Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Another lovely place to eat

2007 – The dozen or so bottles of Noblé Joué ‘vin gris’ that we bought during our visit of the Frères Rousseau’s winery in 2006 didn’t last very long. Noble Joué makes a great summer wine to accompany typical summer meals such as a barbecue or what we in Belgium call an ‘assiette anglaise’ - English plate -(cold meat cuts, green salad, tomatoes, cold cooked cauliflower and hard boiled eggs).
We therefore returned to the winery in Esvres-sur-Indre in 2007 to get some more of this delicious liquid. This time we were greeted by Mrs. Rousseau senior. When we told her that we had visited the winery the year before, her already wide smile broadened even more. We re-tasted the wines we had bought last year and also tried the most recent ‘vendange’.
My friend also had a pinot noir, which turned out to be very nice. So on top of the 36 bottles of Noble Joué, he bought a 5 litre ‘BIB’ (bag-in-box) of red pinot noir.
It was a rather ‘chilly, overcast day with occasional showers’ (as the weather people would say). This was no picnic weather. We therefore asked Mrs. Rousseau if she knew of a little restaurant where we could have a light lunch. She mentioned several places, but recommended the ‘Auberge du Mail’ in Cormery, some 5 km upstream the Indre River.
Her instructions being very clear, we had no trouble finding the restaurant. It’s located in the village main square. The weekly market was just packing up when we arrived, leaving us ample parking space. The place looked very attractive and inviting, with a large terrace covered in vines. Inside, next to the income hall was a small private dining room, where a large round table was set for a party of seven or eight.
On the other side of the income hall was a door leading into the main dining room. It had a beautiful open fire place in one corner and the tables had pristine white linen tablecloths and silver cutlery. A cheerful young waitress asked whether we had a reservation. She became very thoughtful when we said we didn’t. “I’ll have to ask ‘le patron’ first.” she said, and walked away. A few minutes later the ‘patron’ himself walked in with the waitress right behind him and he showed us to a round table for two. “We are very busy today”, he explained “but I can just fit you in”.
While we were studying the menu card, people started to arrive. Half an hour later the place was packed. The waitress brought us some home made bread, that was still warm and a little ramekin with lightly salted butter that melted beautifully as soon as you we put it on the oven warm bread. We didn’t take any ‘entrée’ as we had a gastronomic dinner waiting for us that evening at our hotel. My friend chose the ‘Géline de Touraine’ with a goat cheese sauce, while I had steak in a syrupy red wine sauce. Both dishes were delicious. Not having a sweet tooth we declined dessert, but went for the cheese platter, which was impressive.

This lovely cheese platter at the 'Remparts restaurant' in Amboise represents
only 1/3 of the one we saw at 'L'Auberge du Mail'.

By the time we had finished our lunch the rain had stopped and the sun had come out. So we sat on the terrace enjoying our coffee with ‘mignardises’. You’ll find the ‘Auberge du Mail’ at number 2, at the Place du Mail in Cormery.



Jim's Loire said...

Good to be reminded that I should go back to the Auberge du Mail. Years ago we used to eat there a lot and it was always good. Then for some reason we stopped going – not at all from any bad experience. Good to hear that it is still good.

ladybird said...

Jim, We really enjoyed it. The food was great and service was impeccable. Martine