Thursday 6 June 2013
Today is a belated birthday treat from Janet, she has made a reservation at restaurant Le Coquillage in the Le Chateau Richeux Hotel. A beautiful renovated chateau high on a cliff overlooking the bay of Cancale. Its just a short drive from our hotel and we arrive around 12.30. The hotel is set amidst a beautiful garden, where they grow their own vegetables. There is also a small bakery on site where three days a week the resident baker makes all the bread for the restaurant from organic grains in a wood fired oven.
Le Coquillage is a slick and professionally run restaurant, ooozing refined charm. We are soon seated at our window table that looks across the garden and the coast as we enjoy a glass of champagne.
The waiter arrives and explains the menu and suggests a fresh lobster for an additional 39 Euro, how can I resist! We settle on the Menu Grand Choix de la Baie, plus the lobster and wines to accompany each course. This takes all the pain away from choosing wine from the list. I note with interest the number of French couples who share a half bottle! There are some very elegant people here.
After some ‘amuse bouche’, our entrees arrive. Janet is having the Tartare de daurade (sea bream tartare) and for me the Pommes de terre nouvelles persil plat et lieu fume le long du four a pain (pollock smoked in their oven with home grown baby potatoes). Both dishes are amazing. Simple yet complex with the most amazing flavours. French cuisine at its finest. Completed with a fine Sancerre. Oh and the bread and the fabulous Brittany butter mmmm!
I knew we were getting serious when the waiter brought out a large bib for my next course. Yes, my homard. Eight hundred grams of fresh Atlantic lobster. Unadorned with any excess, gently fire-place grilled with a butter sauce to accompany this masterpiece. The chef had cracked the shell in all the right places and the claws came out in a single piece. That takes exceptional skill. It was delicate, sweet, moist – just divine.
Janet has the Blanc de barbue, asperges, roquettes, blettes marine et Poivre des Mondes (brill fillet with asparagus, aragula and marine sea kale). Superb! Served with a Saint Veran, its a fine match.
After allowing the main to settle Mathieu brings out his sweet trolley. Everything on this sugar wagon has been made by Mathieu. Wow. Take as much or as little as you wish. I settle on four or five selections. Well it is my belated birthday lunch, isn’t it?
We finish the meal with tea and coffee served outside overlooking the bay. The sun is shining and it has been a glorious afternoon.
This was a memorable lunch, that every traveller should have the opportunity of experiencing in France.