EAT OUT IN MONTPELLIER
This elegant, fast-growing city has plenty of restaurants to whet your appetite, says Peter Stewart
Feel the buzz of this go-ahead city and sample the Mediterranean cuisine.
1 Domaine de Verchant
For a taste of fine dining in a tranquil setting, the gourmet restaurant at the Domaine de Verchant is a perfect choice. It sits inside the main building of the five-star hotel, which is surrounded by vines that once extended to the edge of Montpellier city centre two kilometres away.
I arrived for dinner just before sunset on a balmy spring evening and was invited to sit on the terrasse, which overlooks the hotel’s extensive parkland. Set menus are available, but I opted for the à la carte, which proved a delicious treat, from the amuse bouche right through to dessert.
My starter of asparagus, cooked with Provençal herbs and served in a light onion vinaigrette really captured the tastes of spring. The vegetable risotto main course was bursting with flavour, thanks in particular to the sweet Provençal tomatoes and tangy lemon emulsion. This went nicely with a large glass of a fruity red wine from the hotel’s vineyard. Dessert consisted of a dark chocolate pie, with hints of mint and topped with Madagascan vanilla and yoghurt ice cream.
Service was impeccable, and the sommelier chatted to diners about the best wines to accompany their meal.
Open Mon, Sat and Sun for lunch and dinner, Thurs and Fri for dinner. Closed Tues, Wed. Menus from €68, mains from €38. 1 Boulevard Philippe Lamour, 34170 Castelnau-le-lez Tel: (Fr) 4 67 07 26 00 domainedeverchant.com