17 June 2021

Lunch at the Auberge du Château at Montpoupon

When we spent the afternoon at Montpoupon back in 2012, we started by having lunch in the restaurant next door, which is called L'Auberge du Château. We were the only customers on that Sunday, so we had not only good food but very good service and a pleasant meal. Not surprisingly, the restaurant didn't stay in business very long, but now I understand that it has re-opened under new management. Here's the web site.

Here's what the interior looked like. I think it has a new look these days. We were a party of four, as our friends Peter and Jill Hertzmann were visiting from California.

The meal started with two little amuse-bouche dishes, which we all enjoyed with some local Sauvignon blanc wine as we waited for the first courses to come out of the kitchen. An amuse-bouche is a small plate of food designed to whet your appetite and "amuse your mouth" (Fr. bouche). The two that we had were a dollop of pureed sun-dried tomatoes on a cracker...

...followed by a little bowl of lobster bisque served with a spoonful of caviar floating on top.

Jill, Walt, and I chose a starter course of lightly smoked salmon. Chef Hammani said the salmon was cured in salt and sugar for four days, and then smoked for only three minutes. Whatever the process, it was excellent — mild, tender, moelleux, only slightly salty, and hardly smokey at all. It was served with a couple of little blinis, a quenelle ("dumpling") of crème fraîche, and a little glass of ice-cold, citrus-flavored vodka. It was, as they say, très fin — very refined. Peter had foie gras as his entrée, but I haven't yet found a photo of that.

Three of us had this épaule d'agneau confite — "pulled" slow-cooked lamb shoulder — with potatoes and wide, flat "Romano" green beans (cocos plats in French) as our main course. Peter chose sweetbreads (ris de veau) as his main course.

As you can see, it was a very fine and very refined lunch. With our main courses, we had some red Bourgueil (Cabernet Franc) wine. Bourgueil is near Tours on the north or "right" bank of the Loire — 45 miles west of Montpoupon.


  1. I'm glad you saved these pictures. So fun to look at that wonderful food! I believe the salmon you are talking about is Gravlax - a Scandinavian way of curing the salmon usually including sugar and dill. I know what this is only because the topic came up the other day here.

    The antlers candelabra on that table is fun.

  2. What a great looking meal and a beautiful dining room. Two amuse-bouche is quite unusual, isn’t it? I’ve made Gravlax and it is delicious.


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