Do you ever yearn to start your dinner with pudding and work backwards? Was your childhood punctuated by feeling aggrieved because you had to work your way through boring carrots and fish before you got to the yummy sugary dessert?
I don't remember those sorts of feelings, and now, having tried it, I don't think I was missing much. On Saturday, my TWDB and I went to dinner at La Monde à l'Envers in the middle of the Ecusson old quarter of Montpellier. We chose it randomly from a list of 25 or so restaurants on the carte gastronomique that my TWDB bought as a special comité entreprise offer. You reserve a table for two and pay for just one meal plus wine. Nifty!
We arrived and were asked if we would like to start with the digestif - vodka with crème de violet, so we did. Bad idea. It was very sweet and a bit sickly, and that feeling stayed with me for the rest of the meal. One of the reasons why I wanted to come to this restaurant was because they had on the menu a gazpacho of beetroot and cèpes. I'm trying to train myself to like beetroot and thought this was an original idea and could be an interesting taste experience.
Unfortunately, it's on the menu but won't be available until later in the year. That's the problem of printing an annual menu, perhaps... Anyway, I was disappointed and had to choose a crumble with melted goat's cheese and raspberry instead - dessert.
Verdict? Tasty but sickly. The crumble was too sweet and, following on from the violet vodka, my stomach was sending out distress signals. I didn't eat all of it. I then had a tatin style fresh marinated salmon cooked with leeks and served with home-made (they said) skin on chips. It was very tasty too, but quite rich. The salmon was served in an individual pot with a pastry lid. Now I come to think of it, I suppose I was meant to tip it onto the plate to give the 'tatin' effect.
Never mind, I couldn't eat all of that dish either. The food was not enhanced either by the distinctly bland St Chinian we had to go with it. If you're in search of a decent wine list, don't go here because they have just 3 types of each colour wine, and if the St Chinian is anything to go by, you won't be impressed by any of them.
By this time, I couldn't face the next course which should have been the starter, but we were given a list of desserts such as tiramisu, something chocolatey or some other creamy cake. I was feeling very queasy and didn't want the aperitif (kir) either. In fact, I just wanted to get out into the fresh air.
It was an adventure, but not one I'd go on again. Great if you like rich, sweet food in any order. We had the menu at 26.90€ plus 16€ for the wine, total meal: 42.90€ with the gastro card.