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Need restaurant reccs in Loire Valley, between Saumur, Chinon, and Tours

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We have a group of 7 traveling to the Loire Valley next week. We are staying in the town of Bournand, just south of Chinon. I am hoping to get recommendations of a few good places to eat in the area - I keep reading that there are many fine restaurants, but I am a little suspicious of some of the sites touting the various restaurants. Does anyone have any suggestions? btw, we have a car, and we are willing to spend the money for a special meal, but would also love to hear of some 'hidden gems.'

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  1. I went to Charles Barrier in Tours it has one Michelin star I believe. The food was excellent although fairly classic and the service was really top notch accomodating both the fact that I was pregnant and have a seafood allergy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: spacesasha

      We had a very good lunch a few years ago in Loudun, not far from Chinon and just south of Bournand (about 12 km.). Place is Le Ricordeau and is considered one of the better restaurants in the town. We were there on a market day and the market was just a block away from the restaurant.
      If you have the time, go just north of Bournand to the Abbaye of Fontevraud and take the tour. Worth the visit! East of Loudun is the town of Richelieu which is also worth a visit - it is a beautifully laid-out town and has a direct connection to the Cardinal.

      1. re: spacesasha

        I just had a so-so meal at Barrier. Like you said, it is pretty classic. None of the dishes are memorable, except that they were all prepared just right. However, a salmon rillette entree was disgusting- taste and texture of cat food. And the butter was a little off - had that refrigerator taste.

      2. There are several recent threads on this board that should be of much help. Do a "search this board" for "loire" and you will find find a number of recs.

        1. This thread is a bit old, but for those looking for Chinon area dining, we can recommend dinner at “Restaurant Les Annees 30.” We also enjoyed (as good, not great) -- in a beautiful 15th century Chinon building – dinner at “Hostellerie Gargantua.” Here are web sites for both: http://www.lesannees30.com/ ; http://www.hotel-gargantua.com/mainen...

          Also, heading from Chinon toward Tours, we enjoyed lunch at “Restaurant La Tourangelle,” in Montlouis-sur-Loire (the best Grand-Marnier soufflé ever!).

          (I’ll add that, heading in the other direction -- toward Angers -- we loved our lunch at “La Promenade” in Saint Mathurin . . . .)
          Jake
          http://parisandbeyondinfrance.blogspo...