Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Restaurant A Merendella, Soccia

We’d spotted a couple of restaurants whilst negotiating the tortuous bends and exasperating one way system of Soccia – this is not a village for drivers of a nervous disposition – but we’d spotted an interesting sign for the Restaurant A Merendella on the Route de l’Eglise, so we thought we’d take a look before making a final decision.

The restaurant is well signposted, but what they don’t tell you is that it’s almost impossible to negotiate the narrow streets even in a small car. We came to an impasse with walls sticking out into the road in three directions and a huge drainage ditch about 20cm deep – eek! A friendly local came out to help guide us through it, but Florence was having none of that and started berating the woman for living in such a badly designed village!! We eventually found the restaurant and it only took one look to know that this was the one.

The rustic tables and chairs are arranged in a garden with a beautiful view of the valley, and pretty lanterns hanging from the trees. There was a small kitchen garden in the corner where the chefs were gathering aubergines and herbs for the meals, so we knew we’d chosen well.

The restaurant offers a choice of 5 entrées and 5 main courses as well as a selection of scrummy looking desserts and cheeses. We chose two different starters and main courses as we like to swap and try as many things as possible, but I would have happily eaten any of the dishes they proposed as they all sounded absolutely delicious.

We started with Aubergine Farcis (aubergines stuffed with Tome, a Corsican cheese) and served on a delicious tomato sauce, and Croustillant de Chèvre (crunchy goats cheese parcels) on a bed of salad with a tasty dressing and sundried tomatoes. The main courses were duck with caramelised onions and vegetables, and figatellu (a Corsican style spicy sausage) in an artistic potato tower served with courgettes julienne. I am sure the desserts would have been delicious, but we were just too full to try!

The sunset behind the mountains was absolutely stunning with hues from peach through to deep purple, but all too soon it was time to head back to the hotel. The meal was really good, and for 25€ a head I thought it was good value for what we'd had, but this is definitely one to visit on foot.

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