I contribute to a travel forum occasionally. One of the main concerns people seem to have when they visit France (and I can understand this) is "how much does it cost to eat".
Most of the questions refer to Paris, and I am constantly staggered by how much some people are prepared to spend on a "cheap" meal. Prices like 28€, 35€ or 40€ get thrown about as great value. I am sorry, but a 3 course menu where the main course is Moules Frites just doesn't seem like good value at 30€. I know the price of real estate is high in Paris, I know it costs a lot of money to live there so wages are higher, but 30€ for moules is excessive. Even more excessive is what people will happily pay for Michelin stars. People who know me know that I am cautious when it comes to spending money, so when I am in Paris I am startled by restaurant prices - a 3 course menu that costs more than 20€ always has me thinking twice.
It is lucky, then, that we are in Preuilly. A 3 course lunch can cost as little as 11€ (wine included) at various restaurants in the small villages around the area - in one case locally produced melon, followed by duck with potato dauphinoise and then apple tart. This was served with a couple of litres of red wine (between 4 people).
The most we have spent is 32€ each for two courses (which in true French style really means 5 or 6 courses) at la Promenade in la Petit Pressigny. This restaurant has a Michelin star and is spectacular without being too pretentious for words. It is true they don't serve veges with the meat dish, but vegetables is what food eats so that's OK. [Note from Susan: don't let this comment from Simon put you off – vegetables are served as dishes in their own right, not as bulk to fill up the plate the meat is served on.]
Most of the time though we eat in Preuilly itself - either at La Claise, which does huge pizzas (more on which later); Auberge St Nicolas, which does more your classic French cooking, or L'Image which combines classic french in a more homely style. We have not yet eaten at L'Esperance, because we believe they only do lunch, which we rarely eat out when we are home. It is, however, on our list. It amazes me that a town as small as Preuilly can have this many restaurants/hotels, plus a crepe restaurant and a visiting pizza van on Saturdays.