I mentioned a day or two ago that on that June day in 2008, Walt, CHM, and I had lunch at the Saint-Aignan restaurant called Le Crêpiot. It's located just down the main street in town, not far from the tourist office and the post office. I think it must have been a crêperie at some point in time, but for the past 20 or so years it has been operated as a more of a café, serving a wider range of dishes. It has always been fun to have a meal there, and the food has always been good. The people who ran it when we first came to live here have retired and the place is under new management. It's been quite a while since I've been there for lunch or dinner, for a variety of reasons — the pandemic and confinements, for example.
Back then, the daily special at lunchtime cost you about 12 euros. The day we were there the main course was a grilled slice of ham served with white beans. As a starter, the choices were a salad with grilled goat cheese, a salad with strips of chicken breast, or a half an avocado stuffed with tuna salad. The desserts were a slice of tarte aux pommes (apple tart), a "floating island" (île flottante) or two scoops of ice cream (several flavors were available). Instead of dessert, or in addition, you could choose to have the cheese plate, with pieces of two different cheeses.
We decided to have the €16 menu instead, because we wanted steaks. As an entrée, CHM had a salad with Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine goat cheese. There were four big pieces of cheese on the plate with salad greens and chopped walnuts. Walt had a herring salad — two or three fairly large pieces of fish served with sliced boiled potatoes, onions, and salad greens in vinaigrette. I had the half-avocado stuffed with tuna salad.
Our main dishes were steaks called bavette d'aloyau, which is a sort of flank or skirt steak. It's lean meat with no fat or gristle. We all ordered the steak cooked rare (saignant). Walt and I got frites — French fries — with ours. CHM decided to substitute sautéed mushrooms for a supplement of one euro. I thought the steak was perfectly cooked and tender (French beef is from grass-fed cattle and therefore very different from American beef in taste and texture). It was served with a pat of garlic/parsley butter that melted on top of and flavored the meat. CHM had such a big portion of mushrooms that he couldn't eat them all, but Walt and I both finished our frites.
Our desserts were a crêpe with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream for CHM, a piece of apple tart for Walt, and a floating island for me. Do you know what an île flottante is? It's blobs of soft meringue sitting in a light crème anglaise — an egg custard — with toasted sliced almonds on top.
I completely forgot to take pictures of the food. I was too busy anticipating and then eating. Oh, and now I almost forgot this detail: the Crêpiot always featured a locally made wine as its vin du mois. That month it wass a Cabernet Franc and Côt (aka Malbec) blend made and bottled by a couple over in the village of Couffy, about three miles east of Saint-Aignan. It was tasty.