Hostellerie les Gorges de Pennafort
January 11, 2008
Callas, 04 94 76 66 51
(January 5, 2008)
A few weeks ago, we had asked the very knowledgeable seller at the wine co-operative in Les Arcs what her favorite restaurant in the area was and she quickly named said, “Pennafort” after faithfully recommending the co-op’s restaurant upstairs. Although it recently changed chefs and sounds much better than it was before, we opted for the new and undiscovered (by us).
We set out immediately to Callas, and were pleasantly surprised when the Hostellerie turned out to be a lovely stone building with a great view of the Gorge. Unfortunately, they were totally booked that day – Thursday! (so much for “discovery”). Of course, it does have one star making it definitely a destination restaurant for diners as far away, we were to learn, as Marseille and Menton.
Wiser this time, we made a reservation and returned with our friends Bill and Pat. The dining room is upstairs and filled with more orchids than I have seen in one room, outside the fabulous display in the Singapore airport. Each table had a large arrangement, but in vases so tall and skinny that they didn’t block your table-mates. There are windows galore, looking out over the Gorge and the gardens.
After much deliberation we chose the dishes we would have on the 53€ menu. The amuse bouche, a lovely, creamy cauliflower soup, followed a few fabulous little nibbles served with our champagne (13€). Then followed a course we hadn’t ordered and another, and then they explained that the chef wanted us to try all the appetizers so they were serving us a small plate of each. They were all quite wonderful, but memory doesn’t enable me to describe them specifically. Nicely grilled fish garnished with tender vegetables and a boneless chicken were the main courses, as I remember. Desserts seemed to just keep coming and each was better than the last. It is certainly worth a trip back in the spring with pad and pencil in hand to make a more complete report.