Le Diamant Noir 5

November 8, 2007

As the nights on the Côte d’Azur get colder, we start to think of black truffles and, therefore, of Le Diamant Noir where Benjamin Bruno uses them liberally and well. So on November 6, 2007, we went for dinner with Bob and Peggy.

 

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We ordered aperitifs and a bottle of San Pellegrino. Lovely little canapés of paté on toast with a slice of truffle arrived. The flavor lingered in the mouth.  Three of us ordered the menu dégustation, which is still at a too reasonable 45 €, while Peggy ordered à la carte.

 

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Our first course was L’Oeuf à l’Albufera, served in a large martini glass. This excellent dish seems to have originated in Bruno’s Terre des Truffes; maybe Benjamin invented it when he worked there. A sauce Albuféra is classically a velouté of chicken stock and cream with puréed foie gras as a thickener. It was created by Carême for the Duc d’Albuféra, one of Napoleon’s Generals who was made a duke for beating the British at the lake south of Valencia by that name.

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We then had a Pizzetta Bianca à la truffe, salade de roquette, artichauts, parmesan et truffes. The white pizza lacked pizzaz, but the salad was good.

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The fish course was Thon sur Ton rouge à la truffe. The name is very clever. The piece of red tuna was served with other red ingredients, and truffles, of course. 

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The meat course was Suprême de Volaille et sa purée de topinambour. On arriving Sandrine told us that the purée of Jerusalem artichokes with truffles had been included in this week’s menu for us, since we had liked it so much last December. We still do. The chicken breast was stuffed with chopped truffles and served on a rich brown sauce.

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The dessert was Nem croustillant de fruits et fondue de chocolat. The fruit spring roll and the dark chocolate made a very rich dessert.

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There was a madeleine to finish things off. Benjamin also offered us the house digestif, which was a little glass of a complex fruit concoction. 

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Peggy’s first course was the Brouillade de truffe. There is no better way to bring out the flavor of truffles that simply combining them with eggs, scrambled in this case. 

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Her other course was the Filet de boeuf Rossini et sa polenta crémeuse à la truffe. This was close to the classic recipe for tournedos Rossini with a slice of sautéed foie gras on top of the filet of beef; in this case the truffles were in the polenta alongside. The beef was excellent; Benjamin told us later it was from Germany. 

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To start we ordered from the limited wine list a bottle of the Côteaux de Languedoc, Mas Haut-Buis “Les Carlines” 2005. It seemed insubstantial, so we switched to a Côte du Rhône, Terra Ventoux « La Cavée » 2005 for the second bottle. It was somewhat better. The prices for the wines were very reasonable, but Benjamin could do better at finding interesting wines among all the many new small producers in the south of France. 

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During our meal a couple had been seated alongside of us. I had not paid any attention to them until, while I was taking a photo of one of the dishes, I heard to my surprise: “You must be the CountryEpicure blogger.” It turns out that they live in London and Villefranche-sur-Mer and get our blog on Feedblitz. They knew what the blog had said about all the restaurants nearby. We had some interesting discussions about restaurants, including Fat Duck, where they had recently had lunch for the entire afternoon. Fortunately, they ordered the Burger foie gras et truffes accompagné de frites so I was able to get a photo of it. 

The menu stated that the truffle is Tuber Aestivum, the summer truffle. I was surprised at this as I thought that the winter truffle season had already started. But I know that it has been very dry in the Luberon and nearby truffle areas. But the truffles this evening did have a nice flavor. When Benjamin came out to chat with us, he said that they are mid-season truffles which he gets from a supplier in the Perigord. 

We had a very enjoyable evening, although the meal did not amaze us as it had on our first two visits. 

To read our earlier blogposts on Le Diamant Noir, click on the blue numbers: 1 & 2, 3, 4.  

www.diamant-noir.fr   

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One Response to “Le Diamant Noir 5”

  1. sue girdwood Says:

    Too cruel, Michael!!! Here one lives truffle-less — until the new production in Tasmania increases. (The trade has good things to say about the Australian product but I have my reservations — it seems just the wrong place to produce what I remember so well from Europe, but the growers are adamant that conditions are good).

    Always enjoy your postings.
    Sue

    PS …. and how nice to see the connection with readers of your blog!!


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