Everyone keeps asking about my El Bulli post. I know, I know, I ate there exactly one month ago and haven't posted a single word. Not even a measy photo! It's just that I'm a Virgo and aside from being kind, sensitive souls, we require order. I've already told you all about Paris, and now it's time to spread the word about La Fargo in Saint-Pierre-des-Champs, the second stop on our food-filled journey through France and Spain.
After a long, 8-hour car ride (with a quick lunch in Limoges at a place that could be the Au Bon Pain of France), we arrived in Saint-Pierre-des-Champs, a tiny town in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. What brought us there? La Fargo, a lovely inn that my Mom visited with her sister a few years ago. After hearing their stories about the top-notch meals and ultra serene setting, I'd been dying to visit.
Moments after arriving in the sleepy town, I felt like a Calgon commerical. My stress literally just melted away. Paris had been rainy and surprisingly chilly. Here, the skies were a crisp, clear blue, the air was warm with a slight nip, and the streets were blissfully empty. Beautiful stone homes were decorated with sweet pastel shutters and all arond us were lush, rolling hills.
Our hosts at La Fargo were Christophe and Dominique, a friendly, food-loving couple who both possess a similar calming quality. Since their inn is located in one of France's most important wine producing regions, we looked to them for help with the long list of local offerings. I remember loving the glass of champagne we started with on our first night, and the half bottle of red with a hint of spice that followed. Had I been a better blogger, I would have remembered to write down all the names.
But I was too busy relaxing on their pretty pebble-covered terrace where the sun never set until around 10pm every night.
Dinners began with an interesting amuse-bouche: a chilly shot of pea soup spiced with curry one night and toast points with a homemade tapenade the next. The flavors were vibrant and fresh and many of the ingredients came straight from Dominique and Christophe's gardens.
All of the food at La Fargo was excellent, but if I had to choose one dish that stood out the most, it'd be a smoked salmon appetizer that came with two small scoops of wasabi ice cream.
A pretty shade of celadon, it was velvety smooth and perfect both on its own and as a complement to the savory dish.
Daniel's La Fargo favorite was a foie gras first course. Served on a slab of black slate, and sprinkled with sea salt and pink peppercorns, it was the type of dish that begged for a photo.
The pieces were thick and buttery, and they practically melted on pieces of Poilâne toast.
Somehow with such heavy meals, we still managed to squeeze in a cheese course on both nights, followed by luscious, homemade desserts. My favorite was a dense chocolate cake topped with ice cream and a golden caramel sauce.
Normally I find all-chocolate desserts overwhelming. This was the first one that did it just right. The cake was moist and sweet without being unbearably rich, and the caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream spruced it up, without overpowering the entire dish.
It was hard to be hungry in the morning after such filling meals, and for once I was happy that breakfast was a simple affair with cafe au laits, orange juice, a basket of toasted bread, and homemade fruit spreads. I expected to like the one with kiwi the best, but found it too tart and tangy and couldn't stop sopping up the sweeter spread: a syrupy concoction that was full of fresh figs.
We stayed in the Cerisier room, a true bargain at just 64 euros. A simple space with beige concrete floors and an unusually large shower, it was filled with furniture that Christophe and Dominique bought during trips to Bali. Another nice feature was the private entrance to a grassy area decorated with odd-shaped chairs. Once we figured out how exactly to sit in them, they were the perfect place to nap after exploring nearby medieval ruins.
We easily could have stayed a few more days at La Fargo, eating all the good, gourmet food and exploring the winding roads and sweet surrounding towns. But Collioure, our next stop was waiting. Come back soon and I'll tell you all about that!
Tel: 04 68 43 12 78