Take an Italian-enamored, ex-Frenchie Bar à Vins employee (Le Guide Fooding’s Best Wine Bar of 2012) and a cowboy boot-wearing chef, put them in the medieval city of Loches and what do you get? A place for borderless treats in the middle of Touraine province! Local lass Ophélie Mauduit (ex-George), jack-of-all-trades Gianni Marongiu and chef Ryan Schiele opened a darling little bistro in an angular spot (a green façade, a brick bar, wooden furniture), where they send out cleverly crafted shared plates. For us at lunch, seated on the sunny cobblestoned terrace, we had some delightful deviled eggs tickled with pickled radishes, and a fabulous pâté en croûte of veal, pork belly and a hard-boiled egg, served with spicy arugula salad sprinkled with piment d’Espelette and lemon zest. On the neighboring tables, it was impossible not to ogle the dish of the day, a pork chop with white radishes, fingerling potato mousseline and chimichurri sauce. The cherry on top? The fabulous service provided by Gianni. // Ana Kirpad
FEELING THIRSTY? Available on the short, local selection that’s still being refined, there was L’Escale, a Sauvignon from Le Clos Roussely (€4 a glass), sparkling wine from De Chancerny (€24 a bottle) and Le Temps des Cerises, a Cabernet franc from the Domaine de la Noblaie (€28).
PRICE: Dish of the day €10-11 (lunch), small plates €6.50 to €11, desserts €6.50 to €7.