Living in Venlo, we've been hosted for dinner at La Mangerie many times. Gerry Cals is a marvellous hostess and husband Hans in the kitchen must be one of the very best cooks in Limburg. The restaurant is not very large and has a lovely intimate atmosphere with pleasant wall hangings - some crocheted or sewn by Gerry herself. The kitchen is surprisingly small for the absolutely wonderful food.
Tables are appropriately set, and there's enough space so as not to encroach on others. Good lighting with menucards printed clearly.
Excellent wine list with good and honest prices.
BUT the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Last night we had an utterly sumptuous five-course lobster menu. Starting out with some amuses; then an exquisite pufflet of lobster on black tiger prawns and thinly cut grilled courgettes. Second course was smoked filet of sole with lobster on noodles blackened with squid ink and a sauce of lime. Amazingly fine,all of this. Our third course was an oven-prepared tartlet of lobster, ratatouille, cod, all embellished with a tomato-paprika sauce and fresh basil. Main course consisted of a small steamed lobster with saffran and garnished by marsh samphire; fresh spring vegetables and creamed potatoes. An astonishing desert with blackberries, mint icecream and almond pastry. Of course we'd selected a nice with Veltliner and later a Blaufranken as our wines.
We were both highly enthusiastic. We've been having their Lobster Menu annually for many years now; they've always been excellent, but for this one Hans Cals rose even above his other high points.
Highly recommended! Worth a detour to Venlo!
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