Hubert Giblet’s* gourmet break
Young chef Clément Dumont certainly has gold in his hands. In his family restaurant in Loches, he offers a cuisine of extreme finesse that appeals to all your senses. Very attached to his land, he sublimates the fresh seasonal products that he selects as close as possible to his restaurant. For example, he buys from 8 producers at the weekly market in the city.
The name of the restaurant, Arbore et Sens, sums up the philosophy of Clément Dumont, his partner Océane Guillot, but also his sister-in-law Mayliss.
Clément Dumont, a young but experienced and talented chef
Born on October 26, 1995 in Saumur, Clément Dumont spent his childhood in Chinon. His professional career began with an apprenticeship in Saumur in 2010. The chef then left for seasons in Courchevel and Saint-Barthélemy. It is in the Caribbean that he joins the circle of establishments associated with Relais & Châteaux for the first time. A turning point since Clément Dumont will then work for 3 years in establishments, all 5 stars, belonging to this famous association in Corsica and Val-d’Isère.
In 2017, Clément Dumont headed to Australia, and became a chef on a private boat, for a year: “A formative experience. You had to catch fish, so you had to regulate everything in terms of supply, monitor water management and the fish that were to be caught or released.” In 2018, return to the Centre-Val de Loire region, where he spent two years as second in the Pom’Poire Inn located in Azay-le-Rideau.
And on July 16, 2020, he opened his own restaurant, Arbore & Sens, in Loches. The following year, he won the Grand Prix du Public at The Fork Awards 2021. In my opinion, this is only the first of many distinctions that the Chef should obtain in the months and years to come…
Since then, Clément Dumont and his sister-in-law, Mayliss, have launched the development of the restaurant’s vegetable garden in Bridoré. And the environmental and societal commitment of the Arbore & Sens team has been rewarded by obtaining the 3 Ecotables macarons label: at the first attempt, they have reached the highest level that only 2 other restaurants in the Centre-Val de Loire region have achieved.
Top service and extremely graphic and tasty plates
A lunch or a dinner at Arbore et Sens is an enchanted interlude. The welcome is extremely pleasant and cordial, and afterwards all the service is efficient, friendly, with always “the little word that goes well”. I appreciated the ceremonial in a nod to Clément Dumont’s childhood in Chinon: at the beginning of the meal, each person chooses his or her knife from among different models made by “les copeaux d’abord“, cutlery artisans from Chinon.
And here we go for a ballet of perfumes, harmonious layouts, subtle and daring combinations of products, exquisite tastes, textures that are pleasant to the palate… And also impeccable matches with the wines selected by Océane!
At a lunch last summer, I was frankly surprised by an appetizer based on zucchini flowers. What refinement! In fact, the whole menu, from appetizers to desserts, was surprising, gourmand, harmonious… I’m running out of words!
I also remember the squab of Racan in two cookings, mmmmm… As for the pastry, it is always a separate exercise in the kitchen. But there too the Chef excels!
There is still so much to say about Arbore & Sens…
That the menu evolves in small steps with the seasons. It follows the rhythm of the productions in order to have always ingredients at the top of their maturity and their taste.
That eco-responsible cooking takes on its full meaning here, but without any concession to beauty and goodness. That a tree is enthroned in the center of the room. That the producers are honored, with their photos on the walls. That… No, I stop here, it’s up to you to discover this magnificent establishment, having logically joined the small galaxy of Michelin starred restaurants in Touraine.
Arbore et Sens Restaurant
22 Rue Balzac, 37600 Loches. Open Tuesday evening to Saturday, lunch and dinner. https://restaurant-arbore-et-sens.fr (online reservation) – 09 67 15 00 50
- First steps menu, weekday lunch at 38€.
- Arbore menu in 4 steps at 55€.
- 5 Senses menu at 68€.
- Interpretation menu in 7 steps at 85€.
- ‘Le petit gastronome’ menu at 20€.
Little extra images and flavors:
Line whiting from Noirmoutier, white asparagus from Richelieu in Barigoule, Eric Roy’s mini fennel, aniseed crunch, Barigoule juice.
Melting and crunchy rhubarb, creamy and soft almond, lemongrass and elderflower bouillon, rhubarb and smoked pepper sorbet.
A real painting composed around a fillet of St. Peter