The restaurant Auberge de la Croisade has been around since 1993 and is an institution for locals and lucky passers-by. Founder Bruno Plana transformed the former relay for horses into an elegant and distinguished restaurant. Beautiful dishes celebrate Mediterranean flavours in a gorgeous setting overlooking the Canal du Midi. So, if you want, you can come by boat!
Auberge de la Croisade’s history
The history of L’Auberge de la Croisade goes back to the creation of the Canal du Midi in 1681. Back then, it served as a relay for the boatmen and their horses that towed the canal barges. Today, it’s a place to enjoy the good things of life. Bruno Plana is still at the ship’s helm while chef Laurent Hund sets course over the kitchen. They both come from the area and have travelled the world’s seas before returning to their roots. Laurent is one of the family, as he learned the tricks of the trade at L’Auberge de la Croisade at the age of 16 years old.
The restaurant itself has an inviting terrace for pleasant evenings outside, naturally shaded by mulberry trees. Or you can sit inside in one of the equally comfortable dining rooms. Chéri and I made a reservation for a Saturday night, and Bruno himself brought us to our seats. Although all tables were occupied, keeping the waiters running around, they kept their cool and served with a smile. The efficient yet friendly service impressed us both. The menu, with set choices and à la carte options, needed a bit of study because there was so much goodness. It took a while to decide on the three-course ‘Temporada del Estui’ for 48.50 euros. Well, it included an ‘amuse-bouche’ (appetizer) of gazpacho, a little glass of a frozen drink, and a cheese platter, so it felt like six courses.
Chéri and I started with the amuse-bouche, a refreshing gazpacho, followed by our actual starters. Chéri chose the generous shrimp salad, and I had the artfully dressed salmon tartare. To make room for our main courses, a ‘Trou Languedocien’ (literally translated as Languedoc hole) of frozen local alcohol was a welcome treat. Chéri continued with a light meagre filet, and I had the chef’s surprise fish, which was a considerable-sized slice of swordfish. After a little break and two cheese platters for me, we were ready for desserts. As the weather was still tropical, Chéri had ordered a bowl of ice cream in original flavours. I went for the dessert of the moment: a chilled apricot and peach soup with a scoop of ice cream and a homemade tuile biscuit. Utterly thrilled with this romantic dinner, it felt like we sailed back home.