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Le Belvédère

Le Belvédère (Bozouls)

© J. Tomaselli

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Along the foothills of the Trou de Bozouls, a local geological curiosity, lies a charming inn belonging to naturophile local lad, Guillaume Viala. In the old-fashioned dining room (a fireplace, timeworn furniture, exposed rafters), this former thoroughbred stallion from the Bras stables prepares irresistible wonders, like the €43 lunch menu we tested one recent afternoon: an irreproachable marinated lesse (mullet) with big mussels (both plain and in aspic), chanterelles in vinegar, braised fennel, herbs and a mint-pomelo compote; a smoking hot “bouillon de culture” (a reinterpretation of Bras’ gargouillou), a blend of 30 baby vegetables that were warmed up in a Gascon pork broth seasoned with herbs, before being served swimming in a saffron broth (made from locally harvested stems) with a slice of rye bread; incredible tender Allaiton lamb saddle roasted until medium rare in the oven, surrounded by carrots, chickpeas, eggplant caviar and a spicy reduction; before the fatal finale, a diabolically good Gourg d’enfer, composed of a cocoa spiral filled with rich chocolate and topped with tansy ice cream. // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? Christine Viala’s naturalist choices: 7 Souris, a Gaillac vieilles vignes Syrah from Causse Marines (€13 a glass), Hegoxuri, an Irouléguy white from the Domaine Arretxea (€69 a bottle), Tandem, a Marcillac red from the Domaine des Costes Rouges (€29)…

PRICE: Menus €43 (except Saturday evening and Sunday), €70 and €107 (food and wine pairings +€35, €51 and €75).

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