Stylist Victoria Singla and chef Simon Abellaneda brought this small hotel-restaurant back to life, which had been floundering along the Tarn River since 2003. Inside the cool space (almond green walls, marble tables, wicker armchairs, Edison light bulbs), the young chef (who used for work under Bras and Veyrat) has won over more than just this small rural commune. The night we went, his five-course €55 menu stopped us dead in our tracks: a flamboyant radish millefeuille sprinkled with trout roe and crushed pistachio, served with a pear compote; a runny oeuf parfait covered in a corn mousseline and served with polenta chips, cauliflower mushroom in vinaigrette, and a porcini tartlet garnished with garden burnet; a striking flash-seared bass steak with an aromatic emulsion, celery, spinach, sweet Cévennes onions and marigold; a beautiful local cheese course – bleu des Causses, tomme from Les Bergers du Larzac, Laguiole; before a refreshing tansy granita, served with a lime sorbet and a candied costmary leaf, then an incredible coffee and meadowsweet mousse, cozied up with chocolate sorbet, a cocoa nib tuile and grated walnuts. // P.L.
FEELING THIRSTY? Organic hydration: a Gaillac white from Patrice Lescarret (€4.50 a glass), a Bergerac red from Le Château Tour des Gendres (€39 a bottle), Quintaine, a Viré-Clessé from the Domaine Emilian Gillet (€42), a Pic-Saint-Loup from Julien Chapel (€45).
PRICE: Menus €32 and €55.