LE PETIT PARIS, Dordogne
Daglan is one of the prettiest of the Dordogne’s many pretty villages and handily placed between two big tourist centres, Sarlat and Cahors. And it’s home to the delightful & popular Petit Paris restaurant, serving modern country food made with local & regional products. When we arrived for a Sunday lunch in late September, the restaurant was already busy, but fortunately we had reserved a large table on the lovely terrace complete with a sun umbrella. (Sunday lunch is a very popular tradition all over France, so it pays to reserve a table.)
The lunch menu offered 3 courses for 29€, or 2 for 26€, with at least five choices in each section, which is a lot for a small restaurant. While we were discussing the menu, appetisers appeared to ease the selection process - little glasses of tasty split pea soup and good, chewy country bread with rabbit & pork rillettes.
Some of our party stayed with potted meat for their entree and were very happy with the restaurant’s wild boar terrine, embellished with onion jam, maple syrup and a small salad. My in-house smoked salmon on small green puy lentils was another beautiful match and worth trying at home.
My main course was equally assured - a generous cod steak on aubergine puree enriched with plenty of olive oil and garlic. An unexpected, but delicious combination, typical of southern France. Robert was pleased to find one of his favourite French dishes, riz d’agneau, on the menu. Sweetbreads, as we call them in English, used to be easy to buy in NZ, but not now - maybe they all go to France..... At the Petit Paris, they were served with potato gnocchi, carrots and a pork jus, and he loved them.
The third course was a choice of cheese or dessert. One of the cheese dishes was very popular at our table and others nearby - a Pyrenean sheep cheese served with another Basque speciality - black cherry jam, which tasted as good as it looked. However good the cheese & cherry jam combo was, and it was, I couldn’t resist the lure of a “half bitter” chocolate mousse with ginger ice cream. Chocolate and ginger is one of the great flavour marriages, I think. Even ho-hum chocolate & so-so ginger are good together, but in a rich and creamy mousse with an ice cream leaning towards the sorbet end of spectrum - just sublime. Petit Paris are particularly good with chocolate, so Robert tucked in to beautiful, soft chocolate cake on a crunchy praline base, with a light chocolate mousse, a puddle of creme anglaise and a blob of cream - certainly decadent, but not too rich.
The service was warm and caring, with staff taking great trouble to explain dishes and wine to customers from other parts of France, and other parts of the world. Petit Paris is a real asset to a lovely town and region, and is deservedly popular with locals and visitors.
LE PETIT PARIS, 18 rue de la Republique, Daglan - 2024 Chef Sylvain Guilbot continues to delight diners with refined, regional dishes at reasonable prices.