Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eat, drink and be merry!

Far from spending all our time visiting châteaux and cathedrals, we do enjoy sitting at bistros and having a drink, or appreciating fine dining.

Pétillant Rosé
Here we are in Montsoreau.  I am sipping an afternoon treat of "rosé pétillant" (pink champagne), while Karl is having a Heineken.  The waiter's pronunciation was such that Karl kept hearing "in a can", and he kept answering, "Non, sous pression", which means I want a draft.  They eventually understood each other and Karl got his draft beer, which happened to be a Heineken.  Just hilarious.

Heineken (in a can)

We also returned to a favourite restaurant of ours in Chinon - "Au Chapeau Rouge".

Menu cover

We had met and taken a photograph of the chef, Christophe Duguin, on our last visit.  This time, perhaps because they were short-staffed, he is the one who served us our meal personally! 


We each had 3 little appetizers: a puree of peas with pea shoots that we spooned like a soup; a Chinese spoon filled with a bite of fish and a dill mousse; and a melted cheese slice sprinkled with black pepper.

Velouté d'asperges
Fish Tartar

For an entrée, Karl had the asparagus soup which was so smooth it carries the name "velvet" very well.  I had the fish tartar, which did look a bit like a cat's breakfast, but was delicious.  Its recipe even graces the restaurant's brochure!  It consists of: fresh fish from the Loire (alose), dried tomatoes, fennel, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, shallots, salt & pepper.

Karl and I both ordered the same main dish, which was pork tenderloin topped with foie gras, lots of mushrooms in a rich sauce, with a side of fava beans and cherry tomatoes.

Pork Tenderloin

Desserts were awesome!  Karl had a pineapple dish and I had a strawberry dish.  Each theme was presented in a variety of different ways - each one delicious!



And just when we thought we were finished came the coffee and candy.  This is the restaurant where I first tasted the chocolate-covered candied orange peels and replicated it at home - to rave reviews.

Macarons, candied orange peels, white chocolate with candied fruit

Just as a general comment, Karl and I feel that the prices have gone up in France since two years ago.  Wine and restaurant meals seem to be the most obvious.  But, since we purchased more Euros with our Canadian dollar this year (1: 1.3 vs. 1: 1.5 two years ago), we will not complain.


  1. So, how many calories in that meal?

    1. In France we are absolved of all calories, including those found in bread, cheese, chocolate, wine, croissants... I think there is a French fairy god-mother that waves a magic wand above all the food and voilà - all calories disappear!