Thursday, September 12

We visit two châteaux and a wine cave in the Loire Valley and have a fantastic dinner in Tours.

The kids and I visited Tours. Took the TGV high speed train, which only takes about an hour to get there. We left my apartment about 10 am and got back around midnight. It was a long day, especially for me because I was a little hung over and only had 4 hours of sleep the night before. But we had lots of fun.

We arrived about Noon and found a good restaurant for a light lunch. Then we took a tour in a van with a few other people and visited two châteaux, Chenonceau and Clos Lucé, plus a visit to a wine cave with a tasting. After returning to Tours we had an unbelievable dinner at Le Thélème, the restaurant I had discovered on my first visit back in June.

I had already visited both châteaux and took many pictures and posted them. But I took a few more at Château du Clos Lucé that I've posted here. Clos Lucé is a small château in the town of Amboise on the Loire river. Leonardi Da Vinci lived there between 1516 and 1519. The pictures are all of the beautiful Parc Leonardo da Vinci that is part of the grounds of the château.

By the way, in the name "Tours" the "s" is not pronounced. If you pronounce the "s", nobody here will understand what you're saying. Have I mentioned this summer that French is a difficult language?

We had a tour of a wine cave and a tasting at Plou & Fils winery in the Amboise region. The same family has owned and operated the winery since 1508. That's not a typo, that's 605 years passed down from father to son. They make reds, rosés, whites, and sparkling wines. We got to taste some of all these varieties. We bought 4 bottles to bring back to Paris with us. This was my first visit to a winery and it was very interesting.

We had dinner at Le Thélème restaurant in Tours. It was unbelievable, perhaps the best meal of our lives. For our plats (main courses), Andrea had lobster, Jeremy had sea bass, and I had a beef filet.

Here's the menu, with my translation:

Entrée (Appetizer)

Langoustines à la plancha laquée de carottes et navets 
nouveaux à la citronnelle, cumin et anis
Jumbo shrimp in a Peking sour sauce of carrots and new 
turnips with citronella, cumin, and anise.
-- or --
Tartare de dorade, salpicon de légumes aux aromates 
graines de nigelles à la salade du pécheur et citron confit
Tartare of sea bream, in a sauce of diced vegetables 
with black cumin in a fisherman's salad and lemon confit
-- or --
Terrine de foie gras de canard maison , méli-mélo de 
figues et oignons rouges, gelée vin de Maury Mas Amiel
Terrine of duck foie gras, in a medley of figs and red 
onions, an aspic (jelly) of Maury Mas Amiel red wine.
-- or --
Gambas papillon, taboulé de quinoa à la coriandre et 
menthe, harissa douce
Butterfly prawns in a Middle Eastern herb salad of Saracen 
chiles with coliander and mint with a sweet hot chile sauce.

Plat (Main course)
Filet de bar, beurre blanc au curry de madras, 
conchiglioni aux épinards et ricotta
Filet of sea bass in a sauce of white butter and madras 
curry, pasta shells stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese.
-- or --
Noix de ris de veau, sauce morilles et vin moelleux, 
duxelle de champignons et cœur de sucrine grillée 
(supplément 8 €)
Veal sweetbread in a sauce of morel mushroom and sweet 
wine, finely chopped mushrooms and grilled sweet hearts.
-- or --
Filet de bœuf salers, sauce moutarde à ma façon 
(câpres, cornichons, oignon nouveau, poivre de 
Sarawak et persil) pommes de terre au jus et aromates 
(origine France)
Filet of salted beef in a mustard sauce with capers, 
little pickles, new onions, Sarawak pepper and parsley. 
Potatoes au jus with French herbs.
-- or --
Homard au lait de coco, gingembre et citron Yuzu, 
riz noir Vénéré (supplément 14€)
Lobster in coconut milk, ginger and Yuzu lemon, black 
rice revered.

Dessert
Délice de chocolat Guayaquil, sorbet litchies, caramel 
à la poudre de rose
Guayaquil chocolate delight (Ecuador bitter dark chocolat), 
litchi sorbet, pink sugar caramel sauce.
-- or --
Marinade de fraises au vin rosé d’Hypocras, sorbet 
fraise et citron
Strawberry marinade in a rosé wine sauce with strawberry 
and lemon sorbet.
-- or --
Mousse passion, salade de fruits exotiques au vieux rhum, 
wip de lait de noix coco et cardamone verte
Passion mousse, exotic fruit salad in old rum, whipped 
milk with coconut and green cardamom.
-- or --
Nougat glacé miel à la lavande, melon confit, nougatine, 
coulis framboises
Nougat honey ice cream with lavendar, melon confit, nougatine, 
pureed raspberries.
-- or --
Glace au thé secret Tibétain (thé, épices, fleurs), gelée de 
citron et réglisse, dentelle au gingembre
Secret Tibetian tea ice cream with tea, spices, and flowers, 
an aspic of lemon and licorice, laced with ginger.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé.

Plou & Fils wine cave.

Plou & Fils wine cave.

My dessert at Le Thélème, Délice de chocolat Guayaquil, sorbet litchies, caramel à la poudre de rose.