As you are aware we (my hubby and I) love our food and sometimes we venture out into the big wild world to visit some local restaurants.
We are very lucky that we live in a beautiful part of the world and have a few places to chose from, albeit sometimes we need to venture a little further than you would expect, just for lunch.
We are very pleased to see a new little restaurant ‘La Cantine’ opening up in La Chartre sur Loir, just on the main square in the centre of the town, about 8 km away from our house. For lunch that really is far enough to drive unless it is for a special occasion, it has been known for us to travel 45 km for a ‘special occasion’.
We had been in town a few times over the last month and seen that one of the premises that had been up for sale for some time was having a bit of a face lift and was opening as a ‘restaurant’. My hubby noticed whom we believed to be the new owner and asked when would it be open and would it be ‘French’ food that they were serving. The reply was “soon and half/half”, they don’t really give much away in these here parts :-).
So we waited to see how long it would take before the face lift was complete and they were open for business.
I have found it a little strange here in that the french are not ones for shouting from the rooftops when they open a new business, there was no fanfare, no bunting, not even a sign to say when they were opening.
We just managed to find out through the grape-vine that they were open for business.
A couple of friends suggested we try it out after all, hopefully it would be good and if nothing else a change of venue.
The outside is not really something to write home about, not very inviting, but when you walk inside it is small, well presented with seats for 20 diners.
We took our seats at the window, all the other seats were occupied after all it was 12.30 and lunch begins at 12 in France.
There was a Carte at 26€ or the ‘Le Plat du Jour’ was 13€ , in France it is standard practice to opt for ‘Le Plat du Jour’ for lunch and maybe branch out to the ‘Carte’ for an evening meal, of course there is always the exception, however when we looked at what was on offer we all opted for ‘Le Plat du jour’, listed on the black board was 4 starters, 5 mains, dessert and 1/4 ltr of wine or coffee 13€.
It is quite normal in France to find lunches on offer at 12-13€ with wine and this was no different. What we did find different was the choice of dishes on the menu.
A very nice selection of starters, Chefs salad, Leek Tart, Italian Platter or Chicken liver salad.
I opted for the Chicken liver salad, 2 of the others opted for the Chefs salad and 1 for the Italian platter. When the food was ready, it was presented on very nice plates, not just your run of the mill white plates, setting off the food very well.
The dish I had was excellent, the chicken livers had been cooked in a little balsamic vinegar and had a very nice char on the outside, with the inside still a little pink and melt in the mouth. I was very pleased with my selection.
The mains too were great, Faux filet, White fish in tandoori spices, Andouillette Sausage, Filet Mignon and Chicken curry.
Again we had a selection between the 4 of us, my hubby is a meat man, he loves his steak and it needs to be ‘blu’ very, very rare, again when it arrived at the table the food was very well presented and delicious. A very good bottle of red wine to accompany the meal, with the half bottle to top up with dessert.
So I am guessing that you can tell from my post that we were all delighted with our choice of venue for our lunchtime treat on Friday. It is most definitely somewhere I would recommend for anyone coming to the area.
The only criticism I have is that there is only 20 seats, but being selfish it is a good thing as the food was excellent and the service was great. If there were many more seats/diners then maybe something would have to give.
They are open Tuesday-Saturday lunch time and evenings and it would really be worth you while taking the trip if you are in the area.
La Cantine, 11 PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE, 72340 LA CHARTRE SUR LE LOIR – Tél : 02 43 79 51 94