Dans Les Landes: fastest route to a food coma

First of all, I apologize for the quality of these photos. Simply put, the food was too darn lipsmackingly wonderful to spend time adjusting my camera settings.
No but really, Dans Les Landes is a treat. I have never been to this most Southwestern region of France, but if moving there insured one could eat like this on a daily basis, I would probably be running around frantically shoving my most beloved possessions into my Longchamp pliage, and leaving Lucie & André to fend for themselves. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. Hmm. Maybe…
My dinner buddy was a girlfriend who, lucky dog, happens to live just around the corner from the restaurant. I wouldn’t blame her if she stopped in every once and awhile to indulge in a glass of their refreshing white sangria:
To accompany our aperitif we sampled the croissant au jambon et beurre truffé- a small crispy croissaint with ham and truffle butter. It’s a good thing I don’t work in the kitchen at this resto, otherwise I may get fired for shoving these tiny pieces of awesomeness in my pockets for the commute home…

 

After aperitif, we attempted to make some decisions about dinner. Not an easy decision, given the incredible length of the menu (and the fact that I didn’t actually know what half of it was…):

 

We settled on a bottle of Chateau de Perchade, typical to the region:

And started in on the food. First up was the Rillettes de Sardines, a sort of fish paté served with little grilled toasts:

Then came my favorite of the night, the Croustillants de Polenta au Magret Fumé- crispy fried polenta dotted with pieces of smoked duck breast. This is where the photography really fails. They were golden, crispy and piping hot, and a bite revealed a creamy melt-in-your-mouth polenta the likes of which I’ve never tasted. Top that off with the little surprise morsels of duck breast, and well, it was a very much a food revelation. And as much as it sounds gourmet, I assure you that this is the ultimate drunk food. Gourmet drunk food. Actually, I think that might be the proper translation of tapas:

Here is the Poitrine de Cochon Croustillant aux Eaces. I am still not sure what eaces are, I can only assume they are some kind of spice. Anyway, the crispy pork belly was, well crispy, and quite sweet–almost reminded me of chinese barbecue spare ribs:

Then there was the most obligatory tapas I know of, Chipirons Frits- fried calamari. And it was served in a shoe !

And lastly, and I swear, for some reason we thought we were getting a relatively healthy vegetable-y option in ordering the Panis au chorizo et romarin. In my defense, I didn’t know what panis are, and pretended not to see the word chorizo. Rosemary counts as a vegetable, right ? Anyway, they turned ou to be the very gourmet version of mozzarella sticks: little fried nuggets of cheese with spicy chorizo and rosemary inside. Again. Miam. [edit: apparently these are not cheese nuggets as previously stated, but rather a sort of fried chick pea beignet. The only explanation I can come up with for confusing chick peas with fried cheese is that this resto is pretty much awesome.]

And after all of this, you’d think there wasn’t room for dessert. But looking at the dessert board, we just had to try the one unrecongizable option: Millassou Landais Croustillant, Confit de Vieux Garçon:

This is where I have no more pictures, as my camera sadly became too tired and jealous of the tapas-fest and ran out of battery, so I will do my best to describe this spirited dessert. The Millassou seem to be a sort of sweet fried cheese stick, which should be dipped into the confiture. I, however, had no idea what confiture de Vieux Garçon was. Further research has revealed that Vieux Garçon is away of preserving a seasonal mixture of fruits with alcohol. I would guess that these were fall fruits, as the confit was slightly figuey. But the combination was intoxicating, though not as much as the Armagnac a la Framboise that we washed it all down with. That’s right, folks, Raspberry Armagnac. You have my permission to breathe a sigh of jealousy.

I really have nothing negative to say about Dans Les Landes. The service was friendly and attentive, yet terribly patient in the face of our difficulty in making ordering decisions (obviously the most life-or-death of decisions). The server even advised us to order one less dish, as she feared our excitement over the menu was far bigger than our appetites.

I also enjoyed the atmosphere. We were seated at a small table for two people, however had we come in larger numbers, we would have been seated on stools on a large communal table which reminded me of my hippie co-op days, though far more classy. The music was good, yet unobtrusive, and the lighting dim yet light enough to see what we were eating.

I would say “please please go !” in order to keep this new business alive, but I hardly think they’ll have any difficulty. I do advise reserving a day or two ahead of time, as I saw a couple of walk-ins turned away. Oh, and if you want to check it out, please invite me !

Dans Les Landes
119 bis Rue Monge
01.45.87.06.00

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