Thursday afternoon was the monthly English ladies who lunch club. It actually started snowing a bit and I debated whether or not to go, not to mention the fact I was going to be arriving quite late because of the morning's festivities! I decided to go for it and I'm very glad I did!
I got to see a bit of a new village (Tocane St. Apre) and try a new restaurant (Le Bistrot Rouge) AND meet a cool new couple, New Zealanders Paul and Janis. They have a cozy establishment to die for, a great approach to their café and warm positive attitudes which were refreshing.
They weren't decrying winter and its lack of visitors. They were celebrating the flexibility winter provided in this country ... if it is quiet ... no reservations? ... it is just fine to decide to pass on opening today. If inspired, then go for it! Their menu wasn't just the regular french fare but had some zing.
They have renovated their little spot (maybe 25 or so covers?) quite charmingly with loving attention to detail (wood floors, stone walls, interesting artsy touches like inlaid pebble flooring and niches here and there)...The format was your choice of 2 options per course (entree, plat, dessert) as well as nice wines. All fresh and tasty.
They also are hosting 2 or 3 'chambres d'hotes', sort of bed/breakfast affairs ... the rooms were phenomenal and with a 4th nearly finished.
A lovely courtyard with a small but welcoming pool.
They just opened their restaurant in July of 2009 and I predict next season will be terrific for them. Any of you who are in this region (their village is just after Lille on the way to Riberac) ... I recommend you call ahead to reserve your spot and make sure it is on your itinerary!
Le Bistrot Rouge, Place des Tilleuls, 24350 Tocane Saint-Apre 05.53.90.26.37
I'm adding them to my sidebar ... they definitely make the grade!