L’Epicerie de Dienne
Meilleur village bistro of 2017
The Brits are regional champions in these parts! Peter Taylor at the Auberge de Chassignolles, Harry Lester at the Saint-Eutrope and Quillosque, and now Christ Wright, here, running Le Guide Fooding’s Best Village Bistro of 2017. On the road to the Auvergne volcanos, in a remote village that smells like cows, his modest bistro (with an organic and locavore épicerie corner) offers a set menu that wakes up the canton and that ought to inspire all the local restaurants: a salad of tomatoes, anchovies, scallions and a (mostly) hard-boiled egg; crispy cod with an incredible browned butter sauce and miniature roasted potatoes; English cheeses (+€2); and a few prunes macerated in red wine for dessert. To drink, there’s a nice selection of small producer wines from here and elsewhere: Principauté d’Orange VDP from Daumen (€3 a glass), or a more local Bohème from Patrick Bouju (€32 a bottle). Menu €21. New for 2017: there are two hotel rooms and an apartment for rent upstairs (starting at €52 a night for half-board). // J.G.