Skip to main content

L'AUBERGE DE LA CROISADE, CRUZY: RESTAURANT REVIEW

When we first arrived in our little corner of the Languedoc (now Occitanie) over a dozen years ago, L'Auberge de la Croisade was a go-to restaurant for upscale dining and special occasions. No wonder. The rural setting with boats passing almost within arm's length along the Canal du Midi was thoroughly inviting when viewed through the broad windows of the four-season room. Crisp linens, polished glassware, a comprehensive menu, and Bruno (the bubbling multi-lingual maitre d') promised a memorable French dining experience. And La Croisade and Bruno delivered more often than not.

And then, for some reason, years passed without a visit. We drove by frequently. We dined out often. But we just stopped going to La Croisade. Maybe because we were busily exploring new places to dine. Maybe because of rumors that the kitchen had been placing too much reliance on a rather muddy brown sauce. In any event, we had simply taken La Croisade out of our rotation.

A few weeks ago, a fiend whose taste we trust mentioned a satisfying formula lunch at La Croisade - 16.50 plus wine for a start, a main, and dessert. We decided to give it a go. We were not disappointed.

All was as remembered. Still the same effusive greeting from Bruno, although his forehead was a bit higher and his hair a bit greyer. (Forgive me, Bruno.) Still the same view, the same thoughtful appointments.

Only one of our party of six opted for an aperitif. The rest of us worked on a bottle of local rose. We finished two bottles before the afternoon's end. A little bowl of luques accompanied by small, cheesy little biscuits served to whet the appetite. The formula consisted of one menu item and one daily special for both the start and the main. For starters, the menu item featured a leaf of lettuce stuffed with bits of shrimp, sour cream, and rice vermicelli. Slices of smoked salmon stuffed with diced veggies comprised the special. Both were fitting portions, well constructed, although my salmon was not of the highest quality. Acceptable, certainly. Just not the best available. Quibble. The menu main was confit de canard on a bed of penne in cream sauce accompanied by a port reduction (not muddy). The larger bits of confit were a bit dry, as more than one of us noticed, but again...quibble. The sea bass special with a crab-based emulsion (not muddy) was perfect. The dessert assiette gourmand finished things off nicely.

With the one aperitif, the two bottles of rose, and coffees at the finish, the tab came to just under 25 euros per person. A satisfactory meal in a pleasant setting with cheerful and attentive service.

Recommended.

Read more of my restaurant reviews HERE.


Stuffed Smoked Salmon


Lettuce Leaf Stuffed with Shrimp


Confit de Canard over Penne

Sea Bass



Comments

  1. It was a delightful lunch, thank you very much. Now the weather is becoming more settled it will be even better sitting outside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our pleasure. Yes, the worm has turned. Warm days ahead.

      Delete

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 first…

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for.

The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama.







RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30€ per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats. 

So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out.

Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are their v…