Every year I am curious which restaurants in our region are rewarded by the famous Michelin Guide. Of course I am interested in the restaurants awarded stars, however, they can be quite prestigious. The bib gourmand rating is worth looking at as well, as it selects restaurants with an excellent quality/price ratio, serving a meal (without drinks) for less than 33 euros. This year, the Michelin Guide selected Restaurant Gaïa in Narbonne for a bib gourmand, so I dragged Chéri with me to check them out.
Warm and welcoming
Our first impression of restaurant Gaïa was warm and welcoming. I liked the beautifully decorated cement tiles at the entrance, and the rest of the restaurant was modern and light, with an open atmosphere. The interior dining room is quite big, and they also have a lot of space outside. When it gets chilly outside, you can have dinner on the covered terrace, which is what we did. Restaurant Gaïa works with an “à la carte” menu, but we preferred ordering the “Menu du Gaïa” for 32 euros (excluding drinks).
Now, I don’t want to brag, but normally I pick the most delicious options for each course and Chéri looks jealously at my plate. Not this time though. Chéri chose the “Soupe de Pain à la Tomate d’Estarac” (tomato bread soup) while I ordered the “Maquereau de Méditerranée en Escabèche” (Mediterranean marinated mackerel). Both starters were very good, but Chéri’s bread soup was just simply mouth-watering. The soup, presented as a sort of gazpacho ice cream, married perfectly with the added fresh herbs. I could barely steal a bite, as he wanted to keep it for himself. For the main course, we opted for the duck filet with a sweet potato mousseline and the fish of the day in “Aïgo Bolido” style, which is a provencal soup. Both were beautifully presented and tasted fantastic.
We were asked to pick our desserts at the beginning of our meal. Not a problem for us, as we always order one. Chéri went for the “Vacherin Café Frappé”, a typical French dessert consisting of a meringue shell filled with all kinds of whipped creams, ice cream and in this case a coffee cream. As I just came back from a trip to Marrakech, I couldn’t resist the “Verrine Retour de Marrakech”. The gorgeous flavours of dates, apple, grapes, orange zest and mint tea in this dessert brought me right back to the medina. All in all, we were very pleasantly surprised by this creative restaurant!