Life is full of serendipitous moments, and it’s all too easy to let those moments slip by if we don’t grab the opportunities presented by them! One such serendipitous moment occurred to me very recently. On Facebook I saw that Domaine La Madura had shared a post about the sale of furniture from O Bontemps, a restaurant I had been to a number of times. This is a screenshot of the post:
And this is a screenshot of the text, as translated by Fb!!
As you can see, the translated text was somewhat cryptic – they were selling the furniture and pretty much everything else, including the menu case and door sign, and closing on February 15, but then what? I had to find out more!! 🙂
Eventually I found an article, on the website of the local newspaper, Midi Libre (see the article here). In the article, Olivier Bontemps, the chef owner of the restaurant, explained that he was re-locating within the area, with a concept more centred on the lunchtime trade, so that he could spend more time with his family. While I was in the middle of reading the article, a friend stopped by for coffee, and we started talking about how nice it would be to go to the restaurant once more, before it closed. “Why don’t we go this week?”, said the friend. Just what I needed :)! I picked up the phone and made a reservation for the following evening!
And so it was that I got to eat at O Bontemps in Magalas one more time!! Here’s the outside of the restaurant:
And part of the dining room:
Ever since he opened his restaurant, Olivier Bontemps has been serving mussels, as a little appetizer, while the guests browse the menu. These mussels were small and plump, and prepared wonderfully with smoked bacon, chopped almonds and cream – they were heavenly!!
Once we had ordered, we were served an amuse bouche, a small glass of brussels sprout soup, topped with a cream made with smoked paprika. The soup had a wonderfully clean flavour of brussels sprouts, and was just delicious. It was also served hot – not tepid – which pleased my friend immensely – she likes her food to be served hot!
The amuse bouche was followed by the starter – a reimagined club sandwich. The plate was covered in a carpaccio of courgette, which was dressed with a most wonderful vinaigrette. There was an elusive flavour in that dressing – the chef told us that it was kaffir lime, a citrus fruit which is a major component of Thai green curry. The courgette carpaccio was topped with a wonderful salad, beautifully decorated with edible flowers, and of course there was also the sandwich: slices of crispy bread filled with some very tasty smoked ham and cheddar cheese:
After that wonderful starter came an even more wonderful main course – rumpsteak, which had been cooked at low temperature for 18 hours!! I know that if I were to cook a piece of steak for 18 hours it would not look like this! It was perfectly pink, juicy and tender, and it had great texture and flavour. The sauce had been prepared with trompette de la mort mushrooms and truffles, and there was a side dish of vegetables, served in a separate bowl. The vegetables were mostly green in colour, but with different textures (crunchy, crispy, soft). A chewy element was introduced by the rice shaped pasta, which was mixed in with the vegetables. The broth in which the vegetables had been cooked was spicy, and it complemented the beef beautifully.
Finally it was time for dessert. Once more there were contrasting textures and flavours. On a base of a kind of redcurrant cake was a light cream, topped by Italian meringue, accompanied by home made vanilla ice cream, and a masala tuile biscuit.
Wow, what an end to a great meal!!
Now, there’s a reason why I inserted the video below (e-mail subscribers, you’ll have to visit the website to see the video): the title is “Get here” and you should get there if you can, before the restaurant closes. They still have space up until February 11, 2016.
More information on the website at http://www.o-bontemps.com