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Carlovski

Brittany

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This chambre d'hote on the south coast was our alternate choice (the one we did not visit). It's owner is a retired chef from Lapérouse who serves an evening meal at 20€. Rooms are 60€.

eGullet member #80.

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Hello francophiles...

I'm reviving this thread... I hope this topic hasn't been covered elsewhere...

I'm looking for a recommendation for the quintessential Bretón creperie... nothing fancy, just that magical crossroads of ambience, perfect ingredients, and delicious food. Any ideas? It can be anywhere in Brittany... perhaps there's an article out there already on the topic? I haven't been able to turn anything up googling, but I can read French if there's something good out there.

Ah, just thinking about Brittany is bringing back such happy, buttery memories.

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Try Ty Saozhon, in Roscoff. Be careful, it has rather strange opening hours. Other crêperies in the neighborhood will be good, galettes and krampouez are of high quality in Roscoff.

Now that the crêpe makers at Chez Angèle in Riec-sur-Belon (29) have left the place, South Brittany has lost one of its best crêpe restaurants. Excellent crêpes (famous all over South Finistère) can still be found in Pont-Aven. I forgot the name of the place but it is a little off the center, as you go uphill to exit the city in the direction of Riec-sur-Belon, on the right-side sidewalk.

Good crêpes are not that easy to come by, even in Brittany. For instance most crêperies in Brest are no good. Buckwheat crêpes should be thin and crispy (kraz), with the slightly caramelly taste buckwheat gets when fried in pure butter.

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Thanks for the lead, Ptipois. I found tantalizingly little info on the place online (under the spelling Ti Saozon, just in case anyone is looking in the future), which leads me to suspect that it's the kind of place that people like to keep to themselves... I know just the buttery, crispy gallette texture you are talking about... I had the great luck in college of living for a year with a woman who formerly ran a creperie but was stuck at home (cooking!!) with a bad back. She spared no butter, because she thought we were all too skinny. Ah, memories. Thanks again!

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Thanks for the lead, Ptipois. I found tantalizingly little info on the place online (under the spelling Ti Saozon, just in case anyone is looking in the future), which leads me to suspect that it's the kind of place that people like to keep to themselves...

No, just a crêperie (and not a destination restaurant). It's difficult enough to get in, so it's self-guarded. No need to keep it to oneself.

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Sorry to read here that Chez Angele is no more.

I hope CHEZ JAKY is still there in Belon,

for great , fresh, honest seafood.


Edited by cigalechanta (log)

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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We actually weren't able to go in April and are now going in September, with a sleepover itinerary of Rennes, Vannes, Quimper, Perros-Guirec or environs, maybe Brehat, Dinan, and Dol de Bretagne. Thus, any recommendations along that circle, which will also include Gourin, will be much appreciated.

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You should not miss a meal at Jean-Paul Abadie in Lorient. You'll have to find it in the suburban zone between a Décathlon and a Leclerc, but it's well worth the visit.

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It's a Carrefour, not a Leclerc.

That Leclerc was purely rhetorical. I could have written Auchan.

Abra, Brittany is homey and good. It is also very friendly, especially in South Finistère and the inner country (Monts d'Arrée). I have no precise spots to recommend because I tend to be happy everywhere in that region. A lot of activity revolves around the crêperies and (an institution quite unique to Brittany) the "cafés alternatifs" — there seems to be at least one in every small town — where you can sit and drink but also meet people, listen to music, view artwork, read and borrow books, and sometimes eat. The most spectacular example I have found so far is in Saint-Herbot, near the church (which should by all means be seen).

Keeping it homey and good, there is generally at least one good hotel-restaurant on every harbor or beach. Follow the natives on Saturdays and Sundays. The moules-frites are also very good, Brittany has developed a style of its own for that dish.

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Here is link to a NY Times article on a small part of Brittany.

Wish I could afford the hotel prices they quote!

And of course (got to get the food angle in) they dined upon crepes - I think.

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Here is link to a NY Times article on a small part of Brittany.

Wish I could afford the hotel prices they quote!

And of course (got to get the food angle in) they dined upon crepes - I think.

Quiberon is one of the chic destinations. Many places and resorts in Brittany cater to more modest incomes.

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oysters oysters and more oysters!!!!

guerande is great and if you can get right to the water you pass the salt fields and head to a seafood restaurant right on the water (the locals know which one it is). sorry

calvados

something that is quite famous and entertaining is to go to La Mere poulard at Mont St. Michel - it is a restaurant right on the mont and they are famous for a particular way of doing omlettes. You can even watch how they make it - and you'll no doubt hear it. This area is also known for salt marsh lamb - yum!

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Also if you haven't booked hotels - try the book - Special places to stay by Alistair Sawday. It's basically really amazing bed and breakfasts. We stayed in villas, castles, old mansions and gites that were beautiful, stylish, very local and the people were friendly - more importantly they were not crazy prices. These were the best people to talk to about food as well.

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calvados

is Norman...

something that is quite famous and entertaining is to go to La Mere poulard at Mont St. Michel - it is a restaurant right on the mont

which is in Normandy.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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Here is link to a NY Times article on a small part of Brittany.

Those of us consulting today's (Aug 3) hard-copy of the NYT Mag will note that it appeared in its print version on Sunday although it was posted on the Internet on Saturday.

Also FYI: the restos mentioned are: the low-calorie, no-wine Sofitel Diététique and the Villa Margot + Les Mouettes as well as the Maison Riguidel + Maison d’Armorine.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Jeepers, those Quiberon prices are unreal. We're staying in Rennes, Vannes, Quimper, Perros-Guirec, Ile de Bréhat, and Dol de Bretagne, and I think the most expensive place, in Bréhat, is 113 a night.

More money for restaurants, that's how I look at it. I do kind of have a plan to have one galette/crepe meal per day, though. Therefore I might sneak Abadie in somehow, although I'm thinking that pure traditional county-style Breton food is what will appeal to us. The salt marsh lamb will definitely be on the menu as my huisband won't touch an oyster to save his life.

And since I've never seen the Mont St. Michel, we will take a small detour into Normandy for that. Is La Mère Poulard worth going to or more just a touristical thing?

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Is La Mère Poulard worth going to or more just a touristical thing?

My opinion: skip it and be sure to get to the Mont early or late or it's like Grand Central.

For other opinions see here.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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You might also want to skip the pré-salé lamb, the quality is not very reliable and I haven't had a good experience with that kind of lamb for whole ages.

Since the days pré-salé was famous, other lambs have attracted attention (allaiton de l'Aveyron, agneau de Lozère, du Limousin, de Sisteron, des Alpilles) and they are more interesting IMO.

What is definitely a must in the Cancale region is the seafood, butter and vegetables (pré-salé vegetables are more reliable than lamb, so it seems).

And in the same vicinity, I do recommend the crêperie du Télégraphe in Saint-Marcan.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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Are there any places you would recommend in Quimper?

I just wanted to report back that I had a nice experience at L'Ambroisie in Quimper. The menu includes a list of the sources for all their ingredients used in their kitchen. Eating at L'Ambroisie was the highlight of my 3 days of eating in Quimper.

Their dessert featuring Plougastel strawberries, included marinated strawberries with pepper, some sort of crispy tuile filled with strawberry fool, and a strawberry ice cream, were fantastic. The nicest use of strawberries I have encountered.

The Epee Brasserie, one of the few restaurants open on Sunday nights (the night we arrived) served coutriade, but I was disappointed to find much of the fish was overcooked. I was surprised to see that their stock seemed to include tomato, as most traditional recipes I've seen do not. Monday night, another night when many of the better restaurants are closed, we tried another restaurant billed as a 'traditional' restaurant, but I was disappointed to find my duck in framboise sauce tasted rancid.

I was happy to find each crepe I ordered in Brittany was delightful in its own way, regardless of whether it was found in a commercial district, a commercial district, or on a quiet street. Over 4 days, I tried a salted butter caramel, feve de tonka ice cream and chocolate crepe in Rennes, a honey lemon crepe in Rennes, a 3 cheese crepe in Vannes (mostly different goat cheeses), and a crab galette in Quimper (at L'Ambroisie).


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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Thanks, you guys, although I'm not sure we'll actually make it to the fancy places since we'll be packing light - any recommendations for places that are homey and good?

If you do go to Dinan, the Cantorbery is quite 'homey': a wonderful old building, very traditional cuisine, meat cooked over the fire, etc. I've been there several times and really enjoyed it. However, I did see somewhere a suggestion that it may have changed hands since my last visit. [ Address: 3 Rue Haute Voie, 22100 Dinan; Tel: 0296394705]

My favourite restaurant in the town, though, is l'Auberge du Pelican which is more contemporary, consistently excellent and offers great value for money. [ Address: 6 Rue Ste Claire, 22100 Dinan; Tel: 0296390252]

I don't think either has a website, but both are listed in Michelin if you have a copy.

Caroline

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Is La Mère Poulard worth going to or more just a touristical thing?

Forget about La Mère Poulard. It's interesting seeing the men whipping eggs in these copper bowls. The windows are open and you might have a look to the procedure in the kitchen, but the dish "Omelette a la Mère Poularde" is nothing to have been tasted. I didn't like it and after the first bit I've sent it back to the kitchen. Even the other meals are not worth to step in. Cancale, St.Malo and Erquay are much more better places to eat. (Remember the adresses I've sent to you).


H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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