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AL CATALA, CERET: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ceret is the cherry capital of France. When the first cherries of the season are harvested, a box is taken to Elysee Palace and presented to whoever is in charge of receiving such things now that there is no king and DeGaulle is dead.

OK. That's out of the way.

Ceret's town center stretches for a pleasant few blocks with shops and cafes and a couple of fine butchers/charcutiers. The Museum of Modern Art (Not NYC's MOMA but a MOMA nonetheless) has been featuring their Dali collection this season - extensive and quite interesting but over now. I'll post a few pics in the days ahead. So we easily passed a full day, including lunch.

There were several choices, from snack bars to bar/restaurants to a salon de the and more. We walked a bit off the main drag to Al Catala. When in Catalan, eat Catalan. We were seated in a well-hidden but surprisingly spacious back courtyard with comfy seats and plenty of shade on a day that the sun finally peeked out. The service was pleasantly leisurely but not comatose. And although the menu looked interesting, the lunch formula has always been our friend where ever we have gone.

Connie and I started with a charcuterie plate that came with a nice little bit of salad. Four pleasant meaty morsels that were clearly locally sourced. (The spicy bits of chorizo hid from the camera.) The salad chevre chaud was a proper portion, not designed to fill you up with green ahead of the main. And the mains worked well. Tasty pulled duck confit nestled under creamy potatoes accompanied by properly cooked veggies, just past al dente. We don't remember the name of the eel-like fish that Cathey chose. She's had it before. A bit bony but nicely prepared and sauced.

If restaurants don't take proper care, the ice cream may refreeze or age and come with ice crystals. Not here. Smooth and creamy. Essence of pistachio and cassis. My bit of chocolate cake, though somewhat dry, benefited well from the spoon of berry sorbet.

The total tab, including two (yes, two) 500cl bottles of house rose, came to 58 euros.

Recommended.

You can check out Al Catala's website HERE. For more of my restaurant reviews, click HERE.







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