Auberge du Cheval Blanc: Warm, friendly place to eat in a tiny town.
At the chateau outside of town we asked the young lady to recommend a good nearby restaurant and she directed us here. There is ample parking across the street from the restaurant. There is also a garden in back but it was autumn, damp and chilly so we opted for the very warm and cheerful indoor dining room.
The Auberge is a Logis de France so we knew the food would be good. We were not disappointed. The service was friendly and the food was very good. There was a bit of an adventure when an elderly lady slipped on a stair in the garden and fell, but they got it all sorted out and she seemed fine after a bit of attention.
There was also a film crew in town for some reason and they were eating in the front room with us. They were a bit more demanding than your usual customer so there was a constant flurry of activity on that side of the room . . . fortunately, not our side of the room.
Favorite Dish: We usually order the special of the day for two reasons, (1) it's usually inexpensive and (2) it's usually excellent. The restaurant can't afford to disappoint their regular customers who will order the special so it is normally excellent.
However, the 13 euro special menu was tongue and neither of us cares for it so we got the 22 euro menu with crudités (excellent), trout in a green citron sauce (excellent) and Ed had a rice pudding tart while I had the chocolate mousse (excellent).
This is very nice for lunch. If, however, you are looking for gourmet fare, you might consider driving 19 km to Auberge de la Cremaillere in Saint Sylvain. Just a thought . . .
- Road Trip
- Castles and Palaces
Auberge du Cheval Blanc: Disappointing
We looked forward to spending in an evening in the local restaurant - even though we had noticed some recent negative comments in the visitors book in the gite.
I liked the solid, old fashioned Logis decor of the restaurant. It is quite large but has a cosy feel because pillars and large ornamental plants break it up into a number of smaller "rooms" and corners.
We had made a 7.30 reservation and were shown to a window seat in a corner. Only a few other diners were there before us - one small group left soon after our arrival but others, including 2 parties each of 5 persons, trickled in right up until 9o'clock.
We did not expect service to be quick - it's not the way in French restaurants - and our orders were taken promptly.
What we found very disconcerting was the speed with which plates were delivered to the tables.
Madame seemed to run everywhere, from table to kitchen and between tables, then back to the kitchen in response ro the red light that appeared above the door - presumably to summon when more plates were ready for delivery.
Our main course arrived so swiftly the plates almost seemed to fly frpm Madame's hands onto the table!
I'd say that Madame had a total of about 22 covers to serve, single-handed. An extra pair of hands, attending to customers and tables, would have made a lot of difference to the experience of dining there that night.
Throughout all this activity, at the next table, an English speaking couple carried on a very personal, intense discussion of their troubled personal relationships in loud voices. They seemed oblivious to the frantic atmosphere, their food or other diners.
All I can say about our meal was that it was just about OK though neither of us can remember what we had to eat apart from the very nice starter of grilled local goat's cheese.
It may have been an "off night" but perhaps we should have heeded the negative comments in the Gite guest book.