While there’s plenty of advice on the internet about where to eat in Paris, trusty restaurant recommendations outside the big city are far less common. For our first and only dinner in the Loire Valley, we found an adorable little bistro in Tours called Le Turon, where the food was solid and the service was efficient.
What made the night more festive than usual were the crowded streets full of locals celebrating the summer solstice. Our meal was punctuated by the beating of drums and the twirling of dancers. The French really know how to ring in summer.
While The Astronomer and I indulged in the three-course “Menu Gourmand” for €26.50, Mom ordered a lone fish course a la carte.
Even after witnessing the gavage at the foie gras farm earlier in the day, I could not resist the terrine de foie gras de canard maison et son tartare de poires au miel. I guess this means I favor deep-rooted culinary traditions over the well-being of animals. The house-made terrine was served with toasted baguette rounds and a pear compote sweetened with honey.
Continue reading ‘Le Turon – Tours’
After spending three days in Paris, The Astronomer, my mom, and I packed our bags and headed to the countryside. The first stop on our survey tour of France brought us to the Loire Valley, a region famous for its age-old châteaux. The Astronomer, a proficient stick-shift driver since age 15, rented a car to shuttle us from site to site. Even though things got a little hairy at times on the narrow, winding roads, he navigated the terrain like a true Frenchman.
The first fancy house that we visited was the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, an impressive residence with its foundations built under water. From there, we headed to the Château de Villandry to scope out its intricate gardens.
Somewhere between point A and B, we found ourselves lost among the grassy pastures. Though we made a valiant effort to follow the sporadic signs pointing us in the right direction, it was a hopeless situation without a GPS.
On the search for Villandry, we drove by dozens of signs on the road advertising a plethora of artisanal products. We decided to follow the blue arrows promising foie gras after giving up on finding the château.
Fortunately for us, the signs leading to Ferme des Morinières were much easier to follow than the ones for Villandry. Ferme des Morinières is a family-run foie gras farm that has been operating for three generations. We were the only visitors on the farm this early evening, although I sensed from the farm’s welcoming spirit and gift shop that visitors exploring the countryside swing by all the time.
Continue reading ‘In the Loire Valley: Searching for Châteaux, Finding Foie Gras and Goat Cheese Instead’