La Ferme de la Ruchotte
The bearded and tattooed Fred Ménager (a Chapel and Gagnaire alumnus) kind-heartedly lets his heritage poultry run around in the fresh air at his biodynamic farmhouse-inn. There’s Barbezieux fatted chicken, Coucou de Rennes, Gauloise Dorée, Red Ardennes turkeys… Along with a few Solognot lambs and Gascon pigs which are turned into sublime terrines, divine pâté en croûte and delicious boudins. You can devour it all banquet-style (on weekends and occasionally during the week, if he can squeeze you into his schedule…) in a space with rustic wooden rafters and ceramic pots. The Sunday we went for lunch, the pork ribs were strutting around between silver platters topped with baby vegetables (turnips, radishes, carrots) and bowls of lamb’s lettuce or mizuna grown in his greenhouses…. For dessert? A winning combo of chocolate ice cream, pain de Gênes and a small waffle. To drink, there’s a beautiful selection of bottles from winemaker friends: L’air du Temps, a Gamay from Jean-François Cluzin (€25), Sur les Vris, a Ladoix from Christian Perrin (€33), a Saint-Romain rouge from Sarnin-Berrux (€60), a Pommard from Didier Montchovet (€57) or this nectar from Auvergne, Un Point C’est Tout 2010 from Pierre Beauger (€140). Set menu €50. // D.N.