Le Saint Eutrope
Le Guide Fooding’s Best bistro 2015
The former kings of London gastropubs, chef Harry Lester and his wife Ali Johnson, moved to the Auvergne department in the early 2000s. After the Auberge de Chassignolles in the Haute-Loire (2007), they opened up this pretty bistro in Vieux-Clermont, with cement tiled floors, wooden chairs and white tablecloths. Here, there’s a set menu, which for us at dinner consisted of: a beautiful homemade charcuterie plate (stunning rillettes, saucisson, tête de cochon, coppa) and radishes with butter; pistou soup English-style with lamb and seasonal vegetables (haricots verts, white beans, carrots, cabbage); hake baked to golden perfection with the last chanterelle mushrooms and the first St George’s mushrooms of the season, and very green peas; a country cheese plate (including an unforgettable Fourme de Montbrison); and, to finish, a light passion fruit soufflé plus its crunchy and refreshing seeds. In the glasses, you’ll see local gems (but not just that): Escargot, a Chardonnay from the Auvergne produced by Vincent Tricot (€4.80 a glass) and Minette, a Gamay from François Dhumes (€26 a bottle). Menus €21 (lunch) and €32 (dinner). Reservations are recommended. // M.A.-L.