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Oct 7, 2010 05:29 PM

Normandy help

We are about to go on a very brief trip to Normandy. This board has been very helpful before so I am hoping for restaurant suggestions for this trip. We like real French food but don't expect every meal to be Michelin quality. Unfortunately, we can't handle two great meals a day any more so are looking for lighter lunches and nice dinners. Price isn't a primary concern but we don't want to go overboard on every meal. Itinerary as follows:

Friday lunch - Chartres. Maybe La Vieille Maison or Les Feuillantines?
Friday night - Mont St Michel. We are staying on the island and I have no real hope for excellent food. It will be the end of a long day so probably don't want to leave the island. Any suggestions for at least a decent meal?

Saturday lunch - maybe somewhere along the coast above Bayeux?
Saturday dinner - Bayeux. Maybe La Rapiere or Table de Terroir?

Sunday lunch - maybe Trouville or Honfleur? Or somewhere along the coast between Bayeux and Honfleur
Sunday dinner - already have reservations at Sa.Qua.Na. Great recommendations but I have no real idea about the food. Also, will a nice sweater, collared shirt, and slacks be OK or will my husband need a jacket?

Monday lunch and dinner - Rouen. No ideas so far and Gill is closed. This will be our last night so I would like a nice dinner.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!

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    1. re: kfoster21

      In Chartres, I highly recommend Le St. Hilaire. Lovely little restaurant with a creative menu, slightly off the beaten path. It was recommended to us by the owner of a cheese shop in town and it was a fabulous recommendation. Not sure if they do lunch, but It's worth checking.

      As for Bayeux, we ate at La Rapiere during our recent visit and can't really recommend it. I mean, it was okay but fairly formulaic. Best part was probably the "trou Normand.".

      Re Mont St. Michel, perhaps consider packing a basket of cheeses, charcuterie and other goodies while you are in Chartres and skipping the restaurants altogether?

      I wish we had made it to We passed by and it looked wonderful, but the friends we were traveling with weren't up for it....

      1. re: Fay

        1. Mont St Michel. If you stay on the island and do not want to leave, I don't see how you can eat well.
        Not far from the island in Coutances is the Ferme-auberge called Le Manoir de Guelle (in the village of Cérence to be exact). A ferme-auberge is a farm with a side business of resto. The ingredients come from the farm itelf (plus neighboring farms). There is no freshness like it.
        These ferme-auberges are very popular with locals. Better book ahead to avoid being turned away at the last minute.
        Remember: These ferme-auberges are very "rustiques", nothing sophisticated.

        2. Rouen
        Rouen is Pti's territory. There is a nice little bistro that I like in old Rouen, on a lovely square - L'Espiguette. Again popular with locals and fills up at lunch, so better book ahead.

        1. re: Parigi

          Rouen is my territory indeed but I haven't stayed there for a significant time in ages, and when I go I eat at my mom's. An update is needed for me too.
          I can still deliver the duck addresses since they've been there for ever, plus a few tips for markets and stuff. The market to go to is not the Vieux-Marché but the Clos Saint-Marc, quite at the other end of the city.

          1. re: Ptipois

            Le Clos St Marc is a 5 minute walk from L'Espiguette.

            1. re: Parigi

              Yup. Go there on Saturday morning, look for the small farmers stands and be attentive to butter, cream, goat cheese, neuchâtel cheese (the real thing), pork products, fish and seafood from Dieppe, chickens, vegetables like leeks or cress, and plenty of local apples. In the Spring and Summer they have all the fruit from the Jumièges orchards.

              Le Pain Osmont is a terrific organic bakery that has been around Rouen for many decades, they have a large stall on Saint-Marc.

          2. re: Parigi

            The duck joints, a bit late, sorry.

            La Couronne on the place du Vieux-Marché is one of the two classic places, the other one is the less showy Hôtel de Dieppe uptown, facing the train station (the restaurant is called Les Quatre Saisons).

            Other option (untested): Le Rouennais (rue de la Pie).

            You need to get out of Rouen to taste the original recipe. Drive a few miles West along the Seine to Duclair and the Restaurant Le Parc. The canard au sang recipe originated right there (not precisely at Le Parc but at L'Hôtel de la Poste which I think is no longer there). I think some local caterers have it too.

      2. Thank you very much - this is very helpful! Any other suggestions for Bayeux?

        1. My husband and I just returned from the Normandy area and have a few suggestions. We didn't go to all the spots you are and eat so we can only make a suggestion for Honfleur.

          We ate at L'Homme de Bois and thought it was a great meal for a good price. Cosy atmosphere and very nice service. I am not sure about their opening hours so check out their website for details.

          Several people at our B&B ate at Sa.Qua.Na and said it was fantastic. We passed as all our budget for food was to be spent in Paris ;-) otherwise we would have eaten there.

          We had a really quick dinner in Bayeux after doing a tour with Battlebus and just ate at The Drakkar. The onion soup was ok but the Moules and Frites were terrific and good on the wallet. I have heard that Table de Terrior is a good place in Bayeux.

          Good luck and have a great time.