After wine tasting, buying wine and walking around St. Emilion, we realized that we had time on our last day with out much to do. So, I jumped on Trip Advisor and Yelp and got busy finding things to do in Libourne and the surrounding area. After about an hour of finding pretty much nothing, Liz (who was using her phone as a map) said, “Hey, there is a restaurant in the little town of St Jean that has a Michelin Star.” They were only open for lunch on Mondays (our free day) and took reservations. Since lunch was only 90 minutes later, we decided to drive over and wait til they opened. Auberge de St Jean is indeed a Michelin Star restaurant in a little town of 400 people. It is set right on the river and conveniently overlooking one of many bridges that cross the Dordogne. We google map ourselves to the town, only to find the bridge closed for surface repairs. We detour to the next town, cross the bridge there, and double back to the restaurant. We then walked around town for 45 minutes (one tiny hotel unrelated to the restaurant) while waiting for the restaurant to open.
We noticed that the bridge construction was a noisy affair; I mean jack hammers and gigantic concrete sanders and a back hoe. However, they promptly stopped for their lunch break at noon. We walked entered the Auberge. “No, not really, but we have a glassed in porch overlooking the river (and bridge), and if you don’t mind the construction, we can seat you in that space.” We’ll take it. Here is the regular menu for both lunch and or dinner:
For the French challenged, they offer three fixed priced dinners that are two or three courses. But, at lunch, they also serve a three course lunch special for 25Euro, significantly less money than the regular menu offerings, but wow, a lot of food never-the-less. You must clean your palette first, of course, so try this:
And the soup, served cold, was zucchini. It was served with shaved zucchini in the bottom of the bowl, laced and drizzled with olive oil. Then the soup is poured over the top (at the table) and the oil floats to the top. Oh my….
The main course was duck. A bit of olive oil underneath, tomato, pureed parsnip, parsnips, a bit of pepper sauce all bursting with flavor:
Freshly made mini baguettes:
Triple chocolate death to die for: chocolate ice (cream), cake and a tower of mousse surrounded by a chocolate shell, all sitting on a thin chocolate biscotti like cookie. What a dessert:
Followed by coffee which came with an after dinner bite and little tiny pies:
That would be a bit of vanilla, with a bit of plum puree with a fig in the middle. This is one of the best meals I have had in a long time. The dessert was particularly memorable and the duck cooked to perfection. In the past few years, we have eaten at some pretty special places: 5 Sails in Vancouver, The Vanilla Pod in the Okanagan, BC and now Auberge in Bordeaux. Life is short, so it is important to eat well! Finally, a shot of me at the table, all alone on the patio. And yes, the worker dudes came back, but we could handle it.
On Tuesday, we drove the 6 hours to Aix en Provence. We have a studio apartment in the hills above town (think Cloverdale and Sonoma county) with a pool! We took off for a jog upon arrival and relaxed in the pool when we returned. Today, we will explore the town and figure out which Chateaus we’ll visit later today or tomorrow. Til then!