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.
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.
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.
The cod was perfectly cooked – wonderfully moist and flavoursome.
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.
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: 02.47.94.93.52