Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – Brasserie de la Place, Reillanne

We have pledged to visit a different hostelry in the locale every Friday for the next year and bring to you, our passionately interested readers, our rating and assessment of each and every one.
Yes.  It’s a restaurant review.
We have two rules :
1. If there is a Plat du Jour (special of the day) one of us must order it
2. Rule one does not apply if the Plat du Jour is Andouillette.
(Andouillette is basically intestines wrapped up in a sausage skin.  I’ve never eaten it, but the LSH has resolutely tried it a couple of times, trying to figure out what the French see in it.  The last time, I sat in between the LSH and the ED as they both sampled andouillette in the Café du Cours in Reillanne.  The waiter had extolled its virtues, and convinced them that it was “very, very special.”  I might as well have been sitting in a cowhouse – that’s what it smelt like.  Both of them tried hard to like it, that day, and both agreed it was in a lovely sauce, but it still tasted like it smelled.)
So, no, thank you France, you make great food, but we’re steering clear of the andouillette from now on.
Due to a steady fall of snow, we decided to stay local this week.  We knew that the road as far as Reillanne was clear, so we opted for one of the Cafés in the square where we had never eaten before.
La Bresserie de la Place is off the main square in Reillanne, with a great view across the valley the winding approach road to the village.  It’s a very typical small French café with plenty of space outside for those warm sunny days but not much room indoors for the winter.  It was cosy, though, with a oil-fired burner going in the corner, and our attention was caught by a gorgeous table (too big for us!) with a top made from a single sheet of polished wood – I’d love it as a dining table!
Anyway, to the menu!  Like many small French cafés, it only offered a Menu du Midi, at €12.50 – perhaps their repertoire expands in the summer, but I can’t say for sure.
We opted for the starter/main course option (apologies to dessert lovers, we are both kinda savoury people!).  We had two options for each course, the starters were a charcuterie plate (cold meats and cheeses) which the LSH went for :
and I opted for Feuillette Bleu, which turned out to be blue cheese wrapped in pastry.  This tasted great, but the inside was a bit soggy – a side effect of the blue cheese melting during cooking time, I suppose.

The main course options were Steak on a Skewer or Baby Calamari with Tagliatelle.  Well, I won’t eat seafood, and the LSH has Crohn’s Disease and needs to watch his gluten intake, so he didn’t fancy the Tagliatelle, so we both went for the steak skewers.

They came with Choufleur au Gratin (Cauliflower Cheese), a couple of lettuce leaves and a lovely red wine sauce.  In Ireland, we would have been served the steak with a thick coating of barbecue sauce, or else with some sort of sauce-out-of-a-bottle on the side.  Here, things are simpler, and I have to say it suits me better – I can’t take MSG at all, it gives me migraines, and so many commercially prepared sauces use MSG to enhance their flavour – Vive la France, I say!

The steak was good – the LSH had a couple of tough bits, but mine was all good.  The cauliflower cheese was yummy, well seasoned with nutmeg.  But where were the spuds? Well, I didn’t miss them, but I think someone else did!  He loves his chips!

So, for €12.50, was it good value?

The straight answer to that has to be you will find better – for example, the five courses at the Buffet de la Gare gives you a lot more food for an extra €2, or for an extra €2.50, you will get a higher standard of food plus dessert 3km away at the Auberge Pierry.

That said, there was nothing wrong with what we got, it was simple food, well presented and served with a smile.  If you’re enjoying a wander around Reillanne some day, when you’ve looked at the old church and had a browse in the bookshop, or if you’ve been stomping through the woods for a couple of hours, you won’t go wrong if you pop into the Brasserie de la Place for lunch.

Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮
Value : ✮✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮  Very pleasant to sit by the window with a view in the winter, and it must be just as pleasant to sit outside in the Place de la Libération when the weather is warm.
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