Out of order alert! This post is the follow up to our Bolognese adventures. After arriving into the Boardeaux area from Bologna via Ryanair and resting for a bit (the maximum amount of rest I would allow DH, had all the calls been up to me), we set out to explore the city and find L’Estacade, one of the recommendations from the Fodors France 2010 guidebook. We would come to rely on many Fodors restaurant recommendations for dining in France. With a sense of “phew, we made it”, we walked into L’Estacade after a long, leisurely walk in the Garonne riverfront area. It was quite the trek after a long day of travel – literally a “trains, planes, and automobiles” day – but a gorgeous one. Bordeaux’s architecture owes a lot to Paris. They wanted to be just as glamorous, but right by the water and it worked out just fine for them. It is a gorgeous, compact urban center that was declared part of the world heritage by UNESCO.
When we walked into the restaurant, we were marveled at the view. The whole restaurant has glass panes that provide an unobstructed view of the city. Had we made reservations, we might have gotten a better view, but it was fantastic just as it was. We started out with a celebratory aperitif of Sauternes wine. Sauternes is a French dessert wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux. Sauternes is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. This causes the grapes to become partially raisined, resulting in concentrated and distinctively flavored wines.
To continue varying from our Italian wine experience, we ordered a white Bordeaux blend, the 2007 Clanderelle. Straight out of the Clanderelle website, the blend was made of
- The Semillon is dominated by a white floral and lemon fragrance with hints of beeswax and honey. It provides a fairly full body and tends to be low in acidity. The Semillon possesses an extraordinary richness and a succulent texture.
- The Sauvignon is characterised by its grapefruit, mineral, lemon lime and melon-like fragrance. It shows a great intensity of flavour. The Sauvignon contributes “freshness”, as well as a balanced acidity and a dry citrus finish to the wine.
As for dinner, per se, we started out with a goat cheese in phyllo entreé (in the French sense – starter/appetizer), which I am trying hard to remember but cannot remember much other than the fact that there were two, served with some microgreens, and that it was probably delicious. The main course, a seafood platter, was much more memorable. It had several types of fish, including salmon and shrimp, and was served with a corn souffle/mousse. Bordeaux is a seafood town, and we could appreciate the fresh catch. The piece de resistance was dessert – a gorgeous tarte tatin served with a gingerbread and apple sorbet. I remember vividly the caramel sticking to my teeth. I had not had anything like that apple sorbet before. It was just the fuel we needed to walk out to the bridge to catch the ‘streetcar’ back to the hotel and definitely the most memorable dessert in a Bordelaise meal.