Saturday, 16 May 2015

Poulet à la crème – to order or not to order?

Oh no - not chicken in cream sauce
As I have mentioned before, after every wreath laying (of which Cormatin celebrates five every year) one or other of the bars/restaurants organises the vin d’honneur. This 8th May (VE Day) had a massive turnout, more than 50 people joined our little band as we walked down the middle of the road to the war memorial.

We have our preferences as to which place to go to for the vin d’honneur and we had our fingers crossed that La Terrasse would get the job this time. So we were not disappointed when the Mayor announced our wine drinking destination. The snacks that La Terrasse provide are quite delicious, not just a bunch of peanuts, real yummy delicate delices. Sadly the town hall had only thought 25 people would turn up, so there was not so much to go round, but what there was was excellent.

Huge turnout for 8th May
After a glass of wine and chat, we usually stay in town for lunch and as Cees and I last ate at La Terrasse when it first opened, and I had only eaten there once again with a work group made up of representatives from all the regions tourist offices, we decided to see how they were doing now that they had extended the restaurant into the next-door building and they had to cope with more customers.

I ordered chicken in cream sauce - a Burgundy classic. Actually, I don’t know why I order it in restaurants because it is rarely done well, the last time I had it on the Tourist Office day out, it was a specatacular disappointment. Despite being a simple dish, poulet à la crème is difficult to get right. There is a balance to be had between nice and creamy on the one side and not too sickly on the other, few places manage that balance.

La Terrasse on a sunnier day
It is a bit like boeuf bourguignon, another supposed local speciality. A lot of restaurants put it on the menu because they think a Burgundian restaurant should serve it , but most fall way below any reasonable standard. I suppose we were spoiled by Monique, the previous owner of La Terrasse, her boeuf bourguignon is the gold standard to which all others are compared - most come up lacking.

So I waited for my poulet à la crème with a little bit of trepidation, would the cream balance be right, would the meat come off the bone without me having to hack it off?

We ate our meal and then we went to pay. As I handed over our cheque, I was asked by the owner/chef if I was the person with the blog on Cormatin. Fame at last, even the French locals have found my blog!

I then had a momentary thought that I had better be careful what I write about restaurants and businesses round here from now on - it was only a momentary though, because I have always and I will always tell it as I find it.

So how did I find La Terrasse?

I can safely say that the new owner of La Terrasse receives my accolade for the gold standard poulet à la crème, even better than Hotel De Bourgogne in Cluny, at a fraction of the price.

In summary La Terrasse is excellent and I don’t care if I offend anyone with that remark!

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