Last month, the weather was still sunny, so Chéri and I packed up the kids and drove off in the direction of the beach. Sneakily, I surprised them with a lunch at La Cranquette in Gruissan. This fish and seafood restaurant serves delicious food prepared with as much locally sourced produce as possible. And even in November, we could sit outside on the lovely terrace!
La Cranquette is the type of restaurant that brings an instant smile to my face- and my heart. Both the exterior and the interior of the former rectory have an artfully stylish décor, filled with original finds. Chef Julien Privat gets his inspiration a few steps from his kitchen. Living so close to the Mediterranean Sea gives him a large choice of the best catches from the local fishermen. And he also mostly buys his- pesticide-free- produce from the land locally.
Julian Privat prepares these fine ingredients from sea and land with a traditional and a modern touch to treat you with surprising dishes. The menu proposes four dishes per course, all without gluten, and vegetarians can ask for an adapted version. Chéri and I shared a starter of a grilled octopus tentacle on a bed of mashed potatoes, portobellos confit with garlic and a dash of shitake and smoked paprika powder (16 euros). It was the perfect marriage between sea and land ingredients. Although Chéri was a bit cold outside, he warmed up once the food arrived.
As the waitress enthusiastically explained what ‘anguilles’ were- eels- and how they were prepared, I had to order this (24 euros). The fish came in a soup of ‘cranquettes’, or little crabs from Gruissan, and was a local delight. Chéri was also happy with his monkfish in a rockfish and chanterelle sauce (30 euros). The children enjoyed two enormous jumbo shrimps with a bisque (30 euros) and a tailor-made kid’s menu with a white tuna steak. Dessert wise, the spoiling continued. The family all had the yummy, iced nougat inspired by the typical pine nut pie from Gruissan (12 euros). I was the only one who chose the chocolate variation, which was an excellent choice as well (14 euros). To conclude our perfect Sunday, we went for a gulp of fresh air on the beach (and to digest our feast).