Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Well, I'm back in Bretagne this week, though thankfully this time I am NOT at the feet-smelling hotel. I decided to try out a new one in Pontivy instead, and it's actually really nice. They've got all kinds of extras that I rarely see in France, like aromatherapy candles and those incense stick dealies in the rooms. Pretty avant garde for a small-town French hotel. The employees are all incredibly friendly as well. And since we are on a business trip, we have the right to what is known as a "soirée étape". It's a special deal that a lot of hotels offer for people traveling on business, and it usually includes the room, breakfast and a three-course dinner for around 50-60€. Considering that the rooms themselves are often 65€+, it's definitely a bargain.

But this particular hotel no longer has a restaurant, so they decided to work out a deal with several restaurants in town instead. They gave us a list of 6 different restaurants (French, Moroccan, Italian, Chinese, Breton or Quebecois), and said that we each had a 15€ spending limit. My co-worker was really craving a tajine, but the Morrocan place was closed, so Quebecois it was. And I mean really, how often do you find a Quebecois restaurant in small town France? Plus, I was really curious as to what exactly Quebecois cuisine would entail - besides poutine, I had a hard time thinking of other typical quebecois dishes. But the restaurant was great - it looked like something straight out of North America, and the menu turned out to be quite good as well - lots of bison, elk and other gamey types of animals, accompagnied with maple syrup or cranberry sauces. I choose poulet à l'érable and crème brulée à l'érable, both which were very tasty. We had a bottle (!) of French wine with the meal, and then we finished with a Canadian eau de vie - mine was mirabelle and my co-workers was mûre jaune (which seems like a contradiction in itself, but whatever). And then we bobbed and weaved our way along the canal back to our hotel after all of that alcohol.

Upon our return, we discovered that the owners had been so nice as to leave us a tray full of breakfast food in each of rooms. With our wake-up call being at 4am tomorrow (speaking of which, why am I blogging at almost 11pm then?), we thought we were going to miss out on breakfast. But they were thoughtful enough to prepare each of us a plateau - which I really appreciated because 90% of hotels would've just said "tant pis pour vous (and more money for us)". So we may be tired tomorrow morning, but at least we will not be hungry.

You can find more info about the restaurant here. The owner of this restaurant told me it was actually a part of a chain of restaurants, all called "Ô Quebec". There are currently six restaurans in France, mostly centered in Bretagne for now (Pontivy, Rennes, Lorient, Nantes, Angers), but there is also one in Toulouse. Too bad they weren't around when you were here Mal!

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Blogger Katia said...

A restaurant quebecois in the middle of nowhere. how random! i love it!

June 4, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I wonder if the yellow blackberries aren't what we call cloudberries and what Swedes call hjortron? I know the Canadians make beer with them. I love hjortron!

With all the time you spend in Bretagne hotels, you could write a book!

June 4, 2009 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

hehe I had poutine yesterday..Max turned his nose up at it. And there's a canadian restaurant just near where we live in France and he jokingly said one time, "I bet everything on the menu has maple syrup on it..." little did he know, it actually does...

June 4, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

Thanks for the info. I'm going to check out the Quebecois restaurant in Toulouse.

June 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

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