Mas de Monille
On his 15-hectare estate tucked away in the Causses du Quercy regional natural park, with its big oak trees, prairies and paths lined with stone walls, Benoît Leverrier pampers his 200 Gascon porc noir pigs in the same way that some people take care of their Ferraris, all the while knowing their ultimate fate…. On the menu of his farmhouse-inn the day we went (€28): flavorful homemade chorizo and dried saucisson with vin d’épine noire (a type of vermouth) for the aperitif course; carrot flan with cheese and honey (or a soup in the winter); pork pâté layered with blood sausage, and ham cured for 22 months; Tarbes bean cassoulet with pork shank demi-sel, fresh pork belly, Toulouse sausages, pork rind, and marinated grilled meats (or roasted suckling pig in the winter); good cheeses – Cabecou and Saint-Nectaire; and to finish, a splendid chilled parfait with caramelized squash seeds, served with the prune liqueur made by a neighbor, which was harsh but free of charge! And to help the rest of the meal go down easy, there’s a short but clever selection of wines: Marcillac from Laurens (€18 a bottle) or a 100% Malbec from Dussert (€9 for a half-bottle). Menus €25 and €28. Kids menu (free for kids under 5) €13. You can’t go without a reservation. // G.D.