Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A leisurely lunch

In a city where a new cafe, brasserie or bistro seems to open every week, eating out can get pretty daunting. How to choose among so many?  I suppose it helps when the restaurant comes with a lot of positive reviews or when the chef at the helm is renowned.

I'd been dying to try La Regalade, ever since we got hooked on the cooking reality show Master Chef last year, because one of the judges was Yves Camdebord and he was the brains behind the restaurant.  He is feted for being at the vanguard of the Bistro Moderne movement which in essence advocates gourmet cooking for bistrot food.  Needless to say he was immensely successful.  Unfortunately for me, before I could get a chance to try his cooking, I found out that he'd already sold La Regalade in order to start another restaurant/cafe concept ( I did try to get into that but proved impossible. Not one to give up on food, I'm determined to keep trying.)  Despite his move, La Regalade continues to draw crowds thanks to the efforts of new chef Bruno Doucet who more than amply carries on the tradition.  

Its difficult to make reservations at this place. Especially since they are closed on the weekends.  Finally though, I was able to score a lunch reservation and it was with great anticipation that we set out.

Once  we arrived, we had the pleasant surprise of discovering that there was a formule of 35 euros for entree, plat and dessert. This is a steal for a restaurant of this quality. So I'm afraid we stuffed ourselves full that day.

the Entree

I started with the wonderful black ink risotto with gambas and boy, was that a good start to the meal.  The risotto was cooked to perfection and the gambas were the perfect accompaniment.  And since it was a good sized portion, I wondered how I was going to do justice to my plat.

I need not have worried since I took one look at the plat and knew that it wasn't going to be a hardship to finish. Hahaha! I don't know about you but I have a difficult time ordering red meat in restaurants. I like it cooked really really well done and very often, it comes less well done than I like.  This time though, I ordered roasted pork and it came exactly as I wanted it. It was roasted to perfection, the skin crispy while the flesh was tender and juicy. And if you're wondering what I had with it, it was actually served on a bed of lentils which was equally yummy!

I really should've stopped after the plat. Having dessert after the first two courses was simply a case of gluttony. But they had this wonderful chocolate ganache cake that proved irresistible. I tried to be virtuous by avoiding the chocolate ice cream it came with, but well, I still managed to put away the cake.

What a memorable and wonderful meal!