Skip to main content

LE TERMINUS, CRUZY - RESTAURANT REVIEW

When Cathey suggested that we have lunch out on Sunday and that we stick close by, Le Terminus immediately came to mind. It's just down the road, we've eaten there on several occasions, and we've always enjoyed it. So I was surprised to find that I'd never fully reviewed Le Terminus as I searched through my blog. True, it appeared on a couple of lists of restaurants worth a visit. But a formal review? Nope. Couldn't find one. So here goes.

Located in the old train station between the towns of Quarante and Cruzy, the new young owners have created a thriving, bustling dining experience. In the summer, there are tapas nights with music. Special meals are featured on major holidays, even for take-out. The 16 euro lunch menu is always interesting. So Le Terminus is a local hotspot. On the Sunday that we arrived, the shabby-chic main dining room was fully packed. (And a bit noisy...) And the 16 euro weekday formula menu had morphed into a 30 euro menu. But one expects paying a premium for quality weekend dining.

I was a bit surprised at the extent of that premium, but more on that later.

A small dish of lucques, local olives fresh off the tree, greeted us at the table. No amusée bouche was forthcoming. We chose from the aforementioned 30 euro menu. Cathey started with the rouget (red mullet). Properly (barely) cooked, the two little filets came on a bit of greens with a slice of grainy toast,\ with red pepper tapenade and a chunk of chèvre de Combebelle (the especially fine local goat cheese) underneath. Just perfect. I chose an off menu recommendation from the server, an assortment of cured hams. Tasty, enough for two, and the cause of the aforementioned premium. (Wait for it...)

We both chose the Charolais beef tartare for our main, topped with shaved Parmesan, light greens, and bits of dark toasted olive crumble. You either like tartare or you don't. We do. To be special, the tartare has to be fresh, really fresh, and naturally sweet. It was. We were both quite happy.

I chose a chocolate confection with a caramelized crust at the bottom for dessert. (See the pic.) I've said it before. The French know chocolate. Scrumdiddlyumptious. Cathey's baba was the one disappointment. For us, a baba is about the sponge and the rum. This baba was confined to a cutesy Mason jar and covered in a thick and unnecessary layer of chantilly. It's considered a specialty of the house and, from the number of servings that came out of the kitchen, it's a customer favorite. Had she known, however, Cathey would definitely have tried something different. Not a total loss, mind you. Just not Cathey's idea of a baba.

With a bottle of Mas de Cynanque rose (local, clean, bio, at 13%) and a bottle of still water, the total bill came to 92,65 euros. That's about 12 euros more than I expected. Why? Apparently, my choice of the cured hams at the start meant that I was off the formula and ordering a la carte. Maybe my French wasn't good enough to understand that would be the case when the server announced the choices. But it was a surprise and frankly, if I had realized that would be the case, I might have ordered differently.

Water under the bridge. A fine meal, prepared well, presented well, served well. We'll be back...and be more careful when ordering off menu and choosing desserts.

Read more of my reviews HERE.








Comments

  1. The dark breadcrumbs are an olive crumble. Subtle but the olive-ness is there. One of my faves there too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. If you don't mind, I'll edit.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days. Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December. The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the f

THREE YEARS IN FRANCE - AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S REFLECTIONS

Have you wondered what it might be like to pick up and move to another country? Americans are lured to retirement havens in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama. They say that Eastern Europe is beautiful, safer than the evening news might suggest, and relatively inexpensive. Southeast Asia is hot, but it's cheap. Remember, though. I'm not talking about investigating a vacation home, time share, or other form of shared ownership. I'm talking about a permanent, sell out and ship the furniture sort of  move. For most Americans, the thought has never crossed their minds. Think about it. Think about moving from one state to another, from one town to another, even from one neighborhood across town. Add the need to learn a new language - if you aren't multilingual already. Add the need to deal in a new currency and the need to learn the ins and outs of currency exchange. Add metric measurements. And a new healthcare system. And a new bureaucracy to navigate. Daunting? You betcha!

AU LAVOIR, COLOMBIERS - RESTAURANT REVIEW

We live in a town that doesn't do very much to encourage growth or tourism. The streets are rough and bumpy, the tinted glass has been broken out of the street light nearest our house since we moved in three years ago, and the fountain in the square was activated this week for the first time since we arrived. Oddly enough, many of us like it that way. Quarante is a quiet little village, not on a main road to anywhere, but with a fine baker, two excellent butchers, and a bar that serves edible if not exciting food. We could use an ATM (cash point, money wall...) and a gas (petrol) station but otherwise, most of us are happy that Quarante is a backwater. Colombiers, on the other hand, seems determined to do everything possible to turn itself into a crowded, overdeveloped, cash hungry example of all that folks like us are looking to avoid when we move to the rural south of France. Ugly apartment blocks? Check. Newly constructed condos with a 'view', meaning you can see a tin