Lo­cal pro­duce, scenic venues and in­no­va­tive menus near the Plateau des Mille Étangs.

France - - Contents -


On the ap­proach, the Au­berge des Mille Étangs restau­rant ap­peared as if it could have been a quiet hunt­ing lodge. There was a sense of re­laxed, com­mu­nal fam­ily din­ing through­out the meal, with hearty food, wood piles out­side and a beau­ti­ful, abun­dant set­ting which at­tracts lo­cals, walk­ers, cy­clists and vis­i­tors from over the bor­der in Switzer­land.

In­side, ex­posed stone walls, red rugs and a fire­place re­in­forced the hunt­ing lodge theme. Poul­try and pump­kins – wooden, ce­ramic and painted – were two themes of the dé­cor in­side and out, while ce­ramic water jugs and wine de­canted into un­la­belled glass bot­tles added to the friendly rus­tic feel.

It was a beau­ti­fully sunny day and like most din­ers, we opted to dine on the large wooden ter­race. Any seat you chose had amaz­ing views in­clud­ing some of the large glis­ten­ing lake – one of the many in the Mille Étangs area.

For my first course, I was served a golden tower of girolle mush­rooms in a but­tery gar­lic sauce, over spongy white bread, with pineap­ple sage crown­ing the dish on top. The meat eaters in the group were treated to a gen­er­ous por­tion of pigs’ cheeks in a rich sauce for the main course, while my omelette had a sim­i­larly healthy serv­ing of truf­fle. Both dishes were com­ple­mented well with a creamy potato and onion side. The hearty por­tions con­tin­ued into dessert, not just in a won­der­ful cin­na­mon tarte aux pommes, but hot sweet pears in red wine along­side. Set menu from €38, dish of the day €18 (week­days only) Goutte Géhant 70440 Servance Tel: (Fr) 3 84 20 48 55 aubergedesmillee­


Luxeuil-les-bains is a town known and named for its ther­mal baths and the Beau Site ho­tel, restau­rant and spa keeps in this theme, hav­ing its own sauna, hot tub, swim­ming pool and treat­ment rooms for mas­sages and re­flex­ol­ogy.

Din­ner was served be­tween 7-9pm and hun­gry guests flowed in promptly. We started our meal with a drink while sat on a sofa in the small re­cep­tion bar, be­fore mov­ing into the al­ready lively restau­rant. The meal be­gan with a rather un­ex­pected but tasty ap­pe­tiser – parme­san crème brûlée, and yes, like its dessert coun­ter­part it did still have the crusty top to crack into; a sat­is­fy­ing way to start the meal.

The first course was black chanterelle mush­rooms in a crispy pan­cake wrap served with a light salad and washed down with a glass of a lo­cal Chardon­nay Vieille Vignes. Fol­low­ing this, the main course was a cel­e­bra­tion of veg­eta­bles – warm pota­toes and creamy mush­rooms, with a twist of con­trast­ing


Chef Boris Monnin’s dishes are well­p­re­sented, cre­ative and de­li­cious. I was lucky enough to sam­ple his work dur­ing the last week of open­ing in his restau­rant in Epe­noux. The whole team have now picked up and moved to a new venue that they have called Monnin Restau­rant in the nearby town of Vesoul. My ex­pe­ri­ence be­gan lis­ten­ing to pi­ano mu­sic with a glass of cré­mant, and sweet and spicy pep­per syrup tick­ling my tongue. I set­tled in for a so­phis­ti­cated evening. The ve­gan ap­pe­tiser was a pep­pery len­til mousse and cele­riac on bread. For first course, I en­joyed a warm roasted pump­kin with a sweet cin­na­mon flavour driz­zled in olive oil, and com­ple­mented well with mixed nuts crum­bled on top. There was no fight­ing over bread rolls as we were each given one in­di­vid­u­ally and plates were topped up af­ter the first course. The ta­ble water was Vellem­in­froy, sourced and bot­tled lo­cally in the dé­parte­ment, while re­gional morel flavours from sweet roasted toma­toes, cel­ery and peas with olive oil and chilli pep­per. It was an easy de­ci­sion to choose my dessert at the end of the meal once I saw the im­pres­sive cheese cart. It seemed ap­pro­pri­ate to take the op­por­tu­nity to try the Franche-comté favourite can­coil­lotte, a creamy runny mix­ture made from met­ton cheese and milk, which the waiter skil­fully spun on to the plate from a spoon. Restau­rant open for lunch and din­ner ev­ery­day in high sea­son but closed for Fri­day din­ner, Sat­ur­day lunch and Sun­day evening from 20 Novem­ber to 20 March. A three course meal dur­ing the week starts at €19 menu and menus start from €23 on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day. 18 Rue Mouli­mard 70300 Luxeuil-les-bains Tel: (Fr) 3 84 40 14 67 mush­rooms were rep­re­sented in the main course – soaked in an onion sauce and served with com­ple­ment­ing earthy veg. The wine too was from Franche-comté, a Vig­no­ble Guil­laume Pinot Noir. Dessert was a play­ful mix of rasp­berry mousse and rasp­berry sauce with a wafer and a tra­di­tion­ally sweet crème brûlée. I am pleased that the new lo­ca­tion will give more peo­ple op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover this won­der­ful food and the restau­rant cer­tainly cre­ated a stir, with many book­ings made for the open­ing week be­fore it was even fin­ished. Restau­rant open from 12pm-1.30pm and 7.30pm-9pm. Menus start from €16. 172 Rue St Martin, 70000 Vesoul Tel: (Fr) 3 84 75 88 35 mon­nin­restau­

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