We had a really satisfying, food-focused, all-too-short trip to Tours, in the Loire Valley, the last week of November. Tours is at the heart of the Loire Valley wine region, filled with really good restaurants, stores for wine and spirits, cooking equipment stores, not to mention narrow streets, old buildings, great shopping, an impressive art museum, and a really splendid cathedral.
The large enclosed market, Les Halles, at Place Gaston Paillhou, is filled with stalls offering an incredible array of fresh meat and produce.
From many, many choices in the medieval section of Tours, we ate really well at L'Arome (26 Rue Colbert), Le Zinc (27 Place du Grand Marché), La Cuisine du Monstre (51 Place du Grand Marche), La Plume Blanche (16 Rue du Grand Marché), and Le Bouchon Tourangeau (21 rue du Grand Marche).
We wanted to sample a wide range of Loire Valley wines, and were especially happy to find the Tours outpost of the Loire Valley Maisons des Vins, an association that promotes the wine industry in the Loire Valley.
Tours Maisons des Vins is at 25, rue du Grand Marché, and offers tastings of 70 Loire Valley wines chosen to illustrate the range and variety of the local wines.
Marie-Colombe, the exceptionally gracious and able proprietor, guided us through a (relatively) small but well-chosen selection of 18 wines, over several visits. Really good to be able to sample so much good wine in one place!
Thought I would write this in light of the fact that I asked this list for restaurant suggestions before we went and did not get much response. We did get a too-late-to-be helpful suggestion for Le Petit Patrimoine on Rue Colbert, which also looks really promising.
Guess we will have to go back!