My eldest son, Aiden, was 21 recently. 21 is of course a significant birthday in the UK but here in France it is just another birthday, worth celebrating but not special. Aiden is currently a student in Tours and was away on his birthday taking a short break with his girlfriend Axelle who’s birthday falls on the same day as Aiden’s birthday.
We caught up with them last week and took them for lunch at La Deuvaliere in Tours. I had heard good things about the Deuvaliere rating 2 bibs in the Michelin guide and the lunchtime menu du jour is a very reasonable 17 Euros for 3 courses. It is tucked away in a side street near the Place Plumereau in the medieval centre of Tours.
Visitors to France often do not realise that Lunch is the main meal here, consequently restaurants vie for trade and can offer excellent value. The popular restaurants will be full and reservation is often essential. As we would be 5 I booked and I was pleased that I had as the restaurant was full.
The menu du jour was just a couple of choices which I like, rather that than a long list of poorly executed dishes.
For the premier plat we all had Cheesecake de ricotta au saumon fume et a l’aneth (Ricotta Cheesecake with smoked salmon and dill). It arrived beautifully presented the cheesecake base was crushed Tuc type biscuits topped with a ricotta and herbs finished with a layer of smoked salmon, dotted around the cheesecake was a puree of dill. All agreed it was lovely, here’s a picture to prove it
For the deuxieme plat Julie and I had Filet fletan, nouilles soba aux legumes croquants, emulsion de crustace a la citronnelle (Filet of halibut with soba noodles served with crunchy vegetables in a crustacean emulsion with lemongrass!). Yummy noodles served in a bowl with a light, foaming, fragrant sauce, topped by a perfectly cooked piece of halibut. It was tough but someone had to eat it, so I did. Here is the evidence
The children had the Piece du boeuf grillee et sa puree du pommes de terre a la ancienne, simply served but full of flavour, tender and juicy. Aiden passed on his tip for getting the best cut of beef in a restaurant which is to always order it rare.
Finally on to dessert, we all ordered the same dish, Gauffre, chantilly de nutella et son sorbet cerise griotte (Waffle with nutella whipped cream and morello cherry sorbet). It arrived as a complex construction of waffle, cream, sorbet and cherries, it looked great and required a knife fork and spoon. It also tasted as good as it looked and was suprisingly light.
We had a bottle of 2003 Bourgueil at 30 Euros, not cheap but very drinkable and finished off with coffee. The addition was a very reasonable 130 odd euros, covering aperos, wine and lunch for five people. In fact it’s not very reasonable, it’s a steal. I’ll be back, as Aiden has left home I think I’ll root through some of his old stuff and raise the money for a return visit by selling it on ebay, he doesn’t need it he’s an adult now.