Skip to main content

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.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

LE TAJ MAHAL, BEZIERS: RESTAURANT QUICK TAKE

Full Disclosure: I first heard the term 'The Raj' several years ago. The term did not appear in American history books. I never lived in any metro area with a significant Asian-Indian population. And I would guess that I was about 35 years old before I ate in an Indian restaurant.

So what the hell do I know? (If you prefer video to the written word, you can watch my review of Le Taj Mahal on my YouTube channel HERE.)

My sister-in-law now lives in the same village in the south of France that we do. For some reason not fully defined, she searched online for the best Indian restaurants in France. Le Taj Mahal in Beziers appeared on the list. We went because that's what we do, go to restaurants that look that they might serve good food. We're glad that we did.

First of all, the folks in the restaurant were very accommodating. We arrived at noon only to discover that they wouldn't be opening until 12:30. In recognition of the heat of the day, we were invited in, the a…

WINE TASTING FOR PLEBS

I don't know a darn thing about wine. So I warn you. Don't listen to a word that I say. Why? I'm an American, born in the Northeast USofA, not exactly a hotbed of boutique wine making even today when the folks in places like the Finger Lakes of upstate New York have been trying to establish their creds for generations. All that I knew of wine as I was growing up came from my experiences with my grandmother's concord grape wine. Oddly enough, straight out of the barrel in the basement it wasn't too sweet. If you liked sweet wine, though, Nana didn't mind. She'd just add a dab of maple syrup to the carafe and shake it a bit.

See what I mean? Don't listen to a word that I say.

Like many of my fellow English-speaking expats, I have come to enjoy sampling the great variety of wines available to us in here Occitanie. We live in the midst of a terroir that is transforming itself from a region known for sheer quantity to a region dotted  with an ever-increasin…