The Presbytère

Restaurant The Presbytère (Heugueville-sur-Sienne)

© Camille Godefroy

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After introducing the French to the merits of British neo-cuisine, Edward Delling-Williams (ex-Grand Bain and Buffet) is now taking on the English Channel at a majestic building on the Cotentin Peninsula that used to house the local clergy. It’s an imposing gastronomical den decked out in monastic minimalism (communal wooden tables, a deer trophy on the wall, a massive stone fireplace), where the chef communes with exquisite ingredients while listening to a garage rock soundtrack. The other night, we savored all of the following by candlelight: an incredible lamb terrine paired with pickled walnut and plum ketchup; a divine bowl of palourde clams whipped up by oyster leaves and an aioli infused with shellfish jus; a delicate dashi with lobster meat and exquisite ricotta-stuffed tortellini; cod ceviche with diced cucumber; generous slices of medium-rare duck breast surrounded by Anna potatoes, marinated anchovies and a romesco sauce; slow-cooked sole with obscenely browned butter, arm in arm with a briny sea purslane salad; unforgettable pan-fried gnocchi and zucchini, with a ricotta whey sauce and a sprinkling of crushed pralines; before some adorable strawberries dotted with flowers from the garden, nestled in a dollop of raw cream and fleur de sel. Otherwise, consider the sacred Sunday roast, when Ed whips up some roast beef or porchetta, followed by Yorkshire pudding… In short, everything necessary to become the next saint of British bistronomy! // Laura Dargent

FEELING THIRSTY? A naturalist selection of wines at reasonable prices: a Saint-Pourçain white from Les Terres d’Ocre (€7 a glass), a Muscadet-sur-Lie from the Domaine de la Bretonnière (€18 a bottle), an Anjou Cabernet Franc from Bobinet (€30), an Alsatian white from Julien Meyer (€36)… But there’s also a local Captain James IPA (€5.50 for 330 ml) or cider from Damien Lemasson (€18 for 750 ml).
PRICE: Appetizers €8-12, mains €15-19, desserts €6-8.

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