After hiding out for several years in their Auberge du Presbytère in the Hérault department (which has since become Äponem), the Fourniers have traded in the monastic life for an orgy of sea saltand fertile market flavors deep in the Armor department. Right in the heart of medieval Vannes, former interior decorator Marine has pimped out Empreinte by unearthing English wallpaper, 50s-era chairs and black terrazzo tables, which are graced by flashes of locavore flavor from Baptiste (ex-Bras and Piège). The other night, his surprise €40 menu sent out shock waves: stunning flash-seared clams, turnip mousse, preserved lemon and cashews; a chivalrous battle of green and white asparagus, spider crab in jelly, artichokes, chard and bottarga-infused mayonnaise; line-caught hake killed using the ikejime method, leeks drizzled with cow parsnip oil, new potatoes, cream of lovage and an coastal bouquet (angelica, ground-ivy and wild fennel); before a dessert that was as brilliant as it was bitter, grated chocolate over a bitter orange jelly, with hazelnuts, whipped fromage blanc and dulce de leche. // Matthieu Jauniau-Dallier
FEELING THIRSTY? Marine keeps the glasses filled with natural wines: Saumur blanc from Le Manoir de la Tête Rouge (€5 a glass), Alsace-Riesling from Josmeyer (€39 a bottle), Côtes-Catalanes red from Les Enfants Sauvages (€28)…
PRICE: Set menus €25-30-35 (lunch), €40-50 (dinner).