Thursday, 10 November 2016

15b : Eating out in Cormatin (2 of 2)

La Terrasse in Cormatin was run by a rather brusque lady, Mme Monique R., a woman requiring some instructions before use.

La Terasse, a few years back - Cormatin
We got on with her very well (which cannot be said for every one of her clientele) and we were very impressed with her cookery skills (grandmother's cuisine). It was for us a double shock to hear that, for serious health reasons, she had to sell La Terrasse. The restaurant did not stay empty for long though, and the new owner decided to renovate the rather old fashioned interior, to modernise the menu, to give the terrace itself a complete facelift and to buy the house next door in order to break through and to enlarge his indoor seating capacity. After the dust had settled La Terrasse new style has definitely established itself.

La Terrasse as of now, on a busy day - Cormatin
My first experience with the new La Terrasse was after a wreath laying ceremony on the 28th of June 2014. The local bars and restaurants in Cormatin serve, on turn, the vin d'amitié after the event, which gives "new" restaurants an opportunity to characterize themselves. La Terrasse came up with a big number of immaculate exquisite amuse-bouches, fitting for a good restaurant. We decided to try the kitchen of this place some other day. We grabbed our chance on the 8th of May 2015 (liberation day). After the wreath laying the mayor announced that the verre d'amitié was at La Terrasse, and since we often stay on in Cormatin for lunch in case the wreath laying takes place around noon, we decided to hang on in La Terrasse.

The longest parade since 2005 - Cormatin
Again this time there were amuse-bouches, and again they were a feast for the eye as well as the palate. We had to wait a bit longer than usual, but that could easily be explained by the fact that instead of the usual max. 25 suspects turning up this time the terrace was invaded by over 50 people. After we had sipped from the kir and had a go at the amuse-bouches, the meeting broke up and we went inside, into the newly opened part of the restaurant.

Wreath laying - Cormatin
Because we hardly ever eat a heavy meal for lunch, we decided to take only a main course, moisten it with a glass of local wine, and have only coffee for desert. I ordered a magret de canard, and for the first time in my life I was asked what cuisson I wanted. That is a very normal question where beef is concerned, but I was never asked that question with duck. The owner suggested rosé, and rosé it was going to be. At home I found out that the normal cuissons for magret de canard are bleu (red and bloody), rosé (pink) and bien cuit (well done). Normally I would have chosen bleu, but the rosé I had asked for was excellent and very tasty indeed.

Vin d'Amitié - La Terrasse Cormatin
The duck was served with a jacket potato and lettuce. The whole meal was very nicely presented, and the (cheap) wine we had chosen was excellent for the price we paid. This simple but more than adequate meal set us back only € 15 pp, and the price/quality ration was excellent.
Based on this experience we chose, when we were invited for a festive meal of our choice, for La Terrasse. Unfortunately this time it did not work out so well. My starter (escargots) was rather tough and chewy.

La Terrasse - Cormatin
My piece of beef, no Charollais but French, was streaked with sinew and as a whole also rather tough. The others were very happy with the salads they had for starters, but the magret de canard that was chosen by two had a peppersauce with it that was far too hot, even for my taste. Only the person who ordered poulet à la crême as a main dish was reasonably content. Everyone was very impressed with the deserts. The quality difference with the last time might be explained by the fact that the owner was not running the kitchen, as opposed to the previous occasion.

Poulet à la crême
However, the whole restaurant starts to resemble Fawlty Towers if the quality of the food is depending on the presence or not of a chef. The experiences only one month apart are too different to classify this place as a very good restaurant.
We had hoped that La Terrasse could fill the gap left behind by La Grange Finot in Bray (closed some time ago) or its successor La Régalade in Cluny (also closed down). Unfortunately this is not the case, hence we are still looking…..

Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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