EAT OUT IN HAUTE-SAÔNE
Local produce, scenic venues and innovative menus near the Plateau des Mille Étangs.
1 AUBERGE DES MILLE ÉTANGS, SERVANCE
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 aubergedesmilleetangs.fr
2 BEAU SITE, LUXEUIL-LES-BAINS
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
3 MONNIN RESTAURANT, VESOUL
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 beau-site-luxeuil.com 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 monninrestaurant.fr