I know I promised you some food photos from our delicious lunch at L’Hélianthe in Turquant last June. Looking at the photos, however, I noticed that most of them are blurry and not post-worthy.
We arrived at l’Hélianthe around 1 p.m. after our visit of Bourgueil market and a brief and relaxing stop at Candes-Saint-Martin. This was my forth visit to the restaurant, which we discovered in 2008. On previous occasions we always had had our aperitif on the tiny terrace in front of the restaurant. Twice the landlord took out the tables and chairs especially at our request. This year however, our arguments – nice weather, calm, etc. - didn’t work. The landlord, very friendly yet firmly told us that it was all or nothing: aperitif inside or whole meal on the terrace! The latter not being very practical considering the tiny diameter (40 cm!) of the table (for three to share), we caved in and said we would have the aperitif inside too. It put a bit of a damper on the general mood, which quickly disappeared when the ‘amuse-bouches’ arrived: an airy carrot and cumin mousse.
We all chose the same starter, which was delicious. We even asked for the secret recipe of the lemon quenelle. It’s as ‘simple comme bonjour’ … although I’m not sure we were given the full version of the recipe. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t judge.
Our main courses were all different: ‘Poussin à l’estragon’, ‘Grenadin de veau’ and ‘Poissons de la Loire’. We did take photos, but somehow, they all failed. Maybe I forgot to change the settings or maybe we were too much in a hurry to savour these culinary pieces of art. It was a great meal and the landlord did everything to make us feel like VIP’s. I guess he wanted to make up for the disappointing start.
When it came to choosing deserts, we couldn’t resist the ‘baba-chocolat-banane (J.L.)’, the ‘tarte-tatin - glace vanille’ (B.) and the ‘Fourme d'Ambert cheese – poires’ (me). This time the photos came out just fine! I therefore like sharing them with you. Enjoy …
After paying the modest bill – really this restaurant beats everything when it comes to ‘excellent value for money’ – we chatted for a long while with the landlord who told us more about the workings of the restaurant and its policy. It was a nice chat and I know that he’ll recognize us the next time we drop in for lunch. B. and J.L. who spend some time in their holiday home every month will certainly be going back … many more times … I’m sorry I can’t join them on every occasion. It is such a nice place and the food is absolutely delicious!