Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Restaurant La Ferme, Angers – pas comme autrefois?

The new incarnarnation of La Ferme

The Restaurant La Ferme close to the Cathedral of Anjou has long been a fixture of eating out in Angers. I think I first ate there in either 1989 or 1990 with the then young Pascal Cailleau who had just recently taken over the running of the Domaine de Sauveroy in the southern outskirts of Saint Lambert du Lattay. La Ferme was an outpost of traditional French family cooking – copious portions of traditional recipes. 

Four years ago it changed hands and right at the end of January was the first time since the hand over that I had got round to trying the new version. The style has certainly changed. Although some of the old dishes – coq au vin rouge d'Anjou have been retained – the treatment is more modern – plus raffinées.

I opted for three courses and chose the 2011 Croix de la Mission Anjou Villages Brissac from Domaine des Rochelles (the Lebreton family). This is their 90% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvées, which has long worked as the Cabernet Sauvignon is planted in very warm soil so the grapes ripen properly. Even better La Ferme offers this in 50cl bottles and as I'm a decided fan of la Modération I chose this size as I was dining alone. Ideally the powerful and opulent 2011 needs more time but I coped!     

Boudin blanc de Homard

For my first course I chose the Boudin blanc de Homard aux petits légumes et son émulsion coraillée. Fairly tasty but not outstanding. This was followed by the rognons de veaux, which were excellent cooked to just pink.

Rognons de veau

The wonderfully chocolately profiterole: 
La « fameuse » Bouse de Vache (Grande profiterole)

Purely for the sake of research I decided to opt for 'La « fameuse » Bouse de Vache (Grande profiterole), which really did live up to its billing with a wonderful, rich dark chocolate sauce.

I was very well looked after by a keen young waiter, who came from Beaulieu-sur-Layon and was in awe of the wines from Claude Papin (Château Pierre-Bise).

I would certainly go back to La Ferme, although it is sad that the number of restaurants offering that old style cuisine famiale is probably inevitably declining. La Ferme has gone as has La Bonne Ambiance in Saint Georges sur Cher. The wonderful Cheu l'Zib in Menetou-Salon continues and we must cherish it while it does.  


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