Sunday, November 6, 2011

Carcassone - Restaurant Le Parc

We chalked up our second star in Carcassone at Franck Putelat's Restaurant Le Parc.  In contrast with La Barbacane, and despite its proximity to the castle city, Le Parc is set in modernity and the dining area is reminiscent of a contemporary dining room in a 21st century home.  Masculine whites, grays and blacks, given a splash of color by a burnt orange carpet, and accentuated by a glassless chandelier.  Service was efficient and un-intrusive, yet friendly.

Amuse Bouche
And these would be the best lollipops I've ever had in my entire life.  And it wasn't even sweet.  A clever foam like extract of what I guessed to be lobster.  So light, so clever, so good.

The sweetest tomato with a crisp shell, the yummiest celeriac macaron.  So good that even the decadent salmon and foie gras stack paled in novelty.  A supreme promise of things to come.

Breads are made in-house and good, even if served cold, with house-made au naturel and seaweed butters and a tiny bowl of sea salt for taste.

Bouillabaisse Of Foie Gras, Shells, Pink Fir Apple, Rust

Toothpaste squirt of a garlic-based paste
This is certainly one form of foie gras I've never had and I'll tell you, in a soup, it's awesome.  Even richer than the liver and brandy soups mom used to make when we were little to boost our iron count.  This was smooth, rich yet light.  And the seafood was just lightly cooked to showcase its freshness.  The garlic paste in a toothpaste tube added the right amount of heat to the crostini for a crispy bite of voila, garlic bread.

Scallops, Studded In The Iberian Chorizo, Cep In The Verbena, Vinaigrette In Condiments
This was refreshingly light yet tasty, primarily from the yummy Chorizo.  My only request would be that the scallops be seared a little since it got to a state that was between cooked and uncooked - losing the crunch from a sashimi grade but not yet achieving the seared goodness of a pan sealed one, as a result getting a little monotonous after a while.

Fresh and matured cheeses from Aude area, and from elsewhere
This was one of the reasons we selected the Emotion menu.  The 2 storey trolley of cheeses presented were so inviting.  I wished the main courses were smaller, ok I didn't really.  But I really wished my stomach had more room beyond the 3 cheeses I selected.  Since we were in the area, my selections were all from the Aude area.  I selected a semi-hard cow and a matured goat, and a blue.  With the exception of the musty blue which I couldn't finish, the cherry compote condiment was a fine friend to the cheeses and I was a happy camper.

Fig Candied In The Red Wine, Pepper Ice Cream
Yes, we're French so we have 2 desserts.  Yay!  I love the balance of spicy pepper, cooled in its ice cream form, with the natural sweetness from the figs and alcoholicism from the wine.  Balance just allows you to put away that much more.

Chocolate Biscuit  and Hazelnut, White Coffee Ice Cream and Flower Of Salt
Same thing with this one using salt although overall, the sugar content and richness was a little more telling with this one on account of the chocolate.  But again, balanced so that finishing every morsel is not difficult at all.

Sweet Delights
And we still had a little room to sample the petit fours, which were all good too.  

The wine pairing with the dinner with wines from the region were also fantastic and highly recommended if you're not driving since it was awesome value.  

I realized after the fact, that Le Parc is expected to receive a second Michelin star, and based on our meal there, it would certainly be well deserved.  

Chemin des Anglais
11000 Carcassonne
Tél: 04 68 71 80 80

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