We have pledged to visit a different hostelry in the locale every Friday for the next year and bring to you, our passionately interested readers, our rating and assessment of each and every one.
Yes. It's a restaurant review.
We have two rules :
1. If there is a Plat du Jour (special of the day) one of us must order it
2. Rule one does not apply if the Plat du Jour is Andouillette.
(Andouillette is basically intestines wrapped up in a sausage skin. I've never eaten it, but the LSH has resolutely tried it a couple of times, trying to figure out what the French see in it. The last time, I sat in between the LSH and the ED as they both sampled andouillette in the Café du Cours in Reillanne. The waiter had extolled its virtues, and convinced them that it was "very, very special." I might as well have been sitting in a cowhouse - that's what it smelt like. Both of them tried hard to like it, that day, and both agreed it was in a lovely sauce, but it still ..um.. tasted like it smelled.)
So, no, thank you France, you make great food, but we're steering clear of the andouillette from now on.
This week, we headed towards the nearby town of Manosque. Our destination was Le Cigaloun, in the Old Town part of Manosque. I've never been to the old part of Manosque before, although the LSH has spent some time there, wandering around with his camera, taking some shots. Me, I tend to just drive through the town on the way to the Autoroute or on the way to the supermarket, and have never particularly liked the place.
Having seen the Old Town, though, I've been doing Manosque an injustice. It's very quaint and inviting, with lots of narrow winding streets and interesting looking shops. Le Cigaloun is a café located in the main square, with plenty of tables outside for the sunny days, and plenty of trees, too - so essential for shade during the hot summer months.
The inside is bright, clean and modern. We settled ourselves at a table for two and looked at the menu. The LSH decided to opt for the Plat du Jour - Rôti de Porc, served with a salad and braised endives (chicory) on the side, while I was tempted by the idea of tagliatelle with cèpes (boletus mushroom). We also ordered a glass of wine each, white for the LSH and rosé for me, which we sipped while we waited.
The Rôti de Porc was totally not what we expected - it was more like ham, but served cold, with a strong, garlicky sauce.
|Rôti de porc|
Lost in translation, or a regional difference? Whatever, it was very tasty, if a little strange to be eating cold meat with a warm sauce. The endive was excellent - I do a variation of this dish, but it's very different, and it's nice to try another version. The salad was good, and the chips (which were extra) were ok.
The tagliatelle looked like... well it looked like...
|Tagliatelle au cèpes|
...well never mind what it looked like, it tasted delicious! I loooove my mushrooms!
Dessert was next - I ordered Tarte au Framboises (Raspberry Tart) and the LSH ordered Tiramisu. Both were great, they had it all - eye appeal and flavour!
|Tarte au Framboise|
Two coffees finished off the meal, and we left just about an hour after we arrived, pleasantly stuffed. The cost for the meal was just under €38, or €19 each - not cheap, but I suppose you pay for the surroundings and the food itself was good.
Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮✮ (The food tasted very good - I'm not sure you can make a plate of pasta look more interesting!)
Value : ✮✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮ (More sophisticated than your typical little Provençal Café)
All in all, a very pleasant little café where you can enjoy good food and good service, although it's not one of those places you will walk away from saying "I can't believe it was so cheap!!"