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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Two-Michelin stars for lunch at Le Castellas

Our table at Le Castellas awaits, but one of us got there first and left his water bottle.
That's me, third from the right, with members of our press group visiting the South of France. 

One of the best meals of my recent trip was enjoyed at Le Castellas, which enjoys two Michelin stars for both its 20-room hotel and its dining, which is overseen by Chef Jerome Nutile.

La Castellas is in the cobblestone village of Collias between Nimes and Avignon. Its perfectly restored building originated in the 1700s and retain all the charming details of another time, along with the conveniences, such as air conditioning, that people expect  in the 21st century.

I was served this wondrous dish of truffle napped asparagus. Who said a diabetic must be deprived?

Because I am a diabetic who carefully controls by consumption of carbohydrates, the kitchen was advised of this when our reservation was made. Our press group was escorted to the lush terrace, where an ancient wisteria spread its shade and water from fountains splashed in the background.

My amuse bouche.

An amuse bouche, served on a tiny cutting board for each of us, included a tiny pork fritter with tartar sauce,  smooth chicken liver mousse in a shot glass, a miniature cake with anchovies and a tiny pizza served lollipop style on a toothpick. That certainly got our attention for starters.
Sommelier Jean-Luc Sauron oversaw the pouring of a local Viognier. Because of my diet restrictions, my meal was somewhat different than the others.  Our tuxedoed servers all sported bright green ties, a color that was echoed with my dish of asparagus napped with slices of truffles.
The main course was veal with foie gras and wild mushrooms with summer veggies napped with walnut oil.
Fresh baked rolls are always a mainstay and choices abound.

I passed on dessert but admired its appearance.  Find out more at

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