November 29, 2009 by ritadate
It was an elegant meal. Enroute to Paris from Mont Saint Michel we took an exit and decided to try some local cuisine. The turn took us into a small unknown town of Villedieu-les-Poeles. There seemed to be large buildings, not exactly the quaint old French town that one would hope to explore. I programmed eateries in the GPS to see if there were any places worth going and the trusty Tom Tom, as the GPS gadget is called in Europe took us just three kilometers to the interiors of the town. The French charm was back with narrow streets and sidewalks. This is the advantage of driving rather than taking public transport in a foreign country and luckily for me my husband prefers to hire a comfortable car and Tom Tom. Discovering smaller towns that are not on the tourist route by exiting randomly can be a hit or miss experience but luckily I have always been pleasantly surprised.
It did not take long to find a street lined with different restaurants. The signage with creperie looked appealing and just perfect for an early lunch.
Alan, an older gentleman greeted us and seated us by the window. A small place with a retro charisma but the retro is not just a decorating asthetic, the Au Relais du Cuivre has been in business for over 200 years. A small place seating about 20 odd, this quaint creperie seems to be a favorite of locals. Many families came in soon after to dine and the restaurant was soon full. A fireplace with chestnuts, dried shrubs and large pumpkins gave brought a sense of autumn warmth to the place.
The menu is filled with various galettes, crepes and other entrees and it was difficult to choose what to order. My husband ordered a creamy tomato fish soup and I ordered a salad nicoise to start. Both were well made and unlike many French restaurants the portions were quite large. Luckily we had ordered only one entrée between us.
When we could not finish the soup; if we had we could not have done justice to the ordered entrée. Our host Alan seemed a bit upset as he asked us with his hands if the soup was not good. We pointed to our stomachs to indicate that we were full and the dish was quite good. He did not seem satisfied with our response, shrugged his shoulders and took away the bowl.
The salmon galette(pancake) we ordered was suberb. The salmon was extremely fresh and soft and the cream sauce was a perfect accompaniment.
Alan came and asked us in hand gestures and a bit of English if the salmon was ok and of course we were all praises. Although we were quite full before the galette finished both my husband I did not have the heart to leave anything unfinished. Alan would not approve and the extra bites were well worth it.