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confit de canard fait maison

OK - probably will get some heat for this, but here goes...

We watched a French Investigative Report-type program the other night, the subject of which was the downfall of restaurant cuisine in Paris. According to this report, 7 out of 10 restaurants in Paris rely heavily - if not exclusively - on mass-produced canned or frozen products. This included - but was not limited to - souris d'agneau and confit de canard, as well as fondant au chocolat and tarte Tatin. The focus was on touristy restaurants, but no one was above suspicion. Tabloid reporting at its finest, but I must admit it planted seeds of doubt.

I make my own confit de canard every year for the holidays, so never order it in a restaurant. But there are others who must be fed, and who are now worried about eating canned confit. Can anyone say for certain that the confit de canard at Chez Dumonet is the real deal? And no, don't want to hear that the waiter swears it's fait maison...

Anyone have any other recommendations for restaurants irrefutably making their own confit? This has become the Holy Grail around here, so would appreciate any input.

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  1. OK, I'm relying on my buddy RandyofParis's info; (I hope he'll chime in here, or maybe Pti) but the 7/10 figure from Metro sounds like it's in the ballpark.
    But you've gotta remember that this includes a lot of corner neighborhood cafe/bar/bistros.
    But if it's true confession time, I too cheat and buy my confit at the Galeries rather than prepare it like I used to.

    1. There was a lengthy sub-discussion about restaurants serving ready-made products in the middle of this thread:
      "it's easy to spend $$$$$ where do the common folk of Paris eat?????"
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816245

      There are a few associations that try to identify restaurants that cook from scratch. For example:
      http://www.restaurantsquifontamanger.fr/
      http://www.maitresrestaurateurs.com/
      You could look up some addresses for ducky-sounding restaurants in Paris. But there's no guarantee that each individual menu item is actually prepared from scratch on the premises. And to be honest, I don't think it's such a big deal for confit. By definition, confit is prepared well ahead of time, and it can be very good (and pricey) out of a can or vacuum pack.

      I remember that one of the many shocked TV reports interviewed a small [edit: not so small] restaurant owner in Paris who made his own confit and explained why it was so much better than the canned stuff. I'll try to dig up his name. His restaurant looked pretty good.

      EDIT: It's Xavier Denamur, who owns several cafés/restaurants, including Les Philosophes and Le Petit Fer à Cheval.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DeppityDawg

        I like Xavier Denamur, enjoyed food from his restaurants (both Le Petit Fer à Cheval and Les Philosophes), think his discourse is quite sound, and praise him for his activism.

        But he is also the one who started a restaurant of "dim sum" in the quartier Opéra (Sum) that serves absolutely dreadful food (like all self-proclaimed would-be trendy "dim sum" places started by French people in Paris), to the point that any mass-produced frozen dumplings from the local traiteur chinois would taste better, mediocre as they already are. So cooking food from scratch is not the end of the story. It also has to be properly made.

        1. re: DeppityDawg

          After finding our intended lunch target unexpectedly closed we ended up at Les Philosophes today, and even if I'd not been keyed into it by references upward on this thread, we'd still have ordered what we saw flying out of the kitchen -- at least 10 servings in the three minutes after we were seated: Confit de canard. Our very pleasant waiter sealed the deal when he enthused spontaneously that it was "fait maison." It was indeed very good. The carte, by the way, proclaims generally that its offerings are "vrai fait maison." --Jake

        2. It's been too long (we will return this Dec/Jan), but I'd be astonished and disappointed to learn that the rustic and crispy version served at "Le Languedoc" (outer 5eme, on Boul. Port Royal) -- which, I recall, must be ordered for two -- is of the ilk described in these reports. I'm sure there is "better" in Paris; but we retain a soft spot for this place and this dish there. -- Jake

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jake Dear

            Thanks for jogging our memory of this under radar address. We need to be reminded that sometimes, or even most often, the best is quietly enjoyed by locals in unheralded dining rooms.

          2. I don't understand the concern about confit. Confit is already a preserved food and canned confit is simply normal confit. It is not interesting to have it freshly made. In fact, it has to mature for some time and is far better canned, bottled or sous-vided for a long time than fresh. Hardly anybody "makes their own" confit. I am not expecting from a restaurant that it makes its own confit but that it sources it carefully from a producer, farm or even brand that makes it right. That is, incidentally, what Le Languedoc does. Paris is not a good place to make confit.

            Unless you can have properly fattened mulard duck sent fresh to the restaurant on a regular basis from a region where ducks are fattened, making confit in a Paris restaurant kitchen is of no interest whatsoever. Chez Dumonet I think they do as everyone else has always done, they get real good mulard confit from somewhere in the Southwest and they crisp it on the premises.

            Far better to have that than fibrous, tasteless second-rate non-mulard duck slow-roasted in duck fat and hastily crisped with the skin still partly soggy, which is the average crap one gets in Paris, some of it certainly "house-made".

            As for other kinds of ready-made stuff like tarte Tatin or fondant au chocolat, I do understand the concern, but firstly I wish someone could explain to me why they'd be worse than industrial Pierre Hermé or Ladurée pâtisserie, and secondly there is another aspect to the question. In the end what matters is the ability of professional cooks to cook really well. Many these days (and that can be found even in a starred kitchen) know how to use a siphon but are unable to cook a lamb shank properly, or claim that they have no time for that between services. Mass-produced does not mean it is necessarily bad and house-made does not mean it is necessarily good. In that perspective I'd rather have industrial lamb shank if is well prepared with no additives than the same dish made from scratch from a mediocre cook. That of course applies to the greater world of la restauration, not to the cherished places everyone raves about here, but there is more to that world than the places that are discussed on Chowhound.

            Of course the result is that the true practice of cooking is discouraged and might gradually disappear. That is where the serious problem really lies, not just in the fact that once you've been served Metro blanquette instead of Monsieur Nénesse's blanquette. Actually I am sure that sometimes, when lunching at a corner café, I have eaten Metro blanquette and had a better deal than if Nénesse had made it with his delicate paws.

            31 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois

              I think that most people feel that if they go to a restaurant is to eat food made by and for them from a professional chef and cook, one who will do more than just re-heat other people's product, as good as those commercial products might be.

              If I can buy my can of Confit de Canard and my Tarte Tatin at the "corner store", why spend twice (or more) at a restaurant.

              Just my 2c ...

              1. re: Maximilien

                You are right, but I am only reminding of the simple fact that "made on the premises" does not mean good and that "industrial-made" does not mean bad. In our days of highly personalized restaurant-going, it is true that one wants to eat "author" food but if authorship and good food did exactly overlap, that would be a known fact for some time.

                There is a lot of good stuff that you can buy at the 'corner store', that does not make dining out any less desirable. You can buy and roast a good côte de boeuf, but you like to find one in a restaurant. It takes as much skill to crisp a leg of confit properly than to cook a côte de boeuf properly.

                What I am saying also, and I think this is the most important point, is that confit is, plain and simple, a preserve. Considering its nature, you are far more likely to get a good version of it from a preserve bought by the restaurant from a reliable source or even supplied by their own source (some have farms in the Southwest) than from duck confit "made from scratch" in Paris from locally available duck that is not suited to confiting.

              2. re: Ptipois

                I LOVE your naked-emperor approach, Ptitpois, and heartily agree.

                Maximilien -- Ptitpois skillfully explained why pre-made confit is better, as well as why "fait maison" might not be.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  In a similar manner, often Christine Ferber jam is better than restaurant made confiture, and here in the US, I usually prefer a Nabisco Oreo to a random homemade cookie.

                  1. re: Nancy S.

                    An Oreo (cardboard cookie) is NOT an example I'd choose, but there are many quality industrially-produced baked goods. Especially good butter-based cookies in Belgium and the Netherlands...

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    Nothing prevents a chef of preparing his Confit in advanced and seal them all glass jars and serve them as he see fit when they are ready.

                    "Fait Maison" does not necessarily mean that it is made "a la minute" .

                    and I agree with what Ptitpois wrote above, one does not exclude the other. (good produce from good providers vs. good product from chef/cook).

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      only practicality, time, and expense....please post when you find a chef anywhere in France who actually confits, seals, and ages their own confit.

                      1. re: Maximilien

                        >>> Nothing prevents a chef of preparing his Confit in advanced and seal them all glass jars and serve them as he see fit when they are ready.

                        That is exactly what I wrote. But in the case of confit, the "house-made" criteria is not very relevant.

                    2. re: Ptipois

                      Ptipois, thanks for this. As usual, you shed light. -- Jake

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        Totally agree. There re lots of products tat are better produced by specialists. Do we expect restaurants to cure their own hams or make their own cheese? Why expect them to make their own charcuterie, or or the preserved dishes like confit.

                        I remember the furore surrounding Gordon Ramsay cooking braised dishes etc in central prep kitchen. The"Gordon uses boil in the bag food" comments and headlines said more about the writers lack o knowledge about food than it said about Ramsay.

                        I remember touring the pastry section at the El Bulli hotel and seeing the temperature controlled sealed room adjacent to the kitchen for pastry. If you ca afford it great - but most local bistro and restaurants can't. So without the specialists and the dedicated space why do we think every chef can tun out great pastry in a bistro kitchen the size of a shoe box.

                        I admire chefs to bake their own bread and churn their own butter. This may be essential in some places, but in Paris the quality of these staples Is so good it is better to source well than create. The same is true of confit, desserts etc etc.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          Thanks to all who replied - many good thoughts on a hot topic, and points well-taken.

                          I think a couple of important issues remain:

                          What really constitutes "fait maison"? The TV show demonstrated that merely heating and decorating a dish with chives was legally fait maison. It will be interesting to follow the progress of the proposed law seeking to identify dishes actually concocted on the premises. I doubt seriously that this could ever be enforced.

                          Nothing at all against a good, mass-produced product - the issue is that the consumer is being misled, whether it's confit or cassoulet, and is often fed a poor-quality product. If one pays 12 EU for confit in a tourist trap, versus 28 EU in a "real" restaurant - both of them claiming fait maison - that's a big price to pay for some (hopefully) crispy duck skin. Those of us with experience may be able to discern the difference in the better wholesale product, but I would be willing to bet that the average customer is just expecting to dig into a homemade dish. Again, it may not be bad, but it is deceptive. "Fait maison" should mean just that - confit or any other preserves included.

                          The same goes for bakery products. Those with experience know that almost all dough products are bought wholesale, and "artisanal" = "assembled". There are very few bakers in Paris able and willing to make bread and pastries from scratch, especially on the premises. But the average consumer still thinks that there is some guy in the basement at 3 AM, up to his eyebrows in yeast and flour, not merely shaping and baking off product. Again, it may not be bad, but it is deceptive.

                          The big names, who roll out countless macarons and other delights headed for sale in one of their boutiques, are guilty of mass-production as well. Due to their status, it is assumed that many dedicated little paws are carefully at work in a corner somewhere - but a factory is a factory. Come to think of it, though, I don't believe that I have seen any advertising for PH stating that his products are "artisanal" - they are merely products of his supposed genius.

                          Bottom line: given space, time and economic constraints, it is perfectly understandable to expect to pay for mass-produced food in restaurants in Paris. Some of it can be quite good, some of it much less so. Much has to do with the final preparation, and what the restaurant can afford in terms of professional kitchen staff dictates the final outcome. However, customers have the right to make an informed decision, and "fait maison" is false advertising in the vast majority of cases.

                          1. re: manouche

                            I think we can all agree that claiming "fait maison" on the menu and then serving up reheated industrial fare is deceptive and unacceptable (but that there's not much anyone can do about it). But many seem to feel that it's deceptive and unacceptable even without the "fait maison" claim, and I would disagree with that. You can't draw conclusions from information that is not provided. The customer also has some responsibility to be vigilant and informed and not to live in a fairy tale world.

                            One law that they talked about in the report (if it was the same report that you saw) was the one requiring frozen products to be identified on the menu in Italy. Apparently this has had some positive effects, but I'm sure there's plenty of undisclosed reheating of mass-produced sous-vide packets going on in Italy, too.

                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                              Also, there is always the "where do you draw the line" problem. And it is just as pertinent for customers as it is for chefs.

                              Recently on Facebook a few professional chefs (you know how they tend to get all worked up about some things and, accustomed to being obeyed, think that solutions should always be simple) said that there should be a law separating "restaurants" (where everything is cooked on the premises) and other places serving sous-vide industrial concoctions, which would no longer have the right to be called restaurants. To me it was a good example of French verbal bureaucracy, which may proceed from rightful observations but turns into a nightmare once it is put in practice. I am afraid I stopped the impetus for the discussion after asking what other name they would choose to give to these places formerly known as restaurants? No reply.

                              Then OK, let's assume that we have found a name (which we haven't) for these ill-fated places. Who in their own right would accept to run one of such businesses considering that it would be socially considered a lower version of what is simply called "restaurant" and that the term would necessarily be pejorative? I couldn't see that happening and I think the other participants couldn't either because again there was no reply.

                              It is not impossible to draw some sort of line somewhere between the extreme cases of, on one hand, serving meals entirely based on reheated industrial stuff and, on the other hand, not using anything - anything - that is manufactured outside of the restaurant (i.e. no chocolate, no spice mixes, no vinegar, no butter, no cornflour, no dried prunes, no raisins, no coffee extract, no fruit purees for pâtissiers, no wine for cooking, no rum, no frozen strawberries, not even flour, etc., and of course no boudin from that Basque farm, no ibérico ham from Extremadura, and no confit from a reputed Landaise artisan farm, and so on...) As I wrote it is not impossible to draw the line, but where should it be drawn? Knowing how asinine, irrational, hastily made and sometimes destructive some European regulations appear to be, I understand that nobody really wants anything in that direction to be seriously done, which does not mean they are not aware of the problem.

                              The law requiring the use of frozen items to appear on the menu is a good idea, but then again in practice there can be a world of difference between a pastry chef who uses frozen strawberries ("fraises billes") to make sorbet or syrup (all pâtissiers do that, even the greatest and even during strawberry season) and a restaurant owner who serves boeuf bourguignon out of a plastic bag. Again, drawing lines...

                              1. re: Ptipois

                                Pti - if regulation is needed maybe best to define the term of fait mason as X% made on the premises. How ingredients are preserved before being bought together and cooked seems to mis the point.

                                However, I do think labels are totally superfluous: to me if it tastes good it is good. I am not so worried about how it was made or who made it. If it feels house made, or tastes like a lot of skill and care has gone into the dish, and the dish tastes good then I am happy. But I am equally happy if it tastes good and is not so obviously hand crafted. FWIW I am completely mystified how people can tell if bread is house made or bought in. The temperature it is served isn"t really a clue (and IMO hot bread straight from he oven hasn't had a chance to rest and reach its best - cool is best) but so many reviewers comment on it - maybe I am a bit dim - but I just assess good or bad.

                                I don't like being misled on menus but to me that raises the question of restaurant choice. I don't go to a restaurant because it advertises home made ect. I go because of a places reputation and base on recommendations. I don't need a menu label to confirm my choice. Although when I need to make a random choice good labelling helps, but that applies as much to labels like fait maison as it does to the description of the dish.

                                To me "buyer beware" is the best advice, a Pizza restaurant without a prominent wood fired oven would be a clue to not ordering pizza. A minute kitchen would dissuade me from ordering anything complex. Les Papilies is a good example, small restaurant, tiny kitchen, appropriate dishes - it does what says on the tin and thus delivers.

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  and bread can always be slipped into the oven for a few minutes (or, horrors, the microwave) -- warm doesn't even mean fresh! (although it helps a little)

                                  I don't think the restaurant industry needs one more set of regulations, especially now, when unemployment is creeping higher, which cuts down the number of patrons and their expenditures -- French companies already stumble under the burden of regulatory issues from both France and the EU, and we've watched a number of good, popular restaurants fold and close their doors in the last few years. Making business more difficult is just not an answer, particularly when the economy is wheezing.

                                  There are a couple of restaurants that we enjoy that are very solid, but watching the dance in the postage-stamp kitchen is amusement in itself -- and you can see enough of what's going on to know you're not being handed a microwaved platter of anything.

                                  1. re: PhilD

                                    Totally agree, and just like you I am wary of labels and regulations. They are needed to a certain extent but, as Tacit wrote, "the more rules a country has, the more corrupt it is".

                                    Aside from brilliant exceptions like Manresa in California, and very few others, bread made on the premises in the restaurant is heavier and less good that bread bought by contract from an able boulanger. For there is nothing better than a professional fournil (with all its indigenous yeasts and carefully tended levain culture) to produce great bread. Generally it is when I get bread that is slightly heavier and denser than it should be that I know it is made on the premises. That is somewhat a caricature but there is truth to it.

                                    The use of open kitchens (or having had a chance to get a glimpse of the kitchen at some point) is a good starting point to calculate what degree of complexity you can expect from a restaurant. I always tend to think that such things are not one-sided. Ensuring that restaurateurs do the right thing also rests on the vigilance and judgement of the customer.

                                    I do not mind as much as some if I am served a roasted lamb shank that at some point came out of plastic if it is after that properly seasoned, prepared and finished, because that is part of a cook's job too. I am currently working on a book with a Parisian chef much loved by some here and many preparations are sous-vided (on the premises since the restaurant has the right equipment). The amount of manipulation that comes after the long sous-vide poaching is tremendous, sous-vide is only a stage of the recipe. Of course it is better if the entire process is controlled at the restaurant but not all of them can do that, and squeezing stuff out of the bag is not necessarily the end of the story for a dish. As for sourcing things at Metro (that is also a frequent reproach), I know some starred chefs who source some of their fish and seafood at Metro.

                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                      As an addendum, an interesting point of view from a chef in Brittany (for those who read French).
                                      http://www.goutsdouest.fr/goutsdouest...

                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                        I tend to prefer honest labeling and being given the choice. Just because I can't tell if a particular food ingredient is some dish is GMO and produced with pesticides doesn't mean I think the only thing that matters is taste.

                                        Petitpois, wouldn't you expect to be told if your "properly seasoned, prepared and finished" roasted lamb shank sold as "fait maison" actually was prepared and frozen in some foreign country and was filled with additives and preservatives, as long as you couldn't tell? I would.

                                        The TV show I saw about "fait maison" didn't talk about foreign manufacture, but there are people who think labeling country of origin of meat is burdensome. The show did mention, however, the list of additives in the frozen souris d'agneau. The chef suggested that most restaurant chefs do not need and will not use those industrial additives for dishes "fait maison."

                                        I think it's also fair for a client to want to patronize restaurants that are employing local labor sufficient to prepare their dishes. Factory food is going to reduce local labor.

                                        Maybe the restaurant owner "knows best" what his clients should get. If so, they can tell the clients, e.g., "We serve Poulain bread." Or they can say nothing but answer honestly if questioned. I don't think this will put anyone out of business.

                                        On the issue of confit de canard, I do agree that it isn't important that it be made onsite. As others have said, it's a preserved product. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean a restaurant should be free to sprinkle some salt on it and call it "fait maison." Be honest. The only reason a restaurant would do so is that they think misleading their clients that way would be more profitable than being honest.

                                        1. re: RandyB

                                          Pesticides, GMOs, labeling "fait maison" when it is not (especially when it does not need to be), etc., etc., of course, but where did I ever endorse that?
                                          I only stress that the term "fait maison" has to be understood through its various applications before one makes particular judgements. It does not mean the same thing depending on what kind of dish or food it is pasted on.

                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                            Sorry if appears I overstated your position as an endorsement. I thought I was just posing a devil's advocate question about how far you would go ("Petitpois, wouldn't you expect to be told . . .).

                                            Consider the context. This thread started with the TV show and the OP's concern that it raised. In particular, that show was about pre-prepared items, frozen and sealed in plastic, yet still sold as "fait maison." Your opposition to new labeling regulations because they might go too far, and acceptance of pre-frozen items if seemingly prepared well, led me to question how far that takes you.

                                            In further context, that TV show suggested a likelihood of unknown and unnecessary additives in industrially pre-prepared dishes that, to many including me, are of concern.

                                            I think the US seriously underregulates the food industry as far as labeling and sanitation. The loopholes in the former, and the "self-regulation" in the latter, and much larger than the basic protections themselves. The EU does a bit better job, I think. The likelihood that here or there a part of a particular regulation may be a bit too broad is a small price to pay, not a reason for avoiding regulation. That's just my opinion.

                                            The place where I do disagree with you is the quote "the more rules a country has, the more corrupt it is". The lack of good labeling and sanitation rules for food in many countries, including the US, is the sign of corruption of government by industry.

                            2. re: Ptipois

                              Can you share with us a brand of canned confit that you find as good as a good restaurant version? I have tasted the stuff from the can and I don't think it's anything close.

                              1. re: Steve

                                Not sure about brands... I usually buy from producers in tin cans or glass jars. Or not from producers, judging from what the inside of the glass jar looks like.

                                Delpeyrat, Bizac, Rougié and Larnaudie are good old brands.

                                If you want to taste confit as it should be (from real fattened mulard, with the confiting permeating the meat to the core and giving it that unmistakable taste), order some at Le Bistrot Landais, 104 rue du Cherche-Midi. With most confit de canard "maison" served in Paris, when you cut the meat, you realize it's only duck stewed in fat. That is because few people know how to make confit.

                                1. re: Ptipois

                                  Keep in mind that many of the big brands have a range of products, of variable quality. For example, next to their prestige products, they also make similar stuff that does not carry the "canard du Sud-Ouest" label, or they even say "transformé en France". As holiday season approaches, there will be a lot of this "anonymous" duck offered for sale. As always, if you are looking for a particular terroir and tradition, read the packaging carefully and consider favoring smaller brands or getting to know unbranded local producers.

                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                    Many ferme-auberges in the countryside sells their farm-made stuff in jars. Usually excellent.

                                  2. re: Ptipois

                                    By the way, at ptipois's rec, yesterday we lunched at Bistro Landais for the confit and more. Very nice, and we loved the simple neighborly and non-fancy-corner-bistro feel of the place. And it cost one-half the price of the same dish at les philosophes. -- Jake

                                  3. re: Steve

                                    I get mine from the Comptoir de Quercy on the rue des Prouvaires in Les Halles. Label says Godard.

                                  4. re: Ptipois

                                    It is so disappointing how everyone seems to be agreeing in this thread. Come on, people, this is the INTERNET! ;) So let me ask you all these controversial confit questions:
                                    - Confit makes it possible to preserve the meat and eat it months later, but is long ageing actually _required_ for taste/texture? I know the answer is supposed to be "yes, obviously", but has anyone tested this anything like scientifically?
                                    - The famous house-made confit in Xavier Denamur's restaurants uses canard maigre, not canard gras/mulard. Is this wrong (considerations of "authenticity" aside)? Again, has anyone done a side-by-side taste test?

                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                      Not a scientific test, by any means, but I will say that my homemade confit does taste much better after about 6 months of aging - and is really best at the 1-year mark, if any is left. The meat is softer, almost unctuous. Similar transformations occur in a pate that has been aged for 1 year. Since the meat is preserved and should remain inert, this shouldn't make any sense, but it seems to be true. Perhaps things are different in commercially-prepared products, though there are aged canned sardines that purportedly taste incredible...

                                      I use non-fattened free range ducks nowadays, but have used wild ducks in the past. I liked the game-y flavor of the wild ducks, but the meat was never as tender as I would have liked.

                                      1. re: manouche

                                        I wouldn't confuse with "preserved" with "inert".

                                        Preservation tends to slow bacterial activity (note slow not stop) but chemical changes will still happen. The muscle fibres in the duck are held together by chemical bonds and as meat is cooked or is left to age these break down softening the meat and so age will make it better up to a point....after that it may be passed its best and could get dangerous (especially if there are any anaerobic - don't need oxygen - bacteria around like botulinum).

                                        1. re: PhilD

                                          I guess it's akin to hanging a pheasant until the feathers drop off...controlled putrescence. Good point about the dangerous bacteria - all the more reason to find a trusted supplier or certified home-ec expert.

                                      2. re: DeppityDawg

                                        I can't help myself. I have to mention Chateau de Madières, a hotel in Ganges (Héraut) where I had the best confit I've ever had.

                                        It was around 2004, plus or minus.We were heading back to Paris from the Languedoc. From a printed list of hotels with virtually no info, we picked out this chateau/hotel.

                                        The chef/owner had preserved the confit herself months before. It was wonderful. As was the hotel and its grounds. Also, a room with a shower but no bath was actually reasonably priced. A bath would have doubled the price.

                                        In (un)fairness, I have to note that my companion's main course, farm raised salmon not especially well prepared, was unsatisfying.

                                        Breakfast included home made (I really do mean fait maison) viennoiseries fresh from the oven.