Restaurant Le Saint Roch is nestled in a quiet corner of the historical town of Pézenas. From its stylist iron window shutters and quirky name sign, to the hand painted name cards and stunning white piano, Le Saint Roch exudes an artsy vibe. The menu is even hand written onto a plate for a touch of ‘kitsch’ – they could have done with a few more though as I had to wait for the plate to be passed around a couple of tables.
After having spent the morning photographing the town centre, I treated myself to a glass of wine and relaxed in the homely atmosphere. I felt almost as if I were dining at my Grandparents house – that is not to say the interior is outdated or tasteless, my Gran have a lovely Victorian home – rather I got this impression from the homely touches dotted about the restaurant, such as the wooden piano, decorative hearth, vases of flowers and many paintings hung on the walls. I found it to be a very relaxing place where I could happily sit for hours with my wine and a good book – despite the restaurant being rather small and rather busy, the welcoming waitress didn’t rush me through my meal and out the door to make room for the next set of paying customers.
I have always thought that a concise menu is a good thing, as surely each dish can be afforded ample attention for perfect execution. This was most definitely the case at Le Saint Roch. I chose the Magret de Canard ((€16); a French classic of pan-fried duck breast. It came with potatoes that had most likely been roasted in duck fat for an incredible crispy and golden exterior, as well as French beans and a medley of roasted carrots and parsnip, infused with aromatic thyme and finished with a touch of butter.
The sides were delicious, but the duck was the star; perfectly crisp skin and blushing pink meat. The chef managed to get an extraordinary char on the duck breast while keeping the middle, as requested, “on the rare side of medium-rare.”
Not wanting dessert after having snacked on a few sweet treats while walking around the town, I finished my meal with a smooth espresso; my chosen blend picked out from a bowl of sachets marked with various roasts, strengths and tastes.
A lovely day and a lovely meal.