Sometimes you find a hidden gem in an unexpected place. I mean, who would think of fine wining and dining next to Béziers library?! The building itself is quite nice, but the surroundings don’t really shout ‘go out and have a delightful lunch’. But you can! As in 2016, Chef Olivier Bontemps and his wife Emmanuelle opened their brasserie Ô Petits Bontemps. And it has been fully booked ever since!
To enter Ô Petits Bontemps, you’ll have to take the entrance on the Avenue Jean Moulin. From there, the light blue water of the basin in front of the library sparkles and mirrors you and directs you to the entrance. Once inside, the pleasantly lit and open structure of the contemporary building invites you in to have a good time. Or you can sit outside on the shaded terrace. Most of the time, Chef Olivier will welcome you in person. It’s always a pleasure to go and have lunch at Olivier and Emmanuelle’s familial restaurant. Having a family themselves, they like to share out their quality time wisely and only open during the day for lunch. Or you can come in to have a treat with your tea or coffee. You can even ask them to mark a special occasion with their catering service.
Love and attention
Once again, Chéri and I had made a reservation for a weekday lunch. Ô Petits Bontemps offers a very decently priced menu; for 26 euros we went for the three-course version. However, ours was a bit more, as we wanted some extras. Chef Olivier and his team like to reinterpret traditional dishes and give them an oriental or Mediterranean twist. The menu changes daily, and each dish is prepared with love and attention. I always love the little messages written on some of the plates and, of course, the signature flowers. Every meal starts with a welcoming pre-starter from the Chef: a bowl of mussels in a creamy sauce. Always a delight and such a kind touch! Chéri began with a platter of charcuterie combining Spanish, Italian and Aveyron cold meats. I had a hake rillette with asparagus, delivering great flavour and beautifully presented.
For the main course, Chéri enjoyed an ultra-tender veal filet cooked at a low temperature while I had a skrei filet with hints of preserved lemon. Both dishes came with a delicious vegetable gratin and cost 6 euros extra (but were well worth it). It was a hearty mix of Mediterranean flavours, a true feast for the tastebuds! No lunch without dessert for me… Chéri opted for the menu’s dessert, a creamy chocolate mousse tartlet dressed with seasonal fruit. And I couldn’t resist the café gourmand (8 euros extra) with all the things I like in mini versions: madeleine, macaron, beignet, chocolate cake and the same chocolate mousse as Chéri. As always, it was a great treat to enjoy a lovely lunch in this beautifully designed restaurant with such great company. We’ll be back. Soon!