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Vigne en Foule

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Winemakers Bernard Plageoles, Patrice Lescarret, Laurent Cazottes and Michel Issaly finally entrusted their love child to Julien Bourdariès, who’s been running the kitchen ever since this place first opened in 2009. After a stint at the Château de Salettes, he’s been lighting up this beloved Gaillac spot (a windowed wine cellar, an open kitchen, clusters of old grape varietals preserved in jars) with bistro fare that’s as simple as it is tasty. The other day at lunch, the €32 prix-fixe menu included: some lovely marinated sardines with tomatoes, olives and pine nuts; slow-roasted chicken supreme from Cédric Malet, with mashed potatoes, piquillo peppers and a pork jus; before an ultra-fresh lemon combo (cream and preserved) with wild blueberries (raw and sorbet) and a honey-almond-sesame tuile. Otherwise, the chef also offers up a menu of the day at lunch (eg.: onion soup with Tomme de Rodez croutons; slow-roasted, glazed pork with eggplant, tomatoes and peppers; a thin and crispy butternut tart with a chestnut ice cream), a “grand” menu for two, and even a handful of tapas – prime cut ham, pork trotter croquettes, fried baby squid with squid ink mayonnaise… // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? Over 250 naturophile references, including local wines from the former owners – a natural Mauzac from Plageoles (€6.50 a glass), Causse Toujours, a Gaillac red from Causse Marines (€35.50 a bottle) – and others too, like a Mauzac white from Damien Bonnet (€34)…

PRICE: Menus €16-19 (weekday lunch), €32 and €46, tapas €5-11, à la carte €28-49.

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