Sunday, April 27, 2008

O Bontemps

I am back in France for my Spring holiday.  Its Songkran in Thailand (Thai New Year).  Its time to have great french food and wine for two weeks. 

Chef Oliver Bontemps used to be the chef at L'Octopus in Bezier.  Now, he has opened his own restaurant called O Bontemps in Magalas.  This restaurant has had a buzz around our area, so ofcourse, we had to try it out.  What was amazing is that you could not get a dinner reservation for the next two to three months, we could only have lunch reservations, for the following week.  So, when we are starving for delicious food in our area, beggars cannot be choosy and we accepeted the lunch confirmation.  

The 'day' of our lunch arrived and we drove to Magalas.  We were greeted with friendlienss and was shown to our table in the middle of the room, which was good because I wanted to witness all that was going on in the restaurant.  There were some tables free.  But the restaurant said that they were completely full.  The reason is that they only accept 
20 people per lunch setting. 

I had already a good feeling about the restaurant when they were friendly and accepted our special companion, Archie the yellow labrador.  They immediately brought Archie a bowl of water, 
which he thought was very considerate.  

While looking at the menu, the chef himself comes out of the kitchen and serves us amuse bouche of mussles in a velvety white cream sauce from a big steel pot.  How often do you see the chef coming out of the kitchen to be so close to his customers.  The mussles were fresh and big.  The sauce was not too salty, which a lot of times other muscle dishes are.  With bits of fresh bacon, it was a great mouth starter.  Even better with the crusty bread dipped into the left over sauce.

The next dish was a fantastic sea snail soup with cabbage foam, brussel sprout leaves toped with salmon eggs and mustard flowers.  Amazing mix of light taste and complex textures.   

(continued in next post)

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