Friday, October 14, 2011


Chez Léon

Finished the painting at last! And it’s still sunny and warm! We celebrated by making our not-quite-annual pilgrimage to Chez Léon, our favourite village restaurant, tucked away off the beaten track at Cateri, in the Balagne. Here’s why we love it so much (apart from the great view of Ste. Antonino from the restaurant - see right) ...

Starters: we both had Corsican soup. The soup (actually more of a thick vegetable broth) arrived in a huge tureen from which we could serve ourselves. Knowing what was to follow, we ate sparingly and only used half of what was on offer.

Seconds: beignets de courgettes. The thinnest slivers of courgette, deep fried in batter, olive oil and herbs. I am sure there is a secret to the way Mme. Andreani prepares these but we have yet to discover it – delicious!

Main course: I had civet de sanglier (wild boar); Chris had veal (humanely brought up here in Corsica I believe). My wild boar came on the bone, but it was so tender the meat fell off it. Mine was served with dauphinoise potatoes; Chris’s came with aubergines.

Fourth course: cheese - Corsican cheese, of course. We were each served with two smallish pieces of cheese – one a chevre, the other a brebis and a little fig jam. I could happily eat the chevre with the lovely fig jam all day, but when it came to the brebis... hmmh, I think I met my match! It was absolutely inedible. I can honestly say I have never had such foul cheese in all my life. On a scale of 1 to 10, strength was about 19, foulness about 32. But interesting and very Corsican!!!

Last course: tiramisou. Absolutely delicious.

All of this washed down with a glass or two of a Sartene rosé and some Orezza sparkling mineral water. All in all a wonderful meal (I didn’t have to eat the cheese did I?) This five-course meal cost us 28 euros per person with the drinks a little extra.

Great value. If you have just one Corsican menu while you’re in Corsica, make it Chez Léon in Cateri.

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