43440 Le Bourg
Forsaking the big city for the countryside is a dream for many chefs, but few go as far as Harry Lester (the former co-owner of London's hip Anchor & Hope), who recently moved his wife and son to a 13-person village in France's lost and beautiful Auvergne. Here, he cooks whatever trots up to the kitchen door: Ornery roosters become a rich coq au vin, mushrooms plucked from the prairie out back go into a savory tart, and fresh strawberries are nestled in tangy fromage frais. Gentle prices and a quirky but rock-solid wine list draw a mixture of locals and Riviera-bound British gastrocrats.
Tip: Cocktails are hand-crafted elixirs, as visually appealing as they are well executed (prix fixe, $22).