Hello France CH board, as partial thanks for all your assistance previously -- and with this most recent trip in particular -- here’s a belated summary of dining in stunningly beautiful Bretagne (and a few quick endnotes about Paris dining) in September 2013:
We took the TGV to Lorient, then drove to Chateau Locguenole, in 56700 Kervignac, http://www.chateau-de-locguenole.com/ . For two nights we had a lovely (upgraded) room and one dinner in the intimate and elegant starred restaurant downstairs. We ordered a la carte; most memorable dishes: oysters in a celery root puree; lobster in local spices (was it Kari Grosse?); turbot in white Burgundy with truffles . . . . Lunch south of there, nearish Carnac: Le Petit Hôtel du Grand Large -- also one star -- but a very different and casual feel. http://www.lepetithoteldugrandlarge.fr/. There we had excellent seafood accompanied by an aged Muscadet, and we enjoyed speaking with the three women who run the front of the house. Then on a Monday night, with few other options, we had a totally uninspired and disappointing dinner at a portside place recommended to us -- Le Cargo, in 56570 Locmiquelic -- we should have just gone to a local crêperie.
Next on to Pont-Aven, and Le Moulin de Rosmadec, http://www.moulinderosmadec.com, another one-star place. Nice setting in the middle of this busy touristy town, but the restaurant disappointed a bit -- for example, a lobster dish was too fussed up and hid the taste of the lobster. Nearby for lunch after hiking the Aven river -- first upstream and then downstream to its mouth -- we had traditional crêpes in the thatched roof Chez Angele, www.creperie-chezangele.fr, which we understand from Ptipois is under new ownership. It now appears to be a husband/wife operation (she does the cooking and he seriously and efficiently runs the front) and the crepes were quite good. Farther west and on the coast we had another good seafood lunch below Quimper, in 29120 Sainte-Marine (opposite Benodet) at Bistrot du Bac, http://www.trimen.fr/en/the-restauran.... No comparison with the excellent Le Petit Hôtel du Grand Large, tho.
Moving inland, we stayed overnight at the striking Manoir de Kerledan, in 29270 Carhaix-Plouguer, Finistère. http://www.kerledan.com/ Very good, and a fun table d’hote, but the nice British proprietors seem to attract mostly English-speaking guests? Still, we did enjoy dining and talking with our Dutch tableneighbors.
Until now the weather had been great, with marvelous clouds; but then it turned gray and gloomy. Off to Roscoff (forgetting iPhone cables and such in the room, if you go to the Manoir you can ask for ours). Lots of Brits in this ferry-port town. After a short local ferry ride to cold and windy Ile de Bratz (and darn, mangeur’s recommended “TyYann” has changed name and proprietor, and we were not able to lunch there), we checked in at Hotel Temps de Vivre, http://www.letempsdevivre.net/en/ (their former restaurant is no more) and walked across town to dinner at the too brightly lit Les Alizes, http://www.les-alizes-roscoff.com/. Food and service were OK, not great, and I could not even finish the huge portion of moules. Another darn: Pitipois’ recommended crêperie, Ty Saozon, was closed on our day there (a Thursday); and so we went to another down the same street, Crêperie La Chandeleur, it was quite good enough.
Now driving east: After a quick detour thru Morlaix (what an interesting site for that interior city), and then a traffic delay in some bouchons on the N12 and hence failure to get in for lunch in St-Brieuc at either Youpala Bistrot or Aux Pesked (in that order; they both looked nice tho!) we tried to find but could not l’Arbalaise; finally, after a frustrating and not so funny comedy of errors, we ended up at a nice little dive, Le Bistro du Marin, in 22190 Plerin, where we got the last table at 13:30 and had excellent and simple salad, house white, and dandy moules-frites. We then drove on to 22400 Planguenoual, Manoir de la Hazaie, http://www.manoir-hazaie.com/chambres..., a lovely B&B with a limited table d’hote (Christine accepts reservations for only 6 covers at three separate candelabra-set tables in this ancient manoir). Home made foie gras, etc., and reasonably priced wines selected by her husband, Jean-Yves; solid cooking, nice folks.
The sun came back, and we were off to Cancale -- probably the highlight of our lovely clockwise tour. On recommendation of DCM, mangeur, and I think also Souphie, we stayed two nights at Les Rimains, http://www.maisons-de-bricourt.com/le..., and splurged for the Badienne room -- the most dramatic room we’ve ever experienced, with breakfast in front of our fireplace. We dined at Olivier Roellinger’s Le Coquillage (the main dish we recall: Lamb from Mont Saint-Michel, for two), located in the Hotel of Les Maisons De Bricourt -- a private car takes you to the restaurant from Les Rimains. Next night, for a change of pace, we enjoyed walking to diner at La Table de Breizh Café, the restaurant (one *) above the café -- where we sat at the bar watched the Japanese chefs prepare our costy but excellent plates.
Also in Cancale, we had two nice seafood lunches at L’Ormeau 4 quai Thomas F, and Le Troquet, 19 quai Gambetta -- both right on the harbor, both in Michelin -- both a bit touristy, but what the heck, and at least we were with French tourists.
In St. Malo, before dropping the car and taking the train back to Paris, we tried to have lunch at the Bordier place, Restaurant Autour du Beurre , http://www.lefooding.com/restaurant/r..., but it was closed (Monday). We should have gone to Restaurant Le Cambusier, very nearby, www.cambusier.fr; http://www.lefooding.com/restaurant/r... ; but instead chose the old fashioned place, Al la Duchesse Anne, http://www.restaurant-duchesse-anne.com/, which was OK, but no more.
PS: We wanted to get over to Parigi’s recommended ferme auberge, http://www.ferme-de-mesauboin.com/, but it just did not fit in. We really loved these parts of Brittany, and recall fondly the dramatic clouds, tides, and great walks. We will certainly return.
By the way, in Paris, we went right away to Brasserie d’ile St Louis for our standard first small lunch of omelet, herring in oil, green salad, and Riesling; we liked Ober-Salé (about our visit, more here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9174... ); we enjoyed Moissonier; Dans Les Landes; happily returned to H Kitchen; liked both Au Bon Coin and Pirouette; and we had a pleasing return to the simple and tiny Le Timbre. After avoiding it for many years we finally went to Café Constant, lunching upstairs with others from this board and a room of Japanese tourists. Le Cinq was a great experience, described in part (except for our impromptu post-lunch kitchen tour at about 16:00) here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/917374. Two of our other favorites this trip were Le Petit Verdot (see more here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8995... -- and it’s just fine with us if it doesn’t become a favorite of others), and Les Climats (a Bourgogne term denoting specific vineyard sites, I believe?) -- the cooking is French with an Asian (Vietnamese?) sense, and an exclusively Burgundy list -- we were in heaven there, sitting in the beautiful atrium. -- Jake