For his second meal at Domain de Barive’s Restaurant des Épicuriens DonQui has the time to experience the full set menu. It is utterly superb – each dish an absolute delight.
After as relaxing Leffe beer on the terrace, which comes with a selection of tasty nibbles, DonQui makes his way to the restaurant where he orders the Menu Château.
The meal is preceded with a ‘petite touch de salé…’ or ‘amuse-bouche’.
Along with this there are a selection of breads and two different locally produced butters.
DonQui chooses the Melon with Maroilles (a local semi-soft white cheese) as his starter.
Then comes the Scorpion fish with polenta and a tomato-basil sauce.
Followed by the most exquisite duck breast.
Feeling that the expansive cheese board would be a bit too much, DonQui opts for the Faisselle (a soft fresh cheese). There are two options for this — savoury, with herbs and shallots, or sweet with fruit coulis. DonQui goes for the sweet option.
Finally comes an incredible apricot desert.
Each course is a absolute delight. The amounts are just enough to savour the tastes but not so much as to feel too full afterwards. Apart from the bread there are few carbohydrates. This allows DonQui to fully enjoy every course and not feel bloated afterwards.
Des Épicuriens offers a wide selection of wines by the glass. DonQui leaves the choices up to the young sommelier who suggests a different wine to suit each of the courses DonQui has ordered. His choices are excellent and DonQui is very glad that he went along with the sommelier’s suggestions. Despite a reasonable acquaintance with French wines, many of those on offer are quite unknown to DonQui. This allows him to sample wines that otherwise he may never have tried. The pairings with each course are perfect.
Personally DonQui is better than some which can show off a Michelin star or two. Too often he finds the food at many starred places a bit too fussy as the chef shows off his clever tricks. Here one gets an excellent modern take on great classic French food, alongside very knowledgeable and friendly service, in an atmospheric setting.