The day started as any other uneventful day. A missed alarm and a couple of snoozes later I was up and ready for a day of work. My day job includes marketing and selling ad space for a popular website in the country I am based. However I’ll leave that part of the story out as its not as interesting.
It’s my last day in Toulouse and the plan was easy. Finish a day of sales, calls and emails. Head off to the Victor Hugo Market to take some yummy cheese and Foie Gras back to the desert. Have a glass of crisp white wine in the sun on a terrace and a delicious last meal before heading off to the airport.
As we got done with shopping and contemplated which terrace was sunnier it suddenly dawned up on me that La Pente Douce a place I have trying make a reservation for dinner for days just might be available for lunch. At this point my husband of course not entirely happy with the thought of searching for the restaurant and skipping valuable sun basking time but gives in to my “ Oh this is my last day” demand. That was that and the next thing I knew he had googled the restaurant asked for directions and made a booking.
La Pente Douce by Chef Hamid Miss
This is one little gastronomic treasure Toulouse has to offer but it’s mostly a secret. I came across the restaurant through a food blogger I follow on instagram. While researching a place to take the husband out on a date last week I saw a beautiful picture of a plate on the bloggers IG profile and started to dig in for the complete story.
At La Pente Douce Scandy décor meets French food and together they break a few hearts everyday. The décor is clean, modern and simple. We look up for a sign to find out if we had the right place and didn’t find any. The staff later told us that the no signboard helped keep the secret part of the place intact.
The first thing I notice as I enter is the industrial metallic open kitchen. Young boyish looking chefs look totally focused and concentrated on every dish cooked and plated to perfection. There’s a pillar in the centre that is turned into a blackboard with the menu on it. On my left I see a massive beautiful shiny piano. As were are escorted to our seats by co-owner and Chef Hamids wife I notice there are few bar stools around the kitchen table left for people looking to enjoy a small meal and drink with a view of the magic show going on behind the counter. The place is simply styled with white Ikea looking furniture and a splash of colour added in the pillows lighting and flower arrangements.
By now I am already intrigued by all these pretty elements and cant wait to order. The place is packed for a Tuesday and its only lunch. A quirky looking waitress comes along and gives us 3 menus one has just the prices of the set menu, A wine list and a drink menu.
Meals here are not the same on any given day. That’s plainly because the chef cooks up something new and different everyday depending on the fresh ingredients he’s able to source out.
We are given a verbal translation of the menu and everything sounds absolutely spectacular. As a starter I choose to be surprised by the Chef. Yes! that too can be ordered from the menu of the day and my husband opts for the Asparagus soup with Foie Gras.
Just as we get to ordering our mains our server is informed the restaurant has run out of the pork dish as main. Well that’s how busy and good I guess it is here then! With not much to choose from anymore we decide to one each of the 2 mains offered. I order the fresh catch of the day with spiced pumpkin sauce and pesto served with a clam and he gets the Beef with garlic confit, jus and potato puree.
The place is equipped with a French speaking Japanese sommelier that gives this place an extra edge and room for creativity. We have a good chat with him and a couple tastings later we finally settle for a bottle of wine not listed on the menu.
The beautifully plated meals are soon placed under our noses and I love what I see. It looks like spring on my plate with beautiful vibrant colours and plenty of different elements. After a bite I am not entirely pleased with it but its still delicious. My surprise starter is a polenta cake with pumpkin and raw beef, pesto, tomato salsa and pine nuts. The polenta cake for me is a bit too bland but the same could be transferred into a brilliant BBQ salad idea someday.
I find the Asparagus soup with Foie Gras to be much more delicious and we quickly swap over as we always do at tastings.
The main mealS looked great and tasted even better but the portions in my opinion were too small and left me licking off the spiced pumpkin sauce off my plate with bread. My husband’s beef dish was done to a perfect juicy blush pink and the sauce was plenty for the dish however the highlight there was a confit of garlic.
Dessert choices we definitely much more that the mains. For me it all got a bit confusing by the end of the translation so I played safe this time and opted for the molten chocolate cake that was made with 80% pure cacao. The Mr tried a typical French cake that is crispy on the outside equally moist and soft inside. And offcourse we finished our meal with an espresso as always.
Lunch was done in 2 hours and the place was closing up as we about to pay our bill. Chef Hamid the friendly character was busy giving an interview to another food writer who was doing a special piece on the French mustard trail for the Canadian magazine Enroute. The chef as I heard makes some of his own homemade mustard paste that is frequently used in the kitchen. We got a quick taste of it after a little chitchat with reporter and the chef and then bid them goodbye with a big thank you.
Damages : 80 € including wine & coffee ( food was priced at 20€ per person for Entrée – Main – Dessert ) dinner is priced at 25€
Final Verdict – Great ambience, amazing food, lunch portions were a bit too small but moderately sufficient. Some ingredients though repetitive were paired differently. Overall given the price we had some delicious food that was presented with lots of attention to details served by attentive and knowledgeable staff . We were not once rushed through out meal.
Until next time and another food review.
Bon Appetit X Rochelle Zonnenberg
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