Le Mas du Langoustier, Ile de Porquerolles
October 18, 2016
On September 22, 2016, Linda and I took the noon boat to the Ile de Porquerolles, off the coast between Toulon and St. Tropez.
Most of the island is a national park, but there are vineyards and, on the west end, a lovely, isolated hotel, Le Mas du Langoustier. It has two restaurants, La Pinède and L’Olivier. The second has had a Michelin star for many years.
The minibus of the hotel picked us up at the dock in the town of Porquerolles.
There was a bumpy ride over rutted, curvy dirt roads to the hotel.
After checking in, we had lunch at La Pinède. We were seated at a corner table with this view through the grounds behind the hotel.
We ordered a bottle of white wine from a Porquerolles vineyard, Domaine de la Courtade.
Made from the vermentino, or rolle, grape, La Courtade’s white wine is good and refreshing with a slight taste of the sea, perfect with fish.
Linda started with
Tarte fine d’anchoïade et légumes croquants de saison.
The circular pastry under the salad was hard, but went well with the anchovy sauce spread on it. The radishes, cucumbers and fennel were indeed crisp and light. A very good summer starter. There was a cup of anchovy sauce alongside to be added as desired.
My starter and Linda’s main course were
Tagliatelles à la bisque de carapace,
tomates épicées et crustacés selon arrivage.
Fortunately, the shellfish of the day were fresh langoustines. Their shells were used to make the excellent bisque which coated the fresh pasta. The spiced tomato wedges added some substance and interest. Bravo.
My main course was
Poisson du jour et sa garniture
A filet of Mediterranean sea bass was grilled in a crust of pistachios, pink peppercorns and black olive bits. Very good.
The lunch was certainly a nice, relaxing way to start our stay after the hassle of getting there.
In the evening we had this view from the balcony of our room.
On top of the hill you can see the old Langoustier fort, which protected the approach to the naval base and shipyards at Toulon.
We dined at L’Olivier, starting as usual with glasses of Champagne.
The three spherical hors d’œuvres were nicely presented.
Mashed potatoes, truffles and aioli; shrimp cream. (I do not remember the one on the pretty pebbles.)
A reduction of shellfish shell broth with a dill mousse.
This was superb.
We ordered the menu Le Chant des Cigales and a bottle of Domaine de la Courtade’s red wine.
This wine is made from the Mourvèdre grape. It is substantial and would be better with more age.
The amuse-gueule was red tuna, liquorice cream and potargue.
The flavors were mild and combined well.
The bread basket was passed.
The first course was
Pêche du Jour
marinée aux agrumes
Crémeux au Poivre de Timut et citron Kumbawa,
pétales de Daikon et concombre Libanais au citron Yuzu
Pieces of St. Pierre had been lightly marinated in lemon juice. There were exotic spices and petals of daikon radish and seedless cucumber. Okay, but far off from Provençal theme of the rest of the menu.
Bar de Ligne
A la truffe d’été sauvage d’Aups, bardé au lard San-Clemente,
cromesquis d’artichaut violet en barigoule.
A piece of Mediterranean sea bass cooked in lardo was topped with summer truffle. It was served on a truffled potato base. A violet artichoke was seasoned, enclosed in a light dough and deep fried. Nice.
Filet de Cannette de Barbarie
Rôti à la feuille de figuier et Huile de amande grille,
Crépinette de cuisse au foie gras. Figue de Sollies rôtie au miel d’eucalyptus. Crémeux amande.
A slice of duck breast with crispy skin was dressed with fig and grilled almond oil. On the left is a fig baked with eucalyptus honey and dressed with almond cream. Above is a bonbon filled with braised meat from the duck leg and foie gras. It was really delicious.
Saint Félicien de chez Josiane Déal
Accompagné d’un miel à la truffe d’été sauvage d’Aups.
A slice of Saint Félicien cheese was dressed with truffled honey and served with a little green salad. This was a very good cheese course of just the right size.
Crémeux au citron, marmelade pétillante aux agrumes,
meringue craquante à la coriandre,
sorbet pamplemousse et poivre de Timut.
Two mounds of lemon cream were on top of a citrus marmalade. They were topped with meringue wafers, adding needed crunch. In the middle is a scoop of grapefruit sorbet. This dish successfully avoided being too sweet or too sour, letting the basic citrus flavors come through. A good finish to a good meal.
In the morning we enjoyed breakfast on the terrace.
Pheasants were rooting around below us.
The breads and cakes buffet table was impressive.
We enjoyed a very good twenty-three hours at Le Mas du Langoustier. The calm and rural ambiance of the surroundings were a perfect setting for the gracious hotel and its two restaurants.