Hubert Giblet’s* gourmet break
When two school friends meet up again after having worked in fine establishments, one in the kitchen, the other in the dining room, the result is a restaurant where the welcome and the service are in tune with a cuisine that is all about finesse, freshness and inventiveness…
From the Lycée de Tours to Les Arpents
It was on the benches of the Albert Bayet hotel school in Tours that Franck Breton (the perfect namesake of a winegrower from the Vouvray appellation, whose bottles can be found at Les Arpents!) and Jérôme Lognon met.
Franck is in the kitchen… for our greatest pleasure. Very early on, he turned to gastronomic restaurants, his aim being to work with and learn from great chefs. His career path led him first to the kitchens of the Château des Sept Tours, then to Burgundy to the Auberge de la Charme (1* in the Michelin guide) and then to the Abbaye de la Bussière (1* in the Michelin guide). Finally, he returned to the region, and more precisely to the Domaine des Hauts de Loire (2* in the Michelin guide). Thals to these experiences and encounters, he acquired rigor, technique and, above all, a love for beautiful products and ways to make the most of them.
Jérôme was trained in some of the region’s leading brasseries where he quickly rose through the ranks thanks to his professionalism and his privileged contact with customers. His only objective: the pleasure of his customers and the promise of a moment of conviviality and sharing. And he has achieved his goal! It’s very pleasant to benefit from attentive, warm and informed service: from the explanation of the dishes and the origin of the products to the suggestions for the wines, here the notion of service takes on its full meaning. And when it’s in a good mood, with a touch of humour, it’s perfect.
Extremely tasty plates
The chef’s experience is certainly evident in what he “sends”. From the starter to the dessert, from the amuse-bouche to the mignardises I should say, everything is perfectly mastered and very nicely prepared.
And here, the cuisine gives pride of place to local products. Franck Breton and his team have chosen to work directly with local producers, from the Loire fisherman (Thierry Bouvet) to cheese producers, market gardeners and other suppliers who are keen to make the most of local resources.
To illustrate my point, here are a few extracts from the current menu which should make you salivate… and which I have tested with delight for you:
- Marinated Loire mullet with apple in oil and roasted pistachio: very fine with a subtle mix of textures and flavours
- Fishery of the day, green asparagus from Mr. Leroux refreshed with grapefruit and a light bear garlic mayonnaise (but don’t look for the latter, it is served in a small cassolette on the side): perfect cooking, a dish of pure deliciousness!
- The first Sologne strawberries, olives and honey from our beehives. What a surprising initiative to include olives in the dessert, but how relevant and succulent! By the way, yes, the restaurant has its own beehives…
You want more? Take your pick from the photos taken by my partner in crime! They illustrate the following recipes:
- Duckling marinated in Garum de Loire, foie gras mousse… hidden under crisp vegetables!
- Biscuit of Loire carp, creamy celery, sour mushrooms and crosnes ;
- Just snacked scallops, roasted cauliflower with black lemon, seaweed butter ;
- Racan squab, fillet roasted on the chest, leg and giblets in cromesquis, coloured beetroot and sliced coffee juice;
- Intense chocolate and Muscovado sugar delicacy;
- Granny Smith apple candied with honey from our beehives.
So, Hubert, do you recommend the establishment?
You can imagine that yes, yes, yes! And it’s not just me, the gastronomic guides also recommend Les Arpents, with the Michelin awarding it a well-deserved “bib gourmand”. The quality of the dishes combined with the friendly and efficient service certainly make this restaurant one of the best in Amboise.
It’s easy to find: the restaurant Les Arpents is well located, in the heart of the town, a stone’s throw from the castle. You enter the first room, which has only a few tables and houses the cellar. The second room, larger, more simple but pleasant, opens onto a pleasant terrace.
But the main thing is not the decor, but the plates and the service. And, to top it all off, the prices are very reasonable for such a high standard. So needless to say, it is wise to book well in advance.
Weekday lunch menu from 19 to 23€.
3-course pleasure menu at 36€.
5-course à la carte gourmet menu at €50
Children’s menu (under 12 years old) at 19€, according to their wishes
Restaurant les Arpents
5, rue d’Orange – 37400 Amboise
Open Tuesday to Saturday, lunch and dinner
https://restaurant-lesarpents.fr/ – 02 36 20 92 44
* Hubert Giblet, gourmet and gourmand, manages the Automnales de la Gastronomie festival within Val de Loire Terres de Gastronomie and the Azay-Chinon Val de Loire Tourist Office.