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Le Grand Monarque, Azay-le-Rideau

3 Place de la République
France 37190
Tel: 33 2 47 45 40 08
view web site ›'s insider take:

With tables in a big, beamed dining room or outside in the shady courtyard, this old coach inn is just the sort of restaurant you hope to find in provincial France. The menu spells good solid tradition but also knows when to bring in fresh ideas. The regional tasting menu is a good value, but to really see the young chef's strengths, you should order à la carte. Out will come inventive fare like a colorful panoply of heirloom tomatoes grown exclusively for the hotel, langoustines with beet vinaigrette, and a powerful civet of lobster stewed in Chinon wine. Dessert options are just as tempting, with spicy-sweet combos such as a strawberry mille-feuille with Szechuan pepper sorbet. The restaurant is particularly renowned for its extensive wine list. Ask le patron's advice—he knows most of the producers personally, and for guests of his hotel, he can also organize tours of the local vineyards.

Open daily noon to 2:30 pm and 7 to 9 pm.

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