By Veronica


There's a new(ish) restaurant in Lagrasse called Le Bastion that comes up every time the conversation turns to restaurants (quite frequently, this is France). Everyone we know who's been has raved about it; it's actually been open for a year but was off our radar, only partly because we weren't here for 9 months ... we just don't go to Lagrasse that often. And until recently the half dozen restaurants there were nothing to write home about. Things are looking up though; the first sign was the 1900, which is a very nice tapas bar. Then recently we had our very good meal at the Cocotte Fêlée. Le Bastion is in another league though. In the short time it's been open it's already got a well deserved Michelin Bib Gourmand and I suspect a star won't be far off.

The lunch menu is short, two choices per course, and relatively expensive -- 33 euros. But everything was superb. We were seated inside, where it is quite dark, so my photos are terrible, but this is my dessert of citrus-flavoured vacherin. Perfection, as was everything else (top marks to a starter of panada of tomato, burrata, and basil sorbet). When we ordered glasses of house white, the waiter offered us a choice of two; I tried both and they were both good. Many local products, including everything on the wine list except for champagne. The waitress greeted us warmly, and we realised she used to work in the restaurant in our village. We will possibly be in Lagrasse more often ... we have to come back to try the tapas.

When we came out we were quite glad we'd failed to get seats on the terrace -- it was 35C. Home to air-conditioned cool. Mystère is gradually resigning himself to the cone ... his dinner was tinned tuna laced with antibiotic, served with the aid of a teaspoon. Ours was a shared takeaway pizza from the van outside our front door -- very handy.

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