France – Jour 16 – Part 2

Dinner at La Charbonnette

Tonight’s dinner was at a Duvine favourite – La Charbonnette.  This is a small restaurant, run by a young couple (she runs front of house, he’s the chef) – who have just had a young baby.  To make things easier, and given we were a larger group – we had pre-chosen our dishes from the set menu that morning.

Prawns in katifi pastry served with salad & aioli

For my entrée, I had selected the prawns which had been wrapped in katifi pastry and were served with an aioli and salad.  The prawns were lovely, but there was a tad too much pastry, and its brittle texture tended to overwhelm the delicacy of the prawn meat.

Mushroom ravioli

Andrew didn’t really have many options for his entrée – the choices being prawns, mushroom ravioli or snails.  So, because I’m so lovely – I selected for him – the mushroom ravioli (I had been torn between that and the prawns – so this way I got to try both).  The presentation was very interesting – and the ravioli reminded me of wantons. The pastry was delicate and thin, but I was hoping the filling would pack more mushroom flavour. Overall it was a pleasant enough dish.

Le vin rouge

Some of the local sauvignon wine – for medicinal purposes only, you understand.

Roast chicken with mushrooms

For my main, there was no choice – chicken and mushrooms (one of my favourite dishes) which was served with a potato purée.  The chicken was delicious and the mushrooms were tender and earthy. The potato purée was actually a bit watery – definitely not the Paris mash I was expecting.  However, the chicken was great, and the supply of fresh bread more than made up for the potato.

Beef with filled pasta and vegetables

Andrew had opted for red meat – in this case beef, served with pumpkin, pasta filled with a chickpea purée, as well as some grated beetroot.  He was happy with his meal – although the filled pasta was an interesting component.

Chocolate fondant pudding with salted caramel cream

Finally, dessert was a no-brainer for both of us!  Chocolate fondant pudding served with salted caramel cream, fresh raspberries and a vanilla ice-cream.  We were happy as the chocolate pudding poured forth its warm oozing heart.

The chocolate fondant tease!

In fact, Deb and John were a little crestfallen – in the crisp morning air they had decided to keep it light and settled on a selection of sorbets… but the chocolate pudding was mocking them and they had serious plate envy.   Marg was very entertaining as she tried to seduce them with hers!

La Charbonnette is a lovely, family run bistro – the food is not flashy, but it’s honest and it’s down to earth.  I think over time, it may become more finessed – but at this time, this young family is producing hearty, comforting food in an ambient village setting that’s certainly worth visiting.

La Charbonnette
13 Place Eglise
41150 Onzain, France
P: 02 54 20 79 51