Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Cote Cour Restaurant, Azay-le-Rideau



Azay-le-Rideau is an attractive village on the Indre River. For such a small town there are a lot of restaurants to choose from (at least fifteen in a town of 3100 residents). As far as we are concerned by far the best restaurant in town is Coté Cour, situated right by the gates of the chateau.

Pavé de merlu, céréales gourmandes et petits légumes.
Hake, gourmet grains and diced vegetables.

It is run by husband and wife team Fréd in the kitchen and Sandrine doing front of house. He's from Corsica, she's from Paris. They live above the restaurant. Both of them speak reasonable English.

Duo de melon et tomates, tranche de jambon cru.
Duo of melon and tomatoes, slice of air-dried ham.

The menu is limited and focused on fresh local produce. It's a mixture of year-round staples and dishes that come and go as the seasons wax and wane. It is one of the few restaurants in the area that we can happily take vegetarians. Fréd only needs to be asked and he will whip up something delicious and plant-based. He told me once that he thinks French chefs should take diners who prefer plant-based dishes much more seriously than they currently do, and I'm sure he enjoys the challenge of creating something new that makes the diner happy.

Tranches de gigot de porc et légumes au wok.
Slices of leg of pork and stir-fried vegetables.

Salade d'épinards, magrets et oranges.
Spinach, fat duck breast and orange salad.

Fréd in his surprisingly small kitchen.
Unlike several French chefs I know, Fréd is always ready to be photographed in his kitchen and does not put me off with 'oh no, it's too messy in here at the moment...'.

The interior of the restaurant.
Sandrine designed the interior and a local artist created the decorations on the light fittings.

The lunch menu recently.

Sandrine at the reception desk.

4 comments:

  1. Nice photos. It all looks very good. Good prices too. Gigot de porc is a new one to me; it's usually called a jambon, whether cured or fresh.

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    1. Maybe he just wanted diners to be clear it was fresh.

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  2. Of course, the only problem is that you usually have to arrive early to eat in Azay le Rideau! But I shall remember this for next time and phone first (quoting your recommendation maybe?).

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    1. How early do you mean? I wouldn't have thought Azay fills up that quickly -- the chateau gets far fewer visitors than most of the other big names, and is currently half scaffolded. Sandrine usually shoos me away if I arrive before 12h30 because they are not ready for service.

      Definitely say you are booking on our recommendation.

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