It was Saturday, June 6, at noontime. We had left Saint-Aignan a couple of hours earlier with the idea of having lunch in the little town of Montoire-sur-le-Loir before visiting a cousin of CHM's not far from there. The weather was gorgeous.
As we drove into the town, I saw that it was market day in Montoire. That didn't bode well for finding a place to park the car. However, it was noontime, and the market was starting to close down. The first café/restaurant we drove by had a big crowd of people in its outside seating area, but no parking in view.
I thought I'd drive around the town square and keep looking for a parking space. We had time. Just at that moment, I saw an empty space very close to the restaurant/café you see in the photos above — Chez Françoise : Le Café de la Paix — right in front of the tourist office. I had told CHM that what I wanted to eat for lunch was an omelet. Françoise had a chalkboard out on the sidewalk advertising just that.We were just lucky.
We immediately found an empty table on awning-covered the terrace. A woman came over and took our order. The daily special was goulache — Hungarian goulash — a kind of pot au feu or boiled dinner with beef and pork and potatoes. That's what CHM ordered.
More about the food tomorrow... From what I've read, Françoise turns out to be married to a vigneron named Jean Martellière who has his winery just on the edge of Montoire. He makes wines from Chenin Blanc grapes grown in the small Jasnières vineyard just east of town, and from Pineau d'Aunis grapes that are a local specialty in the Coteaux du Loir and Coteaux du Vendômois appellations.
Here in the Cher Valley, Pineau d'Aunis is mostly made into rosé wines, which are dry and slightly peppery — we get ours right now from a man named François Leclair over in the wine village called Pouillé. Up in the Loir Valley, both rosé and red wines are made from Pineau d'Aunis grapes. Françoise features the Martellière wines in her café, which is both a restaurant and a bar à vins. (For all I know, Françoise and Jean have both retired now...) I'm looking forward to going back to Montoire soon to find out more about the Val de Loir and its wines.