Bourdeilles Restaurants

Most Recent Restaurants in Bourdeilles

  • Restaurants: General Notes

    by bengeo Updated Sep 13, 2011

    Partly because of the economic climate, the only time to guarantee that restaurants are open is during the summer. In the winter (October to March), most of the restaurants are either closed or working very restricted hours. Some examples:

    Les Tilleuls - CLOSED (September to Easter, most evenings during high season)
    Le Dolce Vita - OPEN evenings, Apr-Sep
    Le Donjon - CLOSED (January - Easter, except special events)
    Les Griffons - CLOSED (October to Easter)
    Les Mets du Chateau - OPEN lunchtimes, CLOSED evenings (except Saturday, October to Easter)

    During the "high" tourist season, lunch is normally served from 12pm-1.45pm and evenings tend to be from 6pm-8.45pm.

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  • Les Tilleuls: A honeytrap... without the honey

    by bengeo Updated Jul 11, 2009

    This restaurant is so bad, it's listed twice - once here and again in the "Tourist Traps" section. It dominates the Place de la Halle, and so is the most central restaurant reviewed in this section. Until about three years ago (2006), the owners made something of the advantageous location, serving acceptable food to a variety of tourists who would take lunch or an evening meal on the enormous terrace outside the front of the building. Then the owners sold the business and moved on, leaving the current proprietors a reasonably stable business with a smattering of local clients to supplement the tourist income that peaks during the summer.

    Three months after this, the impact of the new management made itself clear. The interior of the building was gutted and replaced with something that would not look out of place in a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the terrace had been covered over with cheap decking that gave the restaurant a distinctly nautical feel, if only because it is so uneven that seasickness is the only sure outcome of walking from one end of it to the other. Food has a tendency to drop down the gaps between the planks, and is therefore impossible to clean away - acting as a magnet for the rats and other rodents that can sometimes be heard scurrying around underneath your feet.

    Perhaps this is a cunning trick to add to the nautical theme, but a look at the menu and the surly staff is enough to convince one that the impossibility of cleaning the floor is the end result of yet another corner that the owners cut to keep their costs down and their margins high for the tourist season. The overruling philosophy seems to be that if one family group is dissatisfied with their food, the next day there'll be more idiots along to take their place. Unfortunately, this business model seems to work. Fortunately, this means that Les Tilleuls is rarely open in the evenings, even in the summer.

    If the menu at Les Griffons is confused and over-worked, this one is positively schizophrenic. A jumble of hors d'oeuvres, puddings and omelets clashes with a selection of inedible main courses, the only consistent design feature being that the prices are considerably more than what locals can afford. The overall effect of ordering anything on it is to waste the money paying for it and a good deal of time listening to the manager/waitress shout at the chef, demanding repeatedly how long it takes to unfreeze a steak with fries. The answer to that question is longer than the time given to actually complete the task. Although my food was steaming hot on the outside, the inner core of this meal was as cold as it was when it arrived in the van from the industrial caterer some weeks before. A disgrace to the traditions of French cuisine.

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  • HOSTELLERIE LES GRIFFONS - CHATEAUX & HOTELS DE FR: Expensive, but if you like that sort of thing...

    by bengeo Updated Jul 11, 2009

    This is the restaurant adjoining the "Hostellerie Des Griffons", and as such should be a centre of gastronomic excellence, given its location and the cost of eating there. A succession of owners has led to a succession of chefs and kitchen staff, resulting in a pretentious and over-worked menu that is best avoided. Once the menu has been interpreted, the quality of the orders, when they arrive, is questionable, and certainly not worth the premium paid for eating them. The only acceptable meal that I ate there was in 2007 when the previous owners imported a chef from the north of England to cover for the summer season, when a slice of Kangaroo served in a black cherry sauce was the dish of the day. I lost my appetite, however, when the bill arrived. Expect to pay upwards of 100€ for a light evening meal for two.

    Favorite Dish: None.

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  • La Dolce Vita: Life might be sweet...

    by bengeo Updated Apr 15, 2009

    An entirely new and untried venture, this could be either a great success, or...

    In fact, this is one of three restaurants in Bourdeilles that is not in any way affiliated with a hotel. The new owners have gone to great lengths to convert this former tea and antique shop into a modern Italian eaterie, and this will be their first season. At the moment, the jury is out - mainly because the local community seems to be bemused by the theme of La Dolce Vita but also because its location is slightly out of the centre of the village near the large and somewhat neglected parking area at the top.

    For this, and indeed all of the restaurants, local support is vital if they want to remain open outside the "high" tourist season (July-August). However, if the food is outstanding (and it would have to be), this place stands a chance of surviving its first season. The location may serve to the owners' advantage as well, but only if the planned pedestrianization of the village centre goes ahead soon. If it does, visitors will be almost obliged to take the high road to or from the car park and notice it in passing.

    Watch this space!

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  • Les Mets du Chateau: Excellent value home cooked fayre

    by bengeo Updated Apr 15, 2009

    This is the only restaurant in Bourdeilles that is open for the whole of the year. Around 10 years ago, to make such a claim would not have been very special, but economically, times have been hard for the region as a whole and so a large number of restaurants have either gone out of business or open only at certain times in the year. The exception is Les Mets du Chateau, which bravely opens every lunchtime, and from October to Easter is the only restaurant to open at all in the evening. Sadly, this is only one evening per week (Saturday) although they will open at other times for bookings of eight or more.

    The food is simple but authentic, and is mostly prepared in house. Some evenings are themed around a particular dish, so a "soirée cassoulet" (a local meat and bean casserole) or a "soirée moules-frites" will often be advertised on the boards outside. However, most of the time, the menu is fairly traditional, but the biggest draw has to be the lunchtime menu at 12€ which has soup, a starter, a main course and a dessert. Incredibly, wine and a coffee are included in this price. Although the courses may be considered by some to be small, there are enough of them to satisfy nearly everyone.

    Favorite Dish: The lunchtime menu, which represents exceptional value. Evening meals are good too because they add to the variety offered next door at the Donjon.

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  • Hostellerie Le Donjon: The "Resto Gourmand" of Bourdeilles

    by bengeo Updated Apr 15, 2009

    The restaurant attached to the Hostellerie Le Donjon is the longest surviving in Bourdeilles. The challenge of providing something that resembles "haute cuisine" was admirably met by Etienne Thouvenin, who came back to the village following a time in Paris as a restaurateur and, bizarrely for a chef, a stint in corporate sales for Renault. The recepies he brought with him are the best to be had in Bourdeilles today, and the courtyard setting (weather permitting) is a marvel. His maxim is to "do a few things, and do them well", and this becomes obvious when you look at the care and attention with which each dish is prepared. Unusually for a French restaurant, equal emphasis is placed on both meat and fish dishes. With vegetarian dishes prepared to order, there really is something for everyone here.

    The wine list is good, with a choice of Bordeaux, Bergerac and Pécharmant to accompany most flavours. The latter two wines come from the region, and the Pécharmant in particular is worth a try. The Donjon also has a bar with a large terrace that is open for most of the day in the summer with a good choice of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks available, and an even wider selection of bottled and draught beers to whet the appetite. Of these, the king has to be the Leffe (on draught), which is to die for.

    Finally, to break up an afternoon's sight seeing, the Donjon also boasts the widest selection of ice creams to be found in the area. All are either produced locally or made on the premises. Each is worth a try.

    Favorite Dish: All of the food is good. What has become the "signature dish" by default is the "Terrine des escargots avec beurre d'ail" (terrine of snails in garlic butter), which may sound offputting but is in fact delicious.

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