Jour de Fête

Restaurant Jour de Fête (Valennes)

© Jour de Fête

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Major news in Valennes, a not particularly sexy commune in the Perche Sarthois region (population: 322). There’s a new restaurant/épicerie/bakery in town, dreamt up by Raphaële Yon-Araud, housed in a village building that’s been carefully renovated and equipped with a permaculture vegetable garden. Everything is therefore homemade and organic, from the vegetables, herbs and fruits pampered by his daughter Maud to the breads baked by Lucien Poujol, not to mention the terrines and sausages. And what about the grub? Adèle, Maud’s sister, is an inspired new-wave chef (ex-Bouillon in Marseille), backed up in the kitchen by Oscar Raeburn (ex-Ébauchoir in Paris) and Étienne Legrand (who came from the Café du Coin). The night we went, everything varied between very and insanely good: divine zucchini blossom tempura, yogurt and sumac mayonnaise; a stunning marinated eggplant, tomato, redcurrant salad with a miso vinaigrette; incredible pea and broad bean ravioli, with faisselle cheese and cream infused with green pepper geranium leaves; dry-aged pork chops with new potatoes and an excellent charcutière sauce; and to end the meal on a high note, a chocolate cake with basil ganache. // Ringo de Balmalon

FEELING THIRSTY? A prodigious selection! Local, natural wines of course: Les Souchettes, a Pineau from Hervé Villemade (€4 a glass), L’Herbe Tendre, a Chenin from Cédric Fleury, Avis de Vin Fort, a Cabernet Franc from the Bretons (€30)… And to go with all that, farm-fresh Pelletier cider (€12 a bottle) and local craft beer from La Valennoise (€3.50 for a half-pint)…
PRICE: Menu €18 (lunch) à la carte €28-30.

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