Blessed be the holy bistro! The village of Saint-Julien-le-Faucon certainly said its prayers and was rewarded with a dreamy cave à manger, incarnated by the Colombian chef Pablo Jacob (ex-Refugee Food, Bel Ordinaire and Douze) and the natural wine somm Guillaume Armand. They originally found each other when one was in the kitchen and the other was dining at the same restaurant, and now they’re revitalizing this corner of the Calvados department with carefully sourced wines and highly locavore dishes. The day we went for lunch at their wood-clad eatery, we opted for the excellent set menu for less than 20 bucks: a smoky roasted cauliflower salad with almonds and a soft-boiled egg; incredible lentil dal with crispy kale and electrifying Shira spices; ending the meal with a comforting rice pudding as a tribute to father Jégo of L’Ami Jean. Otherwise, it was impossible to resist the comforting Bayeux pork taking a nap in its red kuri squash purée sprinkled with local mushrooms, available à la carte. // James Patisson
FEELING THIRSTY? A selection of hard ciders that don’t fall far from the tree (Julien Frémont, Antoine Marois, the Dupont family) and promising bottles of wine – like the Roanne Gamay from the Domaine des Pothiers (€5 a glass, €22 a bottle) or the Beaune white from Emmanuel Giboulot (€45).
PRICE: Set menus €14-18 (weekday lunch), à la carte €26-35.
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