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Hypnotic

Restaurants in Bordeaux and Poitou Charentes?

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Hello,

I'll be driving from Paris to Bordeaux to spend a weekend at Les Sources de Caudalie, adjacent to the Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard, in Martillac in December. On the way back, I would like to stay overnight at an inn/chateau with a good restaurant. Ofcourse if there is a noteworthy restaurant without accomodation, that's fine also. Unfortunately I'll be travelling on a Sunday, so I realize that my options may be limited.

Places I've come across so far:

-Grand Hotel du Lion d'or, ROMORANTIN-LANTHENAY, Chef Didier Clement (Michelin 2 star)

-Chateau de Curzay, Vienne. Restaurant - La Cedraie, Chef Eric Jan (Michelin 1 star)

Any suggestions??

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It was about a half dozen years ago that we stayed and ate at Moulin de la Gorce, in St. Yrieix la Perche, near Roche l'Abeille which is south of Limoges. It was quite lovely and our meal was excellent. We've not been back to the area, so I don't have an update with more recent information. It was also midsummer. The grounds may not be so verdant and there might not be ducks in the pond, nor sheep in the meadow at the far side of the pond, but I imagine the house monbazillac would still complement the foie gras. One star then and I believe it's still one star. It was also about the least expensive Relais Chateau I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

The Grand Hotel du Lion d'Or, in Romorantin, is a really excellent choice. We stayed and ate there last year and were thoroughly impressed with the food and the inn although in a way I found the decor a bit too urbane in some public areas, but that's not a fault. The food, while certainly not old fashioned or stodgy, is not on the cutting edge of creativity. In spite of that, or maybe because of it, my meal there was one of the most memorable meals I had last year. Most guide books and reviews seem to suggest one have the saddle of hare, but I couldn't resist the hare stew with bitter chocolate. That dish alone enshrined Didier Clement in my memory, although the interestingly seasoned pigeon was also reason enough to make me want to return. We sort of built our own tasting menu by splitting dishes between us. My only regret was that I was too full for cheese and the selection looked incredible. Arrive here with a good appetite. I also recall an interesting list of Loire wines which would be a contrast to what you probably had in Bordeaux. The inn is quite a bit more plush than the Moulin de la Gorce.

Not far away just north of the Loire, Domaine des Hautes de Loire in Onzain is another choice. It is really in the country and has spectacular acreage. We enjoyed long walks in the leaf strewn woods. I also appreciated the more provincial, though by no means rustic, style of the buidlings and rooms. Overall, we enjoyed it as much as the Grand Hotel du Lion d'Or, but I might have to give the Lion d'Or the slight edge in terms of the cuisine, although both are two stars. In general terms of comfort and luxury, they are in the same league. I believe they may be closed in December and January however. You don't say when you are going to be making the trip. I've found a lot of the better country inns take a good vacation sometime in the winter.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Bonjour, bonjour. I'm spending 3 days attending the Bordeaux Wine School. Could any of you please tell me where I should eat my dinners in Bordeaux? Nothing trop cher -- just a woman on her own looking for a relaxed atmosphere and good cooking (say, main courses about 20 Euros or less) and somewhere I won't feel like a freak eating on my own.

Anything else I should be sure to check out whilst there?

Thank you. - Freckles

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Bonjour, bonjour.  I'm spending 3 days attending the Bordeaux Wine School.  Could any of you please tell me where I should eat my dinners in Bordeaux?  Nothing trop cher -- just a woman on her own looking for a relaxed atmosphere and good cooking (say, main courses about 20 Euros or less) and somewhere I won't feel like a freak eating on my own.

Anything else I should be sure to check out whilst there?

Thank you.  - Freckles

I was there last month. Across the street from the school is L'Entrecote. They serve one thing there: steak and frites. 16 Euros. Excellent sliced entrecote with great fries, quick service, extremely busy. A must try is La Tupina. Great, simple Southwest cooking. I liked it so much, we ate there twice in 3 days. It's on the Quai de la Monnaie near the river. There are plenty of simple bistros along the pieton just past the Grande Theatre de Bordeaux.


Mark

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La Tupina comes to mind immediately.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I second La Tupina. It's good, and hearty! The cassoulet is excellent.

L'Entrecote is fun, but I think it's best suited to a group (so assemble a group and go!); you sit at long tables and everyone gets the same thing, steak and fries.

Be sure to visit Jean D'alos, a cheese 'affineur' and seller. His shop is amazing and he is one of the few master affineurs in France. (His main shop is near the center of town, and his other shop is a bit farther away...I prefer the main shop.)

Also Saunion chocolate shop is wonderful too.

Thierry, the chocolatier and ownder, makes great chocolates.

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Bonjour, bonjour.  I'm spending 3 days attending the Bordeaux Wine School.  Could any of you please tell me where I should eat my dinners in Bordeaux?

Great; let me stretch this thread a bit.

We'll be driving between Bordeaux and Nantes (actually the Coast Road between Royan and St Jean de Monts; don't ask); all great finds and secret places gratefully and, I hope, gracefully received; nasty comments and one-ups will be ignored.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Report of three days in the Poitou-Charentes; eg between Bordeaux and Nantes

Due to a fortunate opportunity, we recently spent three days in the area between Bordeaux and Nantes and ate rather well. The highpoint was probably our first day, at a lunch at la Cape in Cenon, a couple of kilometers North-East of Bordeaux and one of Sebastien Demorand’s three favorite restaurants in France last year, a one star Michelin and one of the 150 restos run by young chefs, reviewed in “Le Carnet de route Omnivore 2006,” a guidebook published by l’Epure (24 E), written by Dubranchet, Demorand & Petrini. We both had the menu of 45E and with wine and coffee had a superb meal at a cost of 110E. The chef is indeed talented and as the Omnivore Guide notes, his time with Camdeborde and Constant shows in his solid cooking with seasonal ingredients and modern touches.

The next day was one of those spectacular October days, sunny and warm (70 degrees), and we dined in the garden at Le Bruant in Saint-Porchaire, a Michelin two fork/knifer and we had the menu (29 E) and an a la carte tarte of tomato and cheese and ris de veau = 80 E. Our final highspot was the last night in a suburb (Saint Herblain) of Nantes, where we ate at a two fork/knife Bib Gourmand – Les Caudalies and both of us had incredible langoustines (prepared differently) and fresh fish for a total of 69 E.

We also had one better-than-expected but not spectacular meal at Le Tilleuil in Saintes for 44.20 E, a fall back since the two fork/knifer Ciboulette across the street from our hotel was shuttered definitively. Finally, the disaster of the trip was at Les Mangeux de Lumas in Sansais (outside Niort), which we chose because Gault-Millau showed an upgoing arrow, by the edge of the water of a camping/resort area; the eel was over-breaded, over-cooked and over-the-hill and the pot au feu huge but essentially tasteless; ironically, this was one of the most pricey meals of this little tour – 98.40 E.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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John, no stop at Ile de Ré? I've heard that the seafood there is spectacular and very simply prepared. Great time of year there now, as well!

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John, no stop at Ile de Ré?  I've heard that the seafood there is spectacular and very simply prepared.  Great time of year there now, as well!

Ah well, that's a whole other story; we prefer the Ile d'Yeu (a secret place one guards closely and doesn't mention on sites like eGullet) to the Ile de Ré; tuna-fishing capital, good haricots and passable chevres. We'll be holding a family reunion in June there and are looking forward to biking, grilling and eating. Have I spoiled the secret?


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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We're spending most of May in La Rochelle, Saintes, and Poitiers, ending up with a week near Montrichard, south of Amboise. We have reservations at Richard Coutanceau and Les 4 Sergents in La Rochelle, Le Cheval Blanc in Bléré, and Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux. I would love any recommendations for dining in this region of France, and I'll report back when I return. Thanks for the help.

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We're spending most of May in La Rochelle, Saintes, and Poitiers, ending up with a week near Montrichard, south of Amboise.  We have reservations at Richard Coutanceau and Les 4 Sergents in La Rochelle, Le Cheval Blanc in Bléré, and Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux.  I would love any recommendations for dining in this region of France, and I'll report back when I return.  Thanks for the help.

This is from last October (2005)

Report of three days in the Poitou-Charentes; eg between Bordeaux and Nantes

Due to a fortunate opportunity, we recently spent three days in the area between Bordeaux and Nantes and ate rather well.  The highpoint was probably our first day, at a lunch at la Cape in Cenon, a couple of kilometers North-East of Bordeaux and one of Sebastien Demorand’s three favorite restaurants in France last year, a one star Michelin and one of the 150 restos run by young chefs, reviewed in “Le Carnet de route Omnivore 2006,” a guidebook published by l’Epure (24 E), written by Dubranchet, Demorand & Petrini.  We both had the menu of 45E and with wine and coffee had a superb meal at a cost of 110E.  The chef is indeed talented and as the Omnivore Guide notes, his time with Camdeborde and Constant shows in his solid cooking with seasonal ingredients and modern touches.

The next day was one of those spectacular October days, sunny and warm (70 degrees), and we dined in the garden at Le Bruant in Saint-Porchaire, a Michelin two fork/knifer and we had the menu (29 E) and an a la carte tarte of tomato and cheese and ris de veau = 80 E.  Our final highspot was the last night in a suburb (Saint Herblain) of Nantes, where we ate at a two fork/knife Bib Gourmand – Les Caudalies and both of us had incredible langoustines (prepared differently) and fresh fish for a total of 69 E.

We also had one better-than-expected but not spectacular meal at Le Tilleuil in Saintes for 44.20 E, a fall back since the two fork/knifer Ciboulette across the street from our hotel was shuttered definitively. Finally, the disaster of the trip was at Les Mangeux de Lumas in Sansais (outside Niort), which we chose because Gault-Millau showed an upgoing arrow, by the edge of  the water of a camping/resort area; the eel was over-breaded, over-cooked and over-the-hill and the pot au feu huge but essentially tasteless; ironically, this was one of the most pricey meals of this little tour – 98.40 E.

I might add that Demorand again mentions Le Cape in this month's Regal that Lucy refers to in her Digest with a recipe - Cabillaud roti, sucestte d’encornet de La Cape, à Cenon.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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