En Pleine Nature
Since 2011, Aveyron-native Sylvain Joffre (ex-Bras) has been cultivating his garden behind a beautiful 18th-century building in the middle of a village in the suburbs of Toulouse. The day we went for lunch, in a space all done up in camel tones, his four-course menu (€46) revealed a series of dishes with wild accents: a creamy brandade topped with a pepper cream, as a prelude; a cryptic concoction of coco de Paimpol beans, a leek emulsion, offal and buck-horn’s plantain; pearly white whiting with spring onions, peppers, patidou and an intensely flavorful fumet; incredibly tender slices of duck breast with flat beans, baba ganoush and a stunning tomato-flavored fromage blanc; before a harmonious dessert that wasn’t too sweet, combining slow-cooked pear and citron, pear and Sichuan pepper sorbet and monk’s pepper leaves. FYI: tours of the herb garden are available (upon request), along with the marvelous bakery/épicerie/wine shop which opened next door in 2011. // M.R.
FEELING THIRSTY? A predominately organic and natural wine list: a Ariège Chenin from Dominik Benz (€7.50 a glass), a Roussillon white from the Domaine Casot des Mailloles (€30 a bottle), a Côtes-du-Rhône red from Matthieu Dumarcher (€36)…
PRICE: Menus at lunch €27-31 and €46, dinner €55-70-80, kids’ menu €18.