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LA MAISON DE L'ECURIE, SALLELES D'AUDE: RESTAURANT REVIEW


 (If you prefer a video review, go to my YouTube channel HERE.)

Restaurants in peaceful, out of the way locations with scenic, picture postcard views often fall into one of two categories. They tend to be only as good as they have to be or to be more expensive than they should be. Situated right beside the Canal de Jonction where it intersects with the Canal du Midi, La Maison de l'Ecurie (The Stable House) is indeed in a peaceful, scenic location. But it defies convention by serving food that's better than it needs to be at reasonable prices. We thoroughly enjoyed our luncheon on a warmish fall day and shall return. But we'll have to hurry. La Maison de l'Eclurie closes in early November and won't reopen until the first of March.

You can't drive right up to La Maison de l'Ecurie. You turn off the main road from Mirepeisset to Salleles d'Aude onto the tow path, then park and walk for 150 meters or so to the restaurant. The terrace filled rapidly after we arrived for our luncheon at noon with a varied crew - several tables of French folk including couples and families, a party of five or six English boat people, and a party of five American boat people who immediately began rearranging tables and chairs before the proprietor had a chance to greet them, then left just as the proprietor arrived, then returned and spent their meal discussing their stock portfolios. When the Americans finally finished and returned to their boat, the entire population of the terrace sighed in relief. How such people found their way to a place like La Maison de l'Ecurie is a mystery. I'm just glad that, since we speak decent French, the French often assume that we are English rather than Americans. We tend not to disabuse them of that notion when in the company of Americans like those.

Rant over.

The menu, chalked onto slates, is extensive enough for any taste and included a number of entrees, four or five different pizzas, five or six mains, and an array of tempting desserts. Everything that we ordered and everything that passed us on the way to other tables were full portions, well presented, and often with interesting little quirks.

Cathey and I began by sharing a tapas plate, the bigger €10 size as opposed to the €6 individual plate, a good-looking and varied platter that might do as a meal for some by itself. Connie's start combined slices of country pate with a combination duck/pruune pate. Tasty. Cathey had a four-cheese pizza and commented on the crust. I had lamb shank confit. I'd never had that before and, as a lover of lamb, I'll look for it again. Juicy good. Connie had a sort of beef short rib with a bit of a Thai, sticky-rib taste to it.

One of Cathey's favorite desserts is a rum baba and friends had praised the baba at La Maison de l'Ecurie. The praise was well deserved. We all shared it and it was delightful, spongy and rummy.

The total, with a liter and a half of pink and a coffee or two, came to €83 and change. Well worth the price for a lengthy, unhurried lunch that was easy on the palate on a terrase with a view that was easy on the eyes. As is the case with many such casual restaurants these days, La Maison de l'Ecurie uses Facebook as its website. Check it out HERE. Read more of my restaurant reviews HERE.









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