Parmesan risotto with white Alba truffles, Côté Bastide, Bergerac

Restaurant Cote Bastide, Sainte Foy la Grande, lunch

Menu from a lunch at Restaurant Cote Bastide in Sainte Foy la Grande, France, with wines from Château Moulin Caresse:

Tomato concasse amuse

Parmesan risotto with white Alba truffles

Filet mignon of pork with red wine jus and basil oil, served with sweet potato mash bacon

Pineapple ice cream and fresh pineapples

Restaurant Cote Bastide is a real neighbourhood restaurant – it’s tucked in amongst the homes in the area and in fact, the building was probably once a home.

The kitchen is tiny, about the same size of a home-kitchen, and the restaurant itself is just split across a couple of smallish rooms.

But the food was really impressive, especially when you consider that it was just a husband and wife team catering for the whole restaurant. Not necessarily in terms of presentation – it was that sort of upscale bistro cuisine – but in terms of the authenticity of flavours.

The ingredients were clearly well-sourced. The truffle for the risotto was so pungent that its aroma immediately permeated the room we were in.

What was perhaps unusual was the dessert. Pineapple can be a killer for the palate, especially for wine tastings, but in this case, it matched well with the sweet  wines we had from Château Moulin Caresse.

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.


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