25 March 2017

La Salamandre

La Salamandre is an old-style French restaurant in Azay-le-Rideau. Authentic or not, it presents itself as such. On the menu, you'll find a lot of French country-cooking classics. Would you be tempted to have lunch or dinner there?


  • Tête de veau is just what it says it is: the meat off the head of a calf, served with sauce gribiche or sauce ravigote. Both sauces are variants of vinaigrette dressing fancied up with chopped hard-boiled eggs, herbs, and other aromatic ingredients.
  • Civet de sanglier au chinon is a stew made with the marinated meat of a wild boar cooked in red Chinon wine with carrots, onions, and other aromatic vegetables and herbs. Chinon is a nearby town that's famous for its Cabernet Franc reds.
  • Sole meunière is what we call a Dover sole in English cooked the way the miller's wife would cook it. In other words, the fish is sprinkled with a little bit of flour and then panned in melted butter. The menu specifies that it is fresh sole, which I assume means it's not frozen and thawed.
  • Blanquette de veau is veal cooked in white wine and then served in a flour-thickened white cream sauce with mushrooms and onions over boiled white rice.
  • Tripes à la mode de Caen is beef tripe (stomach) cooked in hard apple cider with carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, and... the foot of a cow or a calf for the silky gelatin it releases into the sauce. Caen is a city in Normandy.


For the faint of heart or anybody on a diet, the daily special is roast chicken. For between 16 and 20 euros ($18 to $20 U.S.), you can have one of the main dishes with a first course, a dessert, or even both. The restaurant is called La Salamandre not because they serve dishes made with salamander meat but because the salamander was the symbol of the French Renaissance-era king François Ier, a beloved figure in France's Loire Valley.

11 comments:

Gosia k said...

It is fantastic option

Leon Sims said...

The menu brings back memories and only invites us back to the Loire Ken. Roll on 2018.

chm said...

I sure would be tempted by the Blanquette de veau à l'ancienne (sans carottes!) and the Tripes à la mode de Caen. IMHO, gras double is better than tripes.

Travel said...

Looks wonderful, thank you for the translation, if confirmed that I have not lost my ability to read a menu in French, I would have ordered very well.

NotesFromAbroad said...

The only thing on the menu for me would be sole and perhaps the chicken .. I don't eat red meat. I think the sole would be my choice ... dinner.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

So very French :)
I just realized that, though I have seen the word civet before, I never knew that it meant a red-wine stew. I think I thought it was a body part of an animal LOL... so... civet de lièvre or civet de sanglier.... I guess I just never looked it up! That's hilarious :)

Evelyn said...

I would love to eat there someday. I'll take the sole or banquette.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Civet derives from the word cive, meaning "onion" — as in "chives." So along with red wine, one of the main flavor ingredients in the stew is onions.

Ken Broadhurst said...

One of those would be my choice too. Though I might be tempted by the boar, because I've never tried that before.

Unknown said...

the tripes sound appetizing

-craig-

Emm said...

Civet cat is also a term for a skunk, as well as for several varieties of small, four-legged critters.
Did you eat there, and if so what did you order?