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, 6 August 2009

Lunch@La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny

Had another wonderful lunch at Jacky Dallais' La Promenade. The food is always great and inventive, the wine list excellent, the restaurant completely unstuffy and relaxed and to cap it all it's excellent value for money. Madame Dallais looks after the front of the house assisted by Xavier Fortin, the excellent sommelier. All too many sommeliers are useless, not so Xavier who is enthusiastic and really knows his wines, especially from the Loire but also the Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon.

Jacky Dallais' presence in the dining room

Jacky Dallais stays in the kitchen, so there is none of the celebrity chef nonsense with the chef pressing the customers' flesh rather than getting on with the business in hand in the kitchen. I don't know of another restaurant in France that offers such quality at such good value as you'll find at La Promenade.

We took the menu tradition – 50€ for three courses plus cheese and dessert or 40€ for two courses.

2005 Le Volagré, Montlouis, Stéphane Cossais

For our aperitif we had a bottle of 2005 Le Volagré, Montlouis (38€) in memory of Stéphane. It was delicious and a very sad reminder of Stéphane's potential. Initially it showed some wood but this disappeared as it cooled down and had time to breathe and showed the richness of 2005 along with clean and precise minerality.

Huîtres speciales, compôte d'artichaut, citron confit et consommé de tomate

My first course was an amazing dish with a number of plump oysters hidden under the thin, brown biscuit. We had Didier Dagueneau's 2005 Pur Sang, Pouilly-Fumé (70€), which was good with attractive concentration and pure clean length but it didn't really quite have the complexity of Le Volagré. Didier's wine may just need more time.

Cabillaud cotier en croute de persil et coquillages

The cod was perfectly cooked – wonderfully moist and flavoursome.

Canard: le filet cuit rosé à lolive noir, le foie gras juste poelé, croque tomate acidulée et jus d'abat au vin rouge

With the very fine duck we had the 1999 Coteau de Noire, Chinon, Philippe Alliet (48€), which was attractively leathery with a touch of earthiness/sous bois. Philippe's Chinon brought to an end our sad series – Stéphane and Didier – of drinking bottles from top Loire producers cut down in their prime. I shouldn't forget the wickedly rich mousseline of potato – a Dallais speciality – believed to be 55% butter to 45% potato.

1999 Coteau de Noire, Chinon, Philippe Alliet

After the cheese I chose this strawberry dish – unfortunately I don't have the description but it was strawberries souffled sitting on little disks of jelly made from Gamay.

The only one small problem with La Promenade is that it is 50 minutes drive away deep in the unspoilt countryside of La Touraine Sud and it is difficult to find a good chambre d'hôte nearby. It is, of course, worth the journey. le Petit Pressigny has a population of 373.

Summer hours for La Promenade: open all week apart from Sunday night, all day Monday and Tuesday lunchtime. Booking is strongly advised.

11 Rue Savoureulx, 37350 Le Petit Pressigny‎. Tel:

Au Bon Coin: Le Petit Pressigny's other restaurant


Aynard said...

Jim once again, I can only confirm you that what you write is right. It is one of the best for value restaurant I know in France. And being at the top of the quality for so unique. You are absolutely right...It is incredible in the middle of no where...mer

Jim's Loire said...

Aynard – on est d'accord!

Anonymous said...

This restaurant sounds terrific. A nice mix of wines there Jim.

Bob from Alberta.

Jim's Loire said...

Bob - for your next Loire visit it has to be on the must-do list.

Jean said...

We have only been to La Promenade once. Considering it's just up the road, we should do it more often. It was wonderful.

Jim's Loire said...

Jean I agree and it is such amazing value. Unfortunately for us it is a bit of a drive but nevertheless we should go more often.