Ferme Auberge du Claud

We are in the midst of a fairly major renovation of our kitchen which is why I have been very silent lately. One of the cornerstones will be a Le Panyol wood fired oven that not only does excellent breads and pizzas, but can be used to cook meats, fish, vegetables and most other products. One of the restaurants that Le Panyol provided to us as a reference was Ferme Auberge du Claud located in Trelissac near Perigueux. So to double up on lunch as well as checking out the oven, we booked a reservation at the restaurant.

Please note that you must make a reservation at least 24 hours ahead of your desired meal where you will be asked to make your choice for your main course offering. We also had contacted the owners of the restaurant before hand to ensure we could get some input from them on how they like the Le Panyol, installation tips and other suggestions. The owners were most welcoming and had wonderful things to say about the Le Panyol.

The meal consisted of four courses, a starter, the main course, a salad and cheese plate followed by dessert. Everything we had today was straight from the farm except for the white asparagus which can not be grown on this property due to the climate of the Trelissac area.

We started with a apéritif of a sweet white wine with strawberry liquor which was very tasty.

The entire four course meal was excellent, starting with a starter of a poached egg, white asparagus, home made salami and fresh fava beans.

For the main course we had two choices pork stuffed with a basil and walnut pesto and I had the lamb tagine, both of which were excellent, very flavorful, juicy and tender.

Our third course was a salad with some cheese offerings and for dessert we had an excellent tarte of fresh strawberries and raspberries.

The wine list was limited but featured a number of local Bergerac wines which paired well with the meal.

I rate this a 5 start out of 5.

We also talked to the owner who said we can email them to order some of their fresh produce when ever we want as they do sell some at the Perigueux and Trelissac markets and at the coop near Sarlat.

If you would like more information about Ferme Auberge du Claud you can check out their website or their TripAdvisor page.

Ferme Auberge du Claud

The starter consisting of a small salad with a soft egg, some home made sausage, white asparagas and fresh fava beans. The only product not produced on the farm was the white asparagas. Straight from the farm is the best way to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

Ferme Auberge du Claud

Lamb Tagine, cooked in the Le Paynol wood fired oven. The meat just fell off the bone but was juicy and oh so flavorful. Wonderful.

Ferme Auberge du Claud

Pork stuffed with basil and walnut pesto was also cooked in the Le Paynol wood fired oven. The pork was tender, moist and so flavorful.

Ferme Auberge du Claud

Some of the most tasty and delightful potatoes I have ever eaten. They were crispy but still moist.

Ferme Auberge du Claud

A wonderful mixture of summer squashes with some excellent seasonings that added just the right touch.

Riccardo Enoteca

This was our first visit to Riccardo Enoteca and I can tell you it will not be our last. Clearly finding a good Italian restaurant in Chicago is not a very difficult exercise, but finding one that absolutely makes you want to return for dinner the next day, is something to share.

The restaurant is the more casual restaurant of the dual restaurants Riccardo Enoteca and Riccardo Trattoria, both located on North Clark in Lincoln Park. We entered the restaurant and were immediately welcomed by the staff in this small but comforting restaurant.

We started out with two glasses of a crisp Prosseco while we took our time examining the menu. There were many wonderful looking items but we kept our focus on what looked like it would be coming out of the wood burning oven.

The meal was excellent and the wine list very extensive and complete.

We strongly recommend Riccardo Enoteca and you can find more information about the restaurant at OpenTable or TripAdvisor.

Riccardo Enoteca

The Wood Burning Fireplace at Riccardo Enoteca.

Riccardo Enoteca

Burrata Genovese, a plate of wonderfully fresh cherry tomatoes with a great pesto sauce. All topped by a tasty slice of Burrata.

Riccardo Enoteca

Vegetali Alla Griglia, a tasty plate of various vegetables including asparagus, egg plant and of course cheese.

Riccardo Enoteca

Scallops Appetizer, which was two large and tasty scallops in a lobster bisque.

Riccardo Enoteca

Pizza Modella, a great pizza of Stracchino, wild mushrooms, arugula, prosciutto, truffle oil. Yummy!

Riccardo Enoteca

Tiramisu, traditional and very good.

Riccardo Enoteca

The staff hard at work but willing to stop and chat with us about how they use the wood burning oven.

Origo Panadería

Having lived in México for over the past ten years one culinary treat we have failed to get (other than at Lalo! in México City) is authentic French baguettes and croissants. Well thanks to our friend Rose Calderon of Morelia, we found our second authentic French boulangerie, this time in Morelia, Michoacán. To emphasize this point, when we decided to move to France last year, one of our criteria for deciding where we were going to live was the quality of the local boulangerie so we visited every boulangerie in each village/hamlet we visited. This hopefully shows how important we view the quality of our bread and croissants, as well as demonstrates that one can live on bread alone (with maybe a little butter and red wine).

So yesterday we had lunch at Origo Panadería and we were blown away. When we entered the restaurant we were greeted by Nico, who is a French trained baker who is helping his friend in getting this restaurant up and running. Not only being very friendly and multi-lingual (we talked English, Spanish and French) he had a great knowledge of the restaurant as well as the process.

To ensure the quality of the products, the restaurant imports their flour and butter (for the croissants) directly from France so there is no loss of quality that you experience when you try to make a traditional baguette or croissants at home when living in México (we know we tried many different methods). Everything is done the traditional methods although they do provide some creative flair to their final products.

We started out with a traditional croissant that was extremely flaky and tasted like it oozed of butter, even though it was not greasy. For our main plate Jo Ann had a sandwich of Gravalax and Goat Cheese on a cereal baguette. I had a pizza of Smoked Salmon with Pears on a Béchamel sauce. Both of these were excellent.

We strongly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in the Morelia area and looking for an enjoyable French treat.

You can find more information about the restaurant on Trip Advisor or Google Maps.

Origo Pandería

Gravalax and Goat Cheese on a cereal baguette.

Origo Pandería

Smoked Salmon with Pears on a Béchamel sauce.

Origo Pandería

The flour mill that the restaurant plans to use to mill the wheat that they are starting to grow here in México.

Origo Pandería

The flour mill that the restaurant plans to use to mill the wheat that they are starting to grow here in México.

Le Tour de Lacanche

We are in the middle of a major renovation (read that as EXTREME MAKE OVER) of our kitchen including taking down some walls and replacing the entire hardwood floor on the first level. However the center piece of the renovation is the Lacanche Pianos Gastronomes, in a deep Rouge Bourgogne.

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The Lacanche brand is manufactured by Société Industrielle de Lacanche S.I.L, which is located in the village of Lacanche, in the department of Côte d’Or. The origin of the business commenced in eighteenth century when the owner of the land decided to combine the local iron ore that ran under his property and use the local wood and water to produce cast iron products.

Originally the produced all types of cast iron stoves (for heating not cuisine) but then in the early 1900s migrated into wood fired stove/ovens. The factory remained in the family until 1972 when it was sold to the Valéo Company, however by 1981 Valéo decided to divest of the business.

That decision created the opportunity for André Augagneur, a former employee to acquire the property who with his son Jean-Jacques have transformed the Lacanche line to a world class manufacturer of Pianos Gastronomes.

When we placed our order for our piano we were informed that they only manufacture the products to order and that it would take six to eight weeks for the piano to be produced. Thus we decided that we should take a trip to Burgundy and visit the factory. Boy are we glad we did ask for a tour.

Upon arriving in the village, you see a town that looks like time has past by, and we had a hard time trying to find the factory. However we finally found these small signs that lead us to the main entrance.

We were given a tour by the sales manager for International Operations so it was great that we could have him explain to us the production process in English. Almost the entire product line is manufactured in this factory and the only process performed elsewhere is the enameling of the pianos.

The factory uses many state of the art techniques including robotics but you still can feel the Artisan pride of the people who manufacture the various parts and for those to handle the assembly. The final step of the process is a computer quality assurance process that tests every combination of usage and only once the piano passes, is the piano given its serial number.

We are now anxiously awaiting the completion of our piano so that it can be shipped to Le Bugue and installed in our cuisine.

You can get more information about Lacanche from their website or from their International website.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the Lacanche Pianos in the showroom.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The entrance to the Lacanche factory.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The machine that cuts out the stainless steel pieces.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the many stamping machines that form the walls of the Lacanche ovens.

Lacanche Factory Tour

Another one of the machines that cut out the stainless steel pieces.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The factory is highly automated using what looks like state of the art robots.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the processes which can not be automated, where the edges of the walls are ground to form the perfect edge. These edges are curved and not straight which provides a stronger joint.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The standard models assembly line. The difference is that for the standard models, the oven travels from station to station and multiple people will work on the oven.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the rouge bourgogne pianos that is almost fully assembled.

Lacanche Factory Tour

A completed Lacanche piano ready for quality control testing. This is the same model that we are buying, but ours will be Burgundy Rouge.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The Lacanche Rotisserie, one of the many options that you can choose from.

Lacanche Factory Tour

One of the original furnaces that the Lacanche factory used to melt the iron ore.

Lacanche Factory Tour

The Lacanche Logo.

La Table de Leo

Located in a small town called Saint-Avit-Sénieur, located between Monpazier and Belves in the Dordogne, is a wonderful restaurant called La Table de Leo. It is a very contemporary looking restaurant that prepares excellent cuisine. The menu was very creative and we both had the Menu du Jour, which is only available for lunch during the week.

Everything about the meal was excellent, starting with a beautiful amuse bouche, followed by an Entrée, a Plat and then of course Dessert. We also had a glass of wine at lunch which perfectly complemented our meal.

You can find more information about La Table de Leo at TripAdvisor or Michelin. Alternatively you can also contact them via their website.

La Table de Leo

La Table de Leo

Salade de Chevre Chaud, very yummy and I liked the cheese wrapped in the filo packets.

La Table de Leo

Pigeon with a chestnut purée on artichoke hearts.

La Table de Leo

Twelve hour roasted pork on a bed of home made sauerkraut and potatoes.

La Table de Leo

Exotic Fruits with a Mango Sorbet.

La Table de Leo

Deconstructed Couer du Café.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Last night we prepared a new meal for us, duck breasts with a port-cherry sauce. Living in the Dordogne there is no shortage of duck and we thought this would be an excellent albeit, fairly simple recipe.

The duck is marinaded for several hours in a mix of soy sauce and Sherry. Then you will prepare a sauce by reducing cherries, chicken stock, beef stock, Port and a thyme sprig until there is around ½ cup.

Around the same time you will start to cook the duck breasts in a heavy large skillet over medium heat until the skin is crispy, about 10 minutes. Turn duck over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium.

Finish the sauce by adding cornstarch and whisking in butter until it is velvety.

Slice the duck thinly and diagonally, plate and serve. We paired this with a full bodied Bergerac wine which complemented the meal very well.

If you would like the recipe you can get it here.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The duck breasts scored and marinading.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The cherry sauce properly reduced with all the butter whisked in.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Once they are golden brown (after about 10 minutes) turn them over and cook until done.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The duck is ready to serve.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

The cherry sauce properly reduced with all the butter whisked in.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Thinly cut the duck breasts diagonally to be served.

Duck With Port-Cherry Sauce

Duck with Port-Cherry Sauce, plated and ready to serve.

Restaurant Eléonore

It was our last night staying in Monpazier and we decided to have dinner at Restaurant Eléonore. It was a short walk from the house we were staying at, which makes it so nice to be able to enjoy yourself and not worry about the drive home.

I had the à la carte menu with a selection of three plates while Jo Ann had the menu du jour so we were able to have a sample of both menus.

Everything we had that evening was superb and the restaurant has a good (albeit limited) selection of wines from the area and Bordeaux and which were reasonably priced.

The service was outstanding and totally matched the quality of the food and the wine. We strongly recommend this restaurant.

For more information about the restaurant you can check out their website,  The Michelin Guide or TripAdvisor.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Mimosa with Quail Egg, Citron Confit and Cavier, a wonderful Amuse Bouche.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Queues de Langoustines, with a condiment of mangue-papaye and crème coco au ccombawa.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Foie Gras Mi-cuit Eléonore, wiht fine créme carottes and walnut oil dusted with a red wine sea salt. Very Yummy!

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Choco-Caramel-Café, with a creéme glacé sirop d’érable and noix pécan.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Filet de bœf with racines de persil au beurre noisette, white asparagus and a sauce of port and Péridord truffes.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Dos de Saumon with perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche, leeks and ginger done in papillote and a watercress sauce The Perles de Savoie à l’encre de seiche is pearls of black ink pasta

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Pears poached in wine with a speculoos ice cream and an almond cookie.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Château Terre Vieille Pécharmant 2010, an excellent choice for the night’s meal.

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu de Restaurant Eléonore à la carte

Restaurant Eléonore en Monpazier

Menu Edward the menu of the day