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euro scribbles: bits, bites and sips in the north of france…

Just a few recommendations if you are traveling to the Touraine (Chinon, Vouvray), Sancerre area or Burgundy in the near future…

Chinon 

Sleep: 

Air B&B

We found a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on the center of the village for nearly 100 euro per night! A tremendous value if traveling with family or if you are looking to save a few dollars eating out every meal. A fully equipped kitchen, free Wifi and about as centrally located as one can be. A short stroll to the grocery store, restaurants, a massive castle and shops.

Eats & Sips:

La Plats des Ange (Chinon)

An impressive 2-person operation. While the gal was in the kitchen making wonderful local dishes, a man ran the front, racing up and down stairs and tending to about 12 tables. It was a simple menu with a couple of options for appetizers and entrees, but it wasn’t difficult to select one knowing that everything coming out looked exquisite. A small but decent wine list.

La Petite Terrasse (St. Patrice/Bourgueil) 

A really quaint spot in the village over from Bourgueil in St. Patrice we never would have found on our own. It was recommended to us from Pierre Gauthier. Fresh, locally grown cuisine. What I would have liked to know after I went was that there were some other options than the one menu they present. I learned very quickly that I did not care for tripe (Adouillette)– a deconstructed assemblage of pig parts I would rather not imagine with a scent that was something I wanted less to contemplate. But my salad and sorbet was divine, especially on a beautiful sunny day outside.

Vincent Cuisine de Campaigne (Touraine/Bourgueil) 

In and around Bourgeuil, this was recommended to us with high remarks for the food and extensive wine list. Alas, it was booked… Next time!

Barju (Tours)

Though we were hoping to check out another recommendation from Chidaine closer to Vouvray, it was completely full, so we took his next recommendation. In the bustling city of Tours, again, we would never have discovered this! It was a really great spot for seafood dishes. Live langoustines, crab and lobster awaited their fate in a large tank, which rather stifled my appetite (needless to say, I found animals with feet on the menu to eat that evening). It was really delicious, and the wine list was full of really interesting wines.

Sancerre

Eats & Sips:

Petit Deguste

Without a doubt one of the best little finds of the whole trip! This unassuming cafe that sat in the quiet little town of Chavignol had a fresh menu of so many tempting local bites, many that incorporate eggs and the famed goat cheese of this area. Don’t miss out on the whipped potatoes with that cheese. Really diverse and extensive wine list written in chalk on boards to cover the wall. I was charmed, no doubt.

Bourgogne 

Sleep: 

Athernon 

Clean, charming and centrally located. This was an ideal place to stay if you find yourself in Beaune.

Eats & Sips:

Cave Madeline

I never know where to go when I am staying in Beaune, as restaurants can be so hit or miss. This was a really solid find, featuring food of the region, a good wine list with decent prices and very pleasant atmosphere. I enjoyed one of the best vegetarian dishes in a while– a soup almost with couscous and vibrant, fresh vegetables.

Ma Cuisine

Well, been there and done that. This is the famous restaurant I have never had to opportunity to check out, as it is always full. Classic bistrot style, I had to order asparagus and Boeuf Bourgogne. The wine list was very extensive with a whole page dedicated to Domaine de la Romanee Conti. Wines were quite youthful or too expensive, unless… you dare venture outside Burgundy. Here you will find some tremendous gems (at very inexpensive prices!). Decent and worthwhile, but there are many other places I want to check out in the future before returning.

l’Auberge des Vignes 

Such a great recommendation for lunch, just off RN74 is this little restaurant. On a bright, sunny day you can enjoy a wonderfully prepared fresh garden foods with Pommard and Volnay as your backdrop. They even have a burger with espoisses which I was terribly tempted to try. Wine list quite decent, too.

Dilettante (wine bar)

Such a cool scene. Just a few small bites of cheese, salads and savory cured meats made available. Pull a unique, small production bottle of organic wine off the wall, pop it open and that’s the style of this place. Run by an energetic young couple, this is where wine hipsters die and go to heaven. A really awesome addition to this old town. Unfortunately not too busy post dinner…

Bar du Square (wine bar)

Jam packed on a Friday night, this is where everyone hangs out. Winemakers, importers, cellar rats, wannabes and gawkers like myself. Just a fun, vibrant place to hang out if you want a good glass of wine and a random conversation.

Paris

Sleep:

Verlaine

In the 11th, this hotel is located where so many fun new restaurants are popping up. Very youthful and energetic spot, this isn’t the best if wanting to stroll over to the Eiffle Tower of the Louvre. Great if you are changing it up and looking for a clean, affordable bed. The hotel is simple, no frills. Aesthetically wanting. But comfortable and clean.

Eats & Sips:

Clamato

Tired of cheese plates yet? Check out the new buzz spot Clamato, sister restaurant to Septime, focused on fresh seafood– raw, cooked, fried, you name it. This was one of our favorite meals the whole trip. Easy to wash down with an eclectic geeky glass of wine. You can choose from white, red, bubbles or orange!

Septime Wine Bar

Have to wait like everyone else to get into Clamato, go across the way to the wine bar, pull a bottle off the shelf and share it with some friends. Certainly some of the smallest, nerdiest growers out there making some incredibly awesome juice.

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About mistralwine1982

Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Colorado in 2005 in order to get closer to the mountains and rock climb. When it occurred to me that I would never make money with that hobby, I went to grad school. I received a masters in English and American Literature from New York University in May of 2009. I have since then opted not to pursue a PhD, for studying and writing about wine is far more fascinating (well, perhaps not moreso than Virginia Woolf, but still… for the long haul?). My favorite wines come from the old world, especially the Rhone, Burgundy, Rioja, Piedmont, and Tuscany. I am also smitten with roses, Italian hard-to-pronounce white varietals, and dessert wines from around the world. By day I run a wine shop. By nite, I sip and tell. It’s rough… but someone must do this.

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