Plate With A View: Auberge du Gros Bill, Brittany, France
Saturday 16 August 2008
The restaurant is a cliff-drop away from the sea, so fish has a big place on the menu. My grilled prawns were served over a lightly oiled nest of tagliatelle, with a pot of Marie Rose sauce. Mussels are a must when in season – Pénestin is renowned for its plump yellow-orange moules de bouchots. A dozen Brittany oysters glided down my husband's gullet – aided by lashings of lemon juice, and black pepper. Carnivore yearnings were satisfied by succulent brochettes of beef, while the children settled for ham and chips. I joined them for pudding – house chocolate crêpes – while the spouse spooned a cleansing Calvados sorbet. The restaurant opens in March to celebrate the new Muscadet season – this gives a clue about the wine recommendation.
Cosy inside, with its sea-dog decor, and arresting out. The restaurant is a converted German blockhouse, constructed with the best possible all-round view of the bay. Watching owner Sébastien Bouvier turn brochettes over the smouldering open wood fire kindles the appetite. Locals flock to the bay searching for shellfish, especially the coveted mussels swept off their black wooden stakes, or bouchots. Twitchers are rewarded by a variety of birds, including sacred ibis.
Set menus (three courses) range from €16 to €24 (£13.30-£20). Our bottle of Muscadet cost €12.60 (£10.50).
Auberge du Gros Bill, 251 Pointe du Bile, Pénestin, Brittany (00 33 2 99 90 31 81). Open daily for lunch and dinner, March to November
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