Le Vieux Logis
- El flan de atún marinado con hierbas aromáticas, teja de pan y ensalada al aceite de ajo
- Gallina de corral del sureste, su pechuga rellena de foie gras, su muslo con agraz, trigo picado
Bernard Giraudel is a storybook character who has succeeded in building a dream castle; preserving the constructions of the XVI and XVII centuries, it exudes life, nature, countryside, class, nobility, solidity, sobriety… and an exquisite, captivating feel that reflects the character of the owner, a vibrant, wise and content octogenarian who passes these qualities on to his guests.
Such a palatial Relais & Chateau has a chef who reflects the idiosyncrasy of the establishment to a tee: Vincent Arnauld. A trained, cultured, wise, very hardworking and meticulous professional who personifies French savoir-faire. He is consistent, with very clear ideas—they do not get lost in imaginative boasting or useless self-accolade. He cuts directly to the essential, with thoughtful, well-studied neoclassical creations in which just enough is there to make them important and there is not too much of anything. Refined, clean, simple, eye-catching and, above all, intelligent and effective. They are made not to amaze but to convince, and they fully succeed.
The plate of duck foie gras is wonderful for its extraordinary quality and impeccable execution. One medallion is served raw, simply marinated with salt, flaunting its naturalness and creaminess without a trace of fat—extremely neat, both in flavor and aesthetics. And the other is mi-cuit, with identical virtues, plus a beautiful plum puree and caramelized hazelnuts. Perfection without grandiloquence. The Norway lobster, gigantic in size, perfectly cooked and extremely juicy, is served wrapped in kadaif (shredded phyllo dough) with a bean salad and reduced carrot juice: fantastic. And the marked modernization of a classic is exceedingly praiseworthy, cloaking history in originality: frog legs sautéed with parsley, enhanced by a light garlic cream and charming little pieces of pig’s feet. As expected in Perigord, the best truffle is paid homage in a wonderful salad with potatoes, eggs and toast on the side. The sturgeon shines as well, affirming the values of the cuisine—first-rate ingredients, extremely precise donenesses and virtuoso enhancements in the form of garnishes and sauces—served in fine escalopes, as in lasagna, with asparagus, Aquitania caviar and fresh herb foam. The meat section is especially relevant for its nobility and technique—the country pork, the beef chop, also local, the suckling lamb, and, above all, the squab. An enormous squab, about 600 grams, whose breast is served bloody and immaculate in and of itself, succulent and precisely lacquered with wine; and whose leg is served confit with its innards, emulating a stew-pâté of great tradition in the form of the highest haute cuisine.
Of momentous importance.