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Forgettable Gizzards

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November 6, 2016 / French / By
Anna

After an amusing drive through the picturesque Dordogne and into the seas of vinyards that mark the Gironde, pitting our driver's common sense against the advice of Google Maps, we found the charming town of St Émilion, perched above the grapevines dripping with bunches of purple promise. They really did look so perfect as to be almost artificial, and picking was starting the next week.

St Émilion is all about the wine, but there has to be food to accompany the wine. Though the French do not seem to be quite as obsessive about food accompanying the drinking of wine as the Italians. 

For example, a few weeks ago, we went on a tour of a paper recycling plant in Umbria. It is an environmentally significant project but it was messy and stinky. However, being in Italy, it began with coffee and pastries and ended with more coffee and little panini. Now that is obsessive.

But back in sweet-smelling St Émilion, we needed food. There were lots of restaurants but the prices were steep; we eventually settled for a restaurant with an affordable menu - Chez Germaine. It is situated in a central square along with several other restaurants. Subsequently, I heard several stories of people paying high prices for single glasses of wine here, so caution is required. Also subsequently, I noted that TripAdvisor's reviewers are a bit luke-warm about it; maybe they'd been incautious with their wine choices, but we were satisfied with the quality/quantity/size of bill matrix.

Two of our party had moderately priced red wine and one, I must confess it was me, had white. I love the St Émilion reds, but not with a salad on a hot afternoon. The designated-driver had water and the promise of good wine once home.

Three of us had gizzard and foie-gras salad and the maverick among us had mussel soup. The mussels were more expensive than we would pay for them in our little Umbrian village, but then we were in a rather special French town and the mussel eater pronounced them delicious. He was pretty happy with the quantity too, as he was still eating well after the rest of us had finished our gizzards and foie-gras.

I had always wanted to try gizzards and the allure of gizzards with foie gras seemed the perfect opportunity, but looking back on the meal I can only recall the wonderfully smooth foie gras. 

The result of an hour's wandering and wine tasting, was a few purchases. I have to say that wine-tasting in the Bordeaux region is something of an industry, though a very pleasant one in this most attractive and chic French town. The problem of course is that after a few tastings (and you're under no obligation to buy), you get a bit reckless. A few bottles to take home? Why not! €30 a bottle? Hell, we're on holiday...and we're retired; you only live once! You get the picture?

We were able to deliver on that promise of good wine for our lovely sober driver once back home. I'll swear he had a smile on his face as we were busy tasting...and buying.

Footnote: I've rated Chez Germaine as a $$$ dining experience; in truth, I can't really remember what the bill per person was. Blame the wine-tasting! It was more than I'm used to paying in Umbria, but not so over-the-top expensive as to send your wallet or credit card into cardiac arrest. Let's say around €35 per person, but more than one course, a less than careful choice from the wine list and coffee or a dessert wine afterwards could easily see this spiral up towards 3 figures. 

 

 

Chez Germaine

Country: France

Province/State: Aquitaine

City: St Émilion

Address: 13 Place du Clocher

Zip/Post Code: 33330

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: +33 5 57 74 49 34

Website:...

Price Guide:$$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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