An invitation to a wine growers’ dinner was a great opportunity to discover a new restaurant. Paul Courtaux was one of the two partners who ran L’Entre-Pots in Pézenas for a number of years, during which time they established a reputation as the best restaurant in the town. And then it was time to move on. And Paul has resurfaced at Le St. Georges in Palavas les Flots. .
The amuses –bouches were delicious, a tart of octopus, a bowl of télines, a local oyster in some delicately flavoured jelly, and a samosa, its stuffing a take on a tielle, from Pézenas, accompanied by Entre Deux Vins, a blend of Sauvignon and Petit Manseng. In the crowd, I never found out who the producer was. It was refreshing with the nibbles, but nothing more.
Then we sat down to enjoy some bellota ham with anchovy toast, razor clams, and a rillette of sardines, accompanied by 2011 Clos des Vignes blanc, a blend of Grenache blanc and Grenache Gris from Domaine Gardiés in the Côtes du Roussillon. It was rich and rounded, with some lovely texture and went very well with the powerful flavours of the hors d’oeuvre. (www.domaine-gardies.fr)
The fish course was an intriguing combination, a langoustine with a small piece of quail, with some spinach in a broth flavoured with Banyuls. And to go with that we drank. 2012 Cuvée les Claviers from Domaine de Garance, Vin de France. It is a blend of Ugni Blanc and Grenache Gris, with some rich nutty fruit and a certain resinous quality, with a firm dry finish. www.domainelagarance.com
Next came a tournedos of pork, with a Roseval potato and Jerusalem artichoke mash, and very tasty it was too, beautifully complimented by Nathalie and François Caumette’s Faugères from Domaine de l’Ancienne Mercerie. 2011 Les Petits Mains, with its high percentage of Carignan was youthful and smoky, with that appealing rustic note that Carignan can so nicely impart. However, if I were being hyper-critical, it was a tad too young, and the 2010 would have been even better. www.anciennemercerie.fr)
And then I have to admit that I skipped dessert and a 1981 Rivesaltes Ambré from Domaine Gardiés as a lift back into Montpellier called, and after a long day at Millésime Bio, it was too tempting an offer to refuse. But based on that one experience, I would certainly make another journey to Palavas to eat at Le Saint Georges.
Le Saint Georges,
4 Bd du Maréchal Foch,
34250 Palavas les Flots.
Tel : 04 67 68 31 38.