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WINE BEHIND THE LABEL

Flaveurs at Valence - Rhône Valley, France


Sonia Blech savours Flaveurs after a let-down from the big one in Valence.


After a very disappointing drive to the Vallée des Merveilles where all trips to palaeontological sites and ancient caves were cancelled because of the atrocious weather forecast (fourth failed attempt to visit them!) , we decided to make our way to Valence where we hoped to be able to stay and eat at the famous 3 star Michelin establishment Pic. We had wanted to be able to interview for these columns Anne-Sophie Pic for some time, being the first woman to achieve 3 Michelin stars, but she really wasn’t interested in seeing us ( her PR department telling us that she was “too busy” on the day we wanted to come) - and not for the first time either. It seemed to us therefore, that rather than spending the best part of €1,000 on dinner, bed and breakfast at Pic, we ought to try out a new restaurant in the town which after only a couple of years or so, had already achieved one Michelin star and stay in a comfortable hotel in the centre of town well within walking distance of this new restaurant.

We found it, lost in one of the back street of the Centre Historique of Valence, near the main Place des Clercs - a small restaurant called Flaveurs (so you will need to book): simply and elegantly attired. The warm welcome made us feel straight at home and we sat down ready to enjoy ourselves after our horrendous drive.

In our new gastronomic panoramic world where many of the starred chefs search frantically for new ideas of how to make more foam bubbles; how to use chemical processes to transform food, let us say from a carrot to a chocolate lookalike; or other contortions in triptych, the restaurant Les Flaveurs comes as an appeasing balm to the weary gastronome who wants to enjoy his food made of natural products and which express exactly what they are at their best.

We plumped for the l’Instant menu at €51 a head and we loved:

The foie gras - slightly pan-cooked served with melon and green anis

 The fricassée of lobster and langoustines - delicately cooked and served with green asparagus and its own concentrated juices

The brill - lightly poached in a concentrated shellfish broth flavoured delicately with garlic

And to crown it all: a rainbow (display) of desserts and patisseries ranging from mousses, sorbets ice-creams and petits fours prepared to help the digestion and refresh the palate.

A bottle of Chante-Perdrix Condrieu and half a bottle St. Joseph from Chèze completed the enjoyment - total bill - €171.50 and with the €125 for the B & B at out hotel we reckoned we saved €600 by not staying at Pic. Tant pis, as they say.

In all, a memorable evening. Well done and many thanks to chef Baptiste Poinot.


Flaveurs 32 Grande Rue, Valence 26000, France

Tel: 04 75 56 08 40 Fax: 04 75 43 41 76

Email: poinot.baptiste@neuf.fr

Open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed 1 to 24 August, 1-7 January.

Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard


Ratings

Food  45

Wine List 15

Service 10

Ambience 5

Value for Money 15


Total 90
















Dans un monde gastronomique o bien de grands chefs ŽtoilŽs vivent dans un nouveau monde quasi artificiel d'experiences culinaires quasi chimiques, en Žtuves ou autre, pour realiser bulles d'air, mousses minimalistes ou declinaison de carottes au autres en trois formules, le restaurant Les Flaveurs a Valence offre un baume rafraichissant au gastronome qui veut deguster les produits naturels au meilleur de leur expression sans sublimation ŽtherŽe de ce qu\ils ne sont pas.!

Nous avons adorŽ le foie gras legerement poelŽ au melon et anis vert

La fricassŽe ˆ peine cuite de homard et langoustines servie avec asperges vertes et leur propre sucs intenses de cuisson

La barbue delicatement cuite a la nage dans un bouillon de coquillages delicatement parfumŽ a l'ail. Et pour couronner le tout:-,

L'arc en ciel de desserts legers et fins allant de la patisserie fine aux mousses, glaces et sorbets legers, digestifs et raffaichissants. Un repas memorable. Bravo et Merci Chef Baptiste Poinot.