Years ago when we first visited, Beziers’ covered market was a disappointment. They seem to have spent some time in the interim, though, upgrading the quality of the merchants on the inside and there’s substantial construction taking place around the exterior to facilitate traffic circulation. I don’t think that the end result will rival Les Halles in Narbonne but I’m glad for the improvements. When we were in Beziers for a morning appointment and afternoon shopping recently, Les Halles was along the way. We decided to see what sort of lunch we could find. We found Hallegria. We were not disappointed.
At noon the market was winding down and Hallegria was almost deserted. We needn’t have worried. By the time that we finished, a lively crowd had gathered. It turns out that Hallegria has a dedicated entrance from the outside and is therefore not totally dependent on Les Halles traffic and hours. The menu on a large, fold-up chalk board was wheeled over and was quite comprehensive. But we all settled for the formula of the day. Start and main or main and dessert for 14.50 euros, all three for 17.50 euros. The start was rillette of saumon fume, two scoops of shredded smoked salmon held together with creme fraiche and topped by lemon wedges. A small side of greens with a pleasant balsamic dressing accompanied the rillette perfectly. Three grilled lamb chops provided the centerpiece of a main plate that included a mound of creamy mashed potatoes, sauteed trumpets, and a taste of ratatouille. Fine French lamb properly grilled. For dessert, a boule of vanilla ice cream between bits of pastry with red fruit and dollops of chantilly. Very refreshing. Our water bottle was kept full and cold. There was plenty of fresh, grainy, crusty bread. And we finished off a bottle of nice rose.
Service was attentive without being intrusive. Food came in an orderly, unhurried fashion. And although three of our party of four only ordered two of the three courses, we all left full and satisfied. 77 euros total, a bit more than a three-course featuring steak/frites and jug wine but of superior quality. Well worth the price.
PS: While Hallegria doesn’t have the feel of a sports bar, there were two televisions in sight of our table. They were showing Moto GP. As a motorhead, I found that an added bonus. You might not.