Le Quartier Français
C'est ci bon
My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to try the new menu at The Garden Room, at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. It was delightful and c'est si bon indeed.
The rain had dissipated for a while and we were seated in the lovely garden room overlooking the garden. A beautiful space filled with lemon trees and herbs - no doubt straight from garden to table!
The welcome was warm and inviting and I wasted no time ordering a glass of wine to mark the occasion - the Karen from Normandie in Franschhoek. Possibly the best blush wine I have yet to taste – a sophisticated, dry, aged rosé with a uniquely complex palate. Off to a good start.
Next the menus and warm freshly baked bread rolls with parsley butter arrived. As we savoured this crusty perfection with an occasional “hmm” every now and again, decided on what to eat for lunch. It was rather a tricky choice, as not having sampled this menu before, everything looked rather inviting. We decided eventually, excited at what was to come.
First up, a gorgeous salad of roasted beets, Stellenbosch goat’s milk cheese, celery, apple and pecan nuts. We decided to share a starter portion, which was more than enough considering, however this would have made a perfect lunch choice on its own. It was fresh and tangy in all the right places and the beets were sweet and oh so delicious. Next, my Husband ordered the obligatory burger, no surprises there, with truffled aspen chips and béarnaise sauce. The burger was juicy and tasty and the chips crispy and golden. Bravo! Not many places are able to pull off the perfect French fry. I had the garden thyme-roasted Elgin chicken with butternut squash and garden spinach. It was also very tasty, just as roast chicken should be. However sadly was lacking in a gravy or jus, but I gobbled it up and didn’t mind too much. The Karen, of course, helped wash it all down.
Satiated and happy we chatted away, enjoying the afternoon sunshine eagerly anticipating the apple crumble. Besides being quite delectable and spoon licking good, it looked a picture – rustic, but just right with a scoop of vanilla seed ice-cream. I don’t usually eat ice-cream, but this one got the nod and my poor Husband watched in dismay as he had to unwillingly share spoonful after spoonful with me. Luckily for him, there was still the cheese to come, so he wouldn’t be leaving hungry - local Dalewood cheeses, Leeu relish, fruit and thin crispy nut toasts. I love a cheese course, and this one was no exception. It went very well with the Merlot, also a local choice from Eikenhof.
Lunch was over but the experience will be savoured long after the last course and in the kind words of my Husband – “possibly the best lunch we have ever had there”. We have been coming to Le Quartier for years, so this is high praise from a man who is usually dragged there by his wife!
Until next time, Lucie