Located in the heart of the French Pyrenees, the restaurant La Table du Boulanger serves the perfect comfort food. Chéri, the kids and I went to have dinner there after spending a day on the pistes of Ax 3 Domaines. Hungry and with rosy cheeks, we entered the dining room with its imposing fireplace. This family-run restaurant serves authentic, traditional dishes which completely warmed us up from the inside out.
La Table du Boulanger is the brainchild of paterfamilias Laurent Schmitt. He wanted to offer proper meals besides the bread, pastry and sandwiches of his boulangerie. No fast food, just lovingly prepared grub with revisited traditional dishes from Ariège. All of his simple menu is cooked by his son Yannick, using local and organic products. Looking at the menu, he and his family have really succeeded in their goal. The choice of what to eat was quickly made. The menu suggested a few combinations of all courses, all of them including the “soupe du pays”. Oldest wasn’t too happy with the food offered, as he wanted a burger with chips. However, when the enormous soup tureen arrived on the table, he couldn’t stop serving himself.
We loved the soup as much as oldest did, which made us worry a bit about how much more would come… The children chose the “menu enfant” and they were served with their main course while Chéri and I enjoyed our starters. Well, it felt like second starters, as the soup already filled us up quite a bit. Chéri had a “tartare de thon sur un nid de perles de pâtes” (tuna tartare on a bed of pasta pearls), and I chose the “œuf frit et pané sur un nid de pomme de terre vitelotte émulsion” (fried egg served on an emulsion of potatoes). Both dishes tasted so finger-licking good, that, again, we completely cleared our plates.
The feast continued with a “pièce de bœuf” (steak) for Chéri. The same as the main course for the kids, only a bit bigger. I ordered the “souris d’agneau” (roast lamb) accompanied with mashed sweet potatoes. The children thought I would get a roasted mouse, as ‘souris’ also means mouse in French. Luckily I didn’t get a mouse for dinner, but a deliciously tender piece of lamb, which was prepared on the meat-roasting firepit downstairs. This fireplace clearly wasn’t for decoration purposes only.
One more course to go for all of us. The children savoured a scoop of ice-cream. Chéri went for the profiterole. Yes, singular, so only one choux pastry filled with vanilla ice-cream and drizzled with full-body chocolate sauce. XL version though, in case he might still be hungry… I opted for what I thought was a lighter dessert: “la mousse à la pomme de Cadaques” or apple mousse. A huge, full plate completely surprised me. I slowly took my first bite, which immediately brought me back to my childhood, when my mum used to make a similar soothing dessert. Pure delight! Completely satisfied, we went back to our holiday house, feeling sorry that we can’t go back to this wonderful restaurant every week.