Subject: Re: Most Memorable Meal (this year anyway)
Hey all,

My wife and I have been back for about a month from a trip to the Dordogne area of southwest France, but the memories of the many wonderful meals we had on our trip still linger.

My trip planning always starts with the Michelin Red Guide, where I look for one-star restaurants that are in hotels, which I think is the best combination for value. Alas, nowadays even those have become quite expensive so it's no longer as frequent an experience as in the past (although Michelin has nicely added it's Bib Gourmand rating.) The second place I always look is the Karen Brown guide.

One meal that was among the best we've ever had on our travels was at the Hotel-Restaurant Claude Marco in Lamagdelaine, which is just outside of Cahors. I timed this stop for my wife's half- birthday so we splurged with the Menu Degustacion:

The meal started with an amuse of foamy fois gras (I love fois gras in any form!). Next came a vichysoissey-type soup with a dab of plum puree and some type of cheese, then thinly sliced cepes with piniole and vinaigrette, followed by more fois gras with poached pear and vanilla.

Then we got serious about eating: we were served fish (sandre I think) with a langostine-stuffed red pepper with gruyere sauce, a bit of citron-thyme sherbert and an opportunity to take a deep breath, followed by duck with veggies in a beautiful red-wine sauce.

So we wouldn't feel cheated, to round things out we got a goat cheese crottin with salad, and then strawberries and raspberries with a pepper-flavored sorbet. Of course we needed a few little chocolates to have with coffee.

We had a bottle of the local Cahors wine with the meal.

Since I love reading about wonderful meals that travelers have had (heck, I even like looking at other people's vacation pictures), how about you all sharing some stories of great dining.

Al (Still on my Wages of Sin diet) Sonoma, CA, USA