for the two of us, with 2 aperitifs, 2 half-bottles of wine, and a bottle of mineral water was a total of 583FF including service/tip and taxes. With the current exchange, this was $80. We both agreed that this may be one of the best meals we have had in France & from a “value” point of view, it may be the best. We talked about how wonderful it was all the way back to the Gite.

We ate at La Treille twice.

Sept ’03
Stu had the menu a 34E, and I had the menu a 24E. Stu also added to his menu, a pigeon dish (a la carte) which was one he remembered from our prior trip. We started with an amuse bouche for the table: pastries with tomato & also pastry wrapped boudin sausages. Stu’s next course was roasted garlic soup, and when it arrived I was served a second amuse bouche of crème de langoustines soup, so that I would have something to nibble on while Stu had his added courses. Stu then proceeded with foie gras pot au feu with carrots & parsnips, followed by a fish course of sandre atop a red wine reduction sauce & served with carrots & zucchini cut into an elliptical shape. Next came his piece de resistance: rare pigeon breast in a philo pastry packet. Also inside the packet was a huge slice of foie gras. This not only added to the flavor, also the foie gras oil melted into the pigeon breasts. The legs and thighs were deep fried & served alongside the pastry packet. The packet was served on top of a reduced game sauce & summer truffles. Also on the plate was the restaurant’s signature pasta tubes & cheese, plus carrots & zucchini. For his cheese course, Stu had a cabacou round served on top of toast with honey drizzled over the top. For dessert, he had a “soft” (melting) chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet. I started with a salad aux senteurs du Perigord – not your typical green salad, but rathar a small serving of greens accompanied by typical flavors of the area: gesiers, smoked magret, candied walnuts, & terrine of foie gras. This was followed by rouget fillets – some topped with tapenade & some garnished with diced tomato, onoin, & red pepper. I had walnut ice cream drizzled with walnut liqeur for dessert. When the bill came, Stu expected to see the full price for the a la cart order of pigeon, but saw only a 7.50E “supplement”. When we questioned this, our server said the chef had adjusted the size of Stu’s fish course, resulting only in the supplement, rather than the full a la cart price.


Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
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Dec 16th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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Other great restaurants near Domme


Le Relais des Cinque Chateau, in Vezac 05 53 30 30 72

You really can see 5 castles from the restaurant. There was a wedding party in progress, but we sat in an enclosed garden area which, while simple, was quite lovely. Stu examined the “menu de degustation” & pronounced it even “too much” for him !!, so he settled on “Le menu Beynac” (198FF). I had “Le Menu Terroir” (155FF). Though I had a 3 course meal, my actual first course was a small cup of thick tomato puree cold “soup” which was served as an additional amuse bouche (we had already had one) to equalize the number of courses, since Stu had five. I started officially then with a slice of cold foie gras with toasts (the prescribed method) followed by magret de canard with a rich reduced sauce accompanied by cepes, thin green beans, roasted potatoes, and ratatouille !! The dessert was a walnut soufflé (we are in walnut country here) served cold almost like ice cream, with a sort of walnut liqueur drizzled over all. I almost forgot to mention that my foie gras course included a glass of sweet local wine called Monbazillac. Stu started with foie gras cooked in phyllo pastry with a reduced late harvest wine sauce. This was followed by sandre (white fish) rolled & stuffed & served with a chive cream sauce with mushroom duxelles. Then he had a veal loin with morel & chanterelle mushrooms in a reduced sauce with accompaniments like mine. He then had a cheese course (3 selections from a quite varied tray) and the duo of chocolate for dessert – white & dark chocolate layered mousse with a pistachio cream sauce. A very relaxing & excellent 3 hour French meal.

Sept ’03
Stu had wanted the “Grand Menu” at 49E, but it was required for the entire table & I simply couldn’t sign up for a 7 (!!) course meal. So Stu consoled himself with the menu a 35E. He started with grilled daurade served on a bed of salicorns. Following this was magret de canard with a red wine reduction, served with a wedge of potatoes dauphinois wrapped with a bacon slice, accompanied by sliced peaches and a green bean & juliened carrot melange topped with a herbed grilled tomato. The cheese chariot was his next course. All this was concluded with a “chocolate caramel temptation” layered chocolate & pastry, topped with a caramel layer. I choose the menu a 21.50E, starting with a crustacean terrine (mousse texture) which was wrapped in a rouget fillet (cold) accompanied by 3 dollops of flavored “mayonaise” sauces. Then I had the rascasse (fish) served with a lobster chive cream sauce. My cheese course was a small young cabecou (goat) cheese with a green salad. The cheese was very flavorful & the lemony dressing on the greens was a good accompaniment. My dessert was a walnut parfait (ice cream) drizzled with a walnut liquer (a real winner)


Hostellerie de la Bouriane, in Gourdon 05 65 41 16 37

The dining room was “classic French” – fairly simple in a room with a large stone hearth, heavy draperies, large wood serving cabinet, chairs with rush seats, & tables with pink tablecloths. Elegant, comfortable, and not at all stuffy. I had the menu a 160FF, starting with the poultry terrine, followed by a whole grilled bar. The fish was fabulous & a very pleasant treat on the 160FF menu. It was served on a bed of thick herbed butter sauce. A cheese tray was presented with a number of choices. As it was rolled over, the server carefully lifted a “towel” that was protecting the freshness of the cheeses. For dessert, I chose the walnut cake with crème anglaise. Since walnuts are a local specialty this seemed an appropriate choice tho’ this version seemed more pastry than a cake. In any case, it was excellent. Stu had the menu a 230FF. He started with an interesting aperitif (de la region) – Crème de noix and cassis with red Cahors wine. Quite good, tho’ it does sound strange! Next came two very large slices of mi-cuit foie gras (an unfathomable quantity at home), followed by a fillet of beef with Perigordine sauce (rich & dark). He too had the cheese course, followed by a fruit tart with vanilla ice cream.


Le Bonnet, in Beynac

It is a very comfortable, classic French décor, long-established restaurant. We had a great table in an enclosed windowed room overlooking the Dordogne. I had the menu a 125FF, starting with a mushroom tartlet with mushroom cream sauce, followed by salmon fillet cooked in foil & topped with tomatoes. For a different approach, I had the salad with cabecou (goat cheese – don’t know why it’s not called chevre here) for dessert. Actually, the cheese was layered in presentation (from top to bottom) toasted walnuts, levain, honey, then the chevre dusted with ground cumin. Very good. Stu had the menu a 160FF, starting with mi-cuit foie gras (which he declared to be the best so far of the trip), the magret de canard, followed by walnut cake with 3 sauces that were entirely different from what I had last night at Hostellerie de la Bouriane. We also had an excellent red Cahors wine – Chateau les Rigalets (Medallion d’Or) 1997.


Hotel Madeleine, in Sarlat 05 53 59 10 41

I had the meal a 168FF, starting with a garlic & onion soup which (thankfully) was subtly flavored with both & had a slightly thickened consistency. I then had salmon marinated with fennel & chives, followed by a chicken leg (jambonette de poulet) stuffed with aromatic ingredients & served with a zucchini flan & green peppercorn sauce. I chose cassis sorbet for dessert which, since the French can’t bear a plain dessert, was “dolled up” with small cookies. Stu had the menu a 250FF, starting with a lentil soup that was exquisite. This was followed by Lotte with caramelized orange sauce & orange segments, then (!) with “cou d’Oeil”(literary, “neck of goose”) in a almost black dark sauce called civet (which we later, unfortunately, found out to be a blood sauce!!!). He had tiramisu for dessert which was presented from an incredible chariot- dark polished wood frame with giant casters and an enormous gliding silver dome.


Belle Etoile, in Roque Gageac 05 53 29 51 44

We ate in their upstairs dining room looking out over the Dordogne. We had an amuse bouche of melon sorbet with Monbazillac (sweet) wine. Daddy & I each had the menu a 150FF. I had (my favorite) Rougets followed by a salad with goat cheese (cabecou) and, for dessert, a pastry “packet” with apples & walnuts with caramel sauce. Daddy had a fillet of beef, also with salad/chevre and a “chaud/froid” strawberry dessert with vanilla ice cream and monbazillac sabayone. Stu had the menu a 195FF. He started with scallops sautéed on a bed of celery root puree with a “band” of carrots surrounding the scallops. He then had riz de veau (sweetbreads) & chevre salad.


During our second week in the Dordogne, there was a gasoline strike & almost all of the gas stations were closed. Therefore, we decided to eat close to home. We had reservations at the following restaurants, but had to cancel.

Manoire de Bellerive in Buisson-Cussac 05 53 22 16 16
This is a Michelin 1 star restaurant, and the menu looked very good when we “cased” the place. When we called up to cancel, the proprietor said he would try to call his friends and try to locate some gas for us. He called back 30 mins later & said that everyone was “dry” in his area.

Meynardie, near Salignac-Eyvgues 05 53 28 85 98
We had lunch here about 10 years ago. The setting is fantastic – an old farm complex out in the countryside, surrounded by forest.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca


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Dec 16th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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L'Esplanade in Domme
La Table du Terroir in La Chapelle-Aubareil
Le Chai in Limeuil
La Belle Etoile in La Roque-Gageac
La Bastide in Monpazier
Le Moulin de la Beune in Les Eyzies
Les Délices d'Hortense in Le Buisson-de-Cadouin

I assume if you're interested in truffles you'll be going to Sorges. The truffle market is held there on the Sunday nearest January 20. If it's truffles you're after, that would be a great place for a meal - at the restaurant of the Auberge de la Truffe.
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Dec 17th, 2004, 05:35 PM
  #6  
pdx
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Wow! Thank you, everyone. I printed these out and will be taking the list with us. Except for yours, Michael. We won't be going there. I'll point it out if we drive past it but that's as close as we're getting to it. I'll have to look up the conversion rate on that one.
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Dec 17th, 2004, 07:09 PM
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We enjoyed a delightful dinner at
La Meynardie in October. IIRC, the
bill for four of us was 280 euros.
Well worth it.
llamalady is offline  
Dec 17th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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pdx: Recent experiences at the moulin de l'abbaye in Brantôme, which is way outside the Périgord Noir area, which I think you're concentrating on, were less than stellar. I certainly wouldn't make a point of heading up there for a meal. There's just too much good food in the Périgord Noir to bother with that.
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Dec 17th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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StCirq--not recent experiences according to this board if you search moulin de l'abbaye. But it might be out of the way.
Michael is offline  
Dec 17th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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We had a fantastic stay/dinner at Hotel Chabrol in Brantome. Much more reasonable than the Moulin but still with a view overlooking the Dronne. Stayed in room 31. Have pix of room/view if you're interested. We found our time spent in Brantome magical.

Second the Belle Etoile in La Roque Gageac and the Bonnet in Beynac. Really enjoyed our stay at Hotel/restaurant du Chateau in Beynac also. Less pleased with Hostellerie Maleville there, though we always enjoy an aperatif on their terasse overlooking the Dordogne in the afternoon. (try the nut or peach liqueur/wine)
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Dec 18th, 2004, 03:52 AM
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Klondike and Stu Dudley: The Hotel Bonnet will be closed in January -- we tried to stop for lunch in early October (!!) and found a hand-lettered sign on the door announcing re-opening only in the spring. A tragedy, to judge by my recollections of 2 meals there in the 90s.

For the unallocated 5 days, my advice to visitors to the region is invariable: go east/ upriver and visit the area around Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne: Martel, Turenne, Collonges-la-rouge, St Cere. Check earlier threads for more ample info....
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Dec 18th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Stu,

Thanks for the info.

>I had the “declination” of fish. ...<

Probably derives from "declination of the article" as in der, des, dem in German, or "declining a verb" amo, amat,amavi in Latin.

To wit, a variation on a theme.
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Dec 18th, 2004, 09:31 AM
  #13  
pdx
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Nut or peach wine/liqeuer. Oh, lordy. I can feel it coursing through my veins right now. I'm going to be in heaven. Truffles, foie gras and lovely, unusual alcoholic delights. My, my, my......
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Dec 18th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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ira
 
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Don't forget the wines and cheeses.

And the bread.
ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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pdx
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Beautiful, gooey cheeses just bursting with illegal bacterial cultures. I'm going to roll in 'em.
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Dec 18th, 2004, 01:49 PM
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pdx
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By the way, on the subject of cheese, how much trouble do I get in if I'm bringing some of these bacterial menaces back with me? In vacumn packaging from the cheese shops, not the ones I roll in. I've done it before but never declared them and felt very much like a criminal waiting for the legal beagles to sniff me out.
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Dec 18th, 2004, 02:27 PM
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ira
 
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Hi pdx,

As best I know, hard cheeses in vacuum packs or cans can be brought in, but soft cheese, expecially those made from raw milk, can't.

See http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/xp/cg...s/11232004.xml

and

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34498958

ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 08:28 PM
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Ira--I have brought back and declared runny and raw milk cheeses with no problems. Have the rules changed in the last six months?
Michael is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 10:07 PM
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Our dinner at Moulin de l'Abbaye was very good (as was our stay there) in October 2004.

Brantome is a bit north of the primary sites of the region; if you're in the area I recommend it highly. It holds one Michelin star and prix fixe meals ranged from 75E to 140E for 5-7+ courses. Food and service were excellent.

Have a great trip.
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