Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Coup de coeur: Au coin des Saveurs

There's something anyone thinking of moving to Saintes should know: nowhere is open on a Sunday. Even though I now appreciate the peace and quiet, having previously lived in Manchester where you can buy and do pretty much anything 24/7 means this took me a lot of getting used to.

So when Chéri's birthday fell on a Monday (and not the dreaded Sunday!) I thought we'd have no problems finding somewhere to celebrate in tête à tête over a glass of champagne and a good meal.

Rule number two: nowhere is open on a Monday evening either.

After doing the rounds of all the restaurants we knew, only to be greeted by 'Fermé le lundi soir' we were almost about to give up and go to Macdo when I remembered one of the girls at work telling me about a little restaurant on the quayside: Au Coin des Saveurs. It couldn't hurt to try?

What admittedly started out as a last resort turned out to be a charming restaurant overlooking the River Charente. The waitress, efficient and friendly, showed us to our table in the intimate dining room and brought us two delicious champagne cocktails (Chéri blackcurrent, me raspberry).

We opted for the menu at 26 euros and the meal that followed was gourmand and well presented, exceeding all of our expectations. The crab-based starter was fresh with an interesting mix of flavours, while not too over-powering, thus letting me fully enjoy the main course of duck breast with a raisin and apple chutney, which Chéri and I both found delicious and perfectly cooked. Dessert was equally attractively presented and bursting with flavour: we opted for the strawberries presented three ways, perhaps in an attempt to prolong the last few warm summer evenings.

Our stomachs (and hearts) full, we stepped out of the restaurant only to be greeted by the moonlight dancing over the Charente...Joyeux Anniversaire Chéri!

Address: 36 Quai del'Yser, 17100 SAINTES
Budget: 25-35€
Greedy rating: 4 spoons

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