20 July 2013

Au Relais d'Artémis, second installment

It was one week ago today — already. Qu'est-ce que le temps passe vite ! Another week of summer down the drain. Speaking of which, we had a few hours of steady rain yesterday morning. I had planned to go to Vouvray with some friends who want to buy wine over there, but we postponed the trip until today when we saw the weather reports.

Fact is, the rain ended about noontime and we had a pleasant afternoon. It wasn't as nice yesterday as it was last Saturday, however, because it was hotter and kind of muggy. Today, more of the same.

To wash down our meal, we ordered a chilled bottle of local Cheverny rosé wine made with Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes.

So at the Relais d'Artémis in Bracieux, near the Château de Chambord, Walt and I had different dishes from the ones that H. and T. ordered. Walt started with seafood — crevettes, or shrimp (you might call them prawns, depending on which variety of English you speak).

 Grosses crevettes marinées, céleri et pomme en rémoulade au thym citron

At the restaurant, the chef put one large, whole prawn on the plate, head and all. Then he added a few headed and peeled shrimp, served on a wooden skewer. There was a salad of grated celery root and apple, in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, on the side, and a splash of spicy pepper sauce.

Foie gras de canard au torchon, chutney de figues

I started with foie gras de canard. That's duck liver served as a kind of pâté. If you look at the photo, you'll notice that there's a little pile of coarse salt for you to season the liver with, along with a little spoonful of chutney or confiture of dried fig, some baby lettuce leaves, and a dribble of balsamic vinegar. The plate was not surchargée, as you can see. A torchon is a kitchen towel, and the foie gras is rolled up in one and cooked in a slow oven.

Carré d'agneau rôti, crème d'ail

Finally, Walt and I both ordered lamb for lunch. It was saddle or carré of lamb served in a puddle of garlic cream sauce, with steamed new potatoes and summer vegetables. The lamb was cooked just to the point of being rosé in the middle.

Dôme au chocolat, parfait glacé à la banane

Our dessert was a big scoop of chocolate ganache, shaped into a dome. It was solid chocolate and very rich. There was a wedge of frozen banana parfait on the side.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the lunch. We enjoyed eating it. Our thanks to Harriett and Tom.


  1. Stop writing about food when I am trying to lose weight!

    Or at least please stop posting such enticing, yummy, screen lickable photos...

  2. I can't help myself, Simon. Sorry.

  3. Lewis would have chosen the lamb also! Thanks for sharing your dinner with us.

  4. Really lovely food and such great photos. I'm so glad for you to have gone there!

    Jane is back in France for the summer (has been for a few weeks), and has picked up on her blog again, with almost daily updates. The other day, she had a photo,too, of icy cold rosé, lake side at the Lake at St. Mathieu. They're working on the other building on their property now, it looks like.

  5. Great looking dishes. I wish there were a restaurant here in Seattle offering a meal like that for $32 (tax and tip included).

  6. Exactly, Dean France. That's partly why we live here rather than in SF or Seattle.

    Judy, I'll go take a look at Jane's blog. Maybe Walt and I should drive down there this summer.

  7. Very enticing meal there. Simon, I'm with you - wanting a meal like that - but trying to avoid it...
    Merci, Ken, for showing me what fabulous meals await me on my next trip!

  8. Love the photo of the Grosses Crevettes Marinées. Now imagine a plate about 1/3 that size with nothing but two grilled scallops, and you'll have what I was served in an expensive restaurant recently.


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