I constantly mourn the disappearance of “old school French” restaurants in our town of Sens. By that I mean restaurants who buy their produce and meats daily at the farmers’ market and serve in-house fabricated traditional French recipes. Unfortunately, because of the “economic crisis”, most of these restaurants, along with the artisanal butchers, traiteurs, chocolate makers, pastry and bread shops, have been forced to close. What is left is one Michelin starred restaurant and one “correct” plain food bistro (Plat d’Etain). The other so called French restaurants are not worth mentioning.
What a pleasant surprise to find the newly opened Village Gourmand restaurant, located right next to my favorite coffee place, across the street from the farmers’ market, 4 doors down from my fish monger and 6 doors down from the only boulangerie in town worth considering. Yeah buddy, I’m living the life! I can’t explain why my pictures are tilted. I just don’t know.
I invited M. Parret along just to make sure that anything that needed criticizing would not be overlooked because of American enthusiasm for the new :) There was nothing! Everything pleased us all; the service, the wine selection, the price, presentation and taste.
The clue to the success of Le Village Gourmand seems to be that in addition to being a restaurant it is also a traiteur (they make it first, then sell it), preparing plates for take out as well as for the restaurant. No big dessert lover, still I would have liked a bite of their luscious tarte tatin but you had to buy the whole thing.
We began with a complimentary glass of rose cremant, fresh bread sticks and a little charcuterie.
Jade and I “adored” the water pitcher. M. Parret said that he had a few like them at home. For a while, over the appertif, we wrangled over whether I should be given one or two :D
The menu, of course, was restricted to what was available in the market and that was both varied and correct. M. Parret began with a rich, tasty soup of potiron (pumpkin) with creme fraiche, chestnuts and thin slivers of ham. Cute bowl. He really wanted to put a thumb or finger into this picture but I gave him a warning look :)
Jade began with a lovely piece of quiche that pretty much was a meal in itself. I never get this height with my quiches! The lettuce on the side was so fresh! I wonder if they’re growing it in the back…
If you are a fan of les abats (offal), this is the place to order it. The quality and ingredients are controlled in house and it doesn’t get better than this. I ordered the boudin noir on a light shell of pastry. The slices were cut from a fresh round of sausage before cooking.
For main courses, Jade and M. Parret both ordered the bavette (hanger?) steaks with onions and pan roasted potatoes, perfectly cooked “a point”.
I tried a new take, for me, on andouillette sausage mixed with diced potatoes and a Lyonnaise sauce. Fabulous! Picture above. We drank a perfectly reasonable Cote St. Jacques with our main courses, ordering per glass.
No one was really hungry after the entree and main course but I ordered a cafe gourmand to share and I’m glad I did; along with the excellent coffee, it consisted of a wedge of tarte tatin, preserved cherries and a rich ice cream. Well done Village Gourmand!