A historic mill set in a lush, romantic garden, is the setting of Restaurant "Les Coloquintes" in Aubenas...
Summer evenings can be delicious in the French South, and to celebrate my birthday on August 14th we selected a restaurant with a delicious garden, as wining and dining in the open air on a summer evening is so delightful to enjoy, especially when the food is so good…so we went to restaurant “Les Coloquintes”, at Pont d’Aubenas, and it proved a very good choice!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Inside, one can enjoy and admire the vaulted ceilings of this historic mill...
The colocynth actually a desert viny plant native to the MediterraneanBasin and Asia, especially Turkey (especially in regions such as İzmir), Nubia, and Trieste. It resembles a common watermelon vine, but bears small, hard fruits with a bitter pulp. That is why it is also commonly called “bitter apple” or “bitter cucumber”, as the fruit, which is smooth and spheric with a 5– to 10-cm-diameter, has an extremely bitter taste.
But on this August evening, we enjoyed wining and dining in the garden...
Well, the Colocynth has actually hardly anything to do with the sweet taste of the menus this establishment has to offer, so what’s in a name?
Indeed, we went for the “Menu du Marché” or Market Menu for 29 Euro.
This starter consisted of « Tarte fine de jambon de pays et magret fumé sur un sablé au parmesan » or fine pastry of country ham and smoked duck on a biscuit of parmesan. It was finely balanced and delicious, the flavour of the parmesan mixing subtly with the meat, with the salad leaves ideally brought to taste with a superb balsamico.
The main course was a « Suprême de poulet fermier Label Rouge poêlé au thym, purée maison et petits légumes.» or, freely translated, supreme of chicken Red Label baked with thyme, mashed potatoes from the house and small vegetables.
The chicken proved tender, rich in taste, juicy and well flavoured with the thyme, and the accompaniment of the small vegetables, consisting of tomato, a leaf of chicory and a sliced carrot proved judicious.
We opted for a bottle of red Saumur Champigny “Les Valengenets” 2013, which was light and tasty, and was indeed well suited to the poultry dish. Its robe is intensely ruby coloured, and one tastes flavours of pepper and red fruits.
The dessert was a delight with a pastille of Mirabelles and vanilla mousse. It concluded this meal beautifully.
We were spoiled upon arrival with a sweet "apéritif" and delicious olives...
We congratulate the young owners, Amandine and Adrien Turquois, who took over the existing restaurant, (which retained its name), since June 27 this year, and who are bringing indeed an exquisite and varied menu.
We just give you here the address, Rue de L'Expert, 07200 AUBENAS, and for those who want to pinpoint it on GPS, here are the coordinates: lat: 44.625175 - lng: 4.394007. Reservations can be made through tel: 04 75 93 58 33 and Email: email@example.com.
Their website is www.les-coloquintes.com.
Hans Knol ten Bensel