La Racine et la Moelle
Julie Dissais took a one-way ticket to Champollion country alongside Irishman Michael McLean (ex-La Cave de l’Insolite), bringing her impressive Parisian bistro-logical CV (La Cave de l’Insolite, Artisan, Le Pantruche) as her only baggage. In this former raclette dive that was given a makeover (old stone walls, white and green tones, an open kitchen), they now serve well sourced eats and chemical-free wines. À la carte, the day we went for lunch: lovely trout gravlax from Vincent Briolat in Maurs, with a light flying fish roe, touches of lemon confit, and purslane (€8) – just perfect with a glass of Silex, a Sauvignon from Jacky Preys in Touraine (€4.50); perfectly grilled and juicy dry-aged Aubrac skirt steak, served with excellent homemade fries and mixed greens – lovely with a Coteaux-du-Giennois from Mathieu Coste (€5.50 a glass); before an incredible Dammann Frères white tea rice pudding with a fruit compote and homemade granola (€6). And for all those who are really thirsty, there are a few wines served by the bottle as well: Les Pièces Longues, a Chenin by Fabien Jouves in the Lot (€40 a bottle), a red Terrasses-du-Larzac from Le Pas de l’Escalette (€35), or craft beers from the Sarlat brewery (€5 for 330 ml). À la carte €24-40. // P.L.