The rolling hinterland of Carcassonne hides many charming villages where it seems like time had stood still. One of them is picturesque Caunes-Minervois, known for its ancient red marble quarry and 13th-century Benedictine abbey. This lovely village is also home to a wonderful restaurant and catering service, called La Table d’Emilie.
Chéri and I were exploring the region when we stumbled upon La Table d’Emilie. Following our growling stomachs, we were happy to have found a restaurant that was open during the winter season. Although you might expect an Emilie waving the sceptre in the kitchen of La Table d’Emilie, it is chef Linda Wearn, originally from England, who runs this cosy restaurant. She named the restaurant after her daughter and made it a welcoming place full of heart and soul. It shows in her heartwarming dishes that envelop you like a warm hug.
South of France style
Once inside the nifty restaurant, warmly decorated with original details, the friendly waitress explained to Chéri and me what was on their three-course lunch menu (16,50 euros). We didn’t take long to make up our minds between the two choices available for each course. Including a ‘pichet’ of wine, of course. As a starter, we both had the very local pissaladière, a South of France style pizza with caramelized onions and anchovies.
After this great start, we were ready for our main dishes. Chéri went for the grilled chicken, accompanied by some big, fat, homemade fries. It was a simple dish, but as the chicken was grilled to perfection, it left Chéri quiet with joy. Meanwhile, I enjoyed my fish pie, called ‘parmentier de poisson’ in French. The dessert was the same for both of us again: a fluffy meringue topped off with mascarpone, raspberries and blueberries. Too bad we don’t live around the corner, as you can also order food to take away. There are some lucky people in Caunes-Minervois and its surroundings!