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La Sableautine
15 rue Pricipale, Le Sableau. Chaille les Marais
Tel. 02 51 30 10 88.

Sud Vendee.. Haut Bocage.. Coastal Region.. Marais Poitevin.. Marais Breton.. Bas Bocage.. Plaine.. Marais Olonne..
I first visited this restaurant with my good friends Roger and Christine on a Sunday lunchtime having spent the morning at the lively Sunday market in the La Pallice district of La Rochelle. The then owner chef told us at the time that he was leaving and that the restaurant was being taken over by his sous chef, so I was interested to find out what difference the change had made. Of course this was not a Sunday, it was in fact a Thursday lunchtime and as the restaurant was not particularly busy we had our pick of the tables so we chose a table at the front of the dining room in front of a window. The dining room is light and airy and it has a traditional feel with a beamed ceiling and a feature light stone wall combining well with the light coloured plasterwork on the other walls. We missed the 14 menu du jour which was on a board behind our table, fortunately it was Andouillettes, which are tripe sausages and are definitely an acquired taste, and one that I am yet to acquire. We plumped for the 20 menu and I ordered a 50cl pitcher of house red, a vin de pays d’oc, for myself and tonic water for Trevor. I ordered the salad des gésiers, followed by cuisse de canard confites maison and finishing with a crumble aux fruits de saison. Trevor went for tartare d’avocat aux crevettes, sauce aurore, followed by pave de cabillaud a la crème de poivron et sa fondue de poireaux and finishing with a tiramisu.

As requested the delightful waitress served the wine immediately along with Trevor’s tonic water. I was surprised because the wine was served chilled, nonetheless it tasted good and was great value for money at
4.90. Our entrées arrived with beautifully fresh bread which made a pleasant change from some of the bread that one is served it was a pleasure to eat, my warm gizzard salad was good the gizzards were plentiful and there were warm lightly sautéed sliced potatoes along with crisp green salad leaves. Trevor’s starter was altogether more complicated with a tower of chopped avocado mixed with very small red fish roe and a gourmet white sauce, all topped with prawns. I had a taste of the avocado tower and it was delicious, Trevor certainly seemed to approve. There were a group of bank employees eating at one of the tables and a couple with their dog at a table in the corner, the restaurant could have felt a bit empty but somehow it didn’t, whether this was the attentive service or Trevor’s scintillating company who can say.

Our main courses arrived and though, being a great fan of them, I had been tempted to go for one of their extensive range of pizzas, I had in fact decided on the leg of duck. I had been offered the choice of chips or green beans and though my head said that I should go for the green beans, my taste buds went for the chips, no matter that they were frozen they were well cooked and I loved them. The duck was excellent it was cooked perfectly and fell off the bone, it was simple with nothing added, no sauce nothing complicated but none the less tasty for that. Hard to believe that duck and chips could actually taste so good. Trevor’s main course was yet again much more complicated, his large slab of cod was sat on a bed of chopped leeks with a red pepper and cream sauce. I had to ask the waitress twice what was in the sauce as Trevor didn’t believe that the sauce, which was orange in colour, could possibly only have red pepper in it and was convinced there was something akin o pumpkin in it. The upshot was that the cod was perfectly cooked and the sauce was extremely good, Leeks are not Trevor’s favourite vegetable but that of course is purely personal taste and like them or not they were very well cooked.

If the meal was good so far the desert course was a triumph. My crumble was a good size and was made of apple and strawberries. It was sweet but not too sweet, the crunchy crumble topping was a perfect balance to the soft fruit interior and it was topped off perfectly with a boule of vanilla ice cream. Trevor’s tiramisu was also exceptional, it is the third tiramisu he has had this season and unlike some of the others this did have cake soaked in alcohol in the bottom of the glass, whether it was marsala I don’t know but Trevor said it was chocolaty, and at the same time full of coffee flavour, with mascarpone and a thick cream topping, just like a tiramisu should be. We finished with large white coffees and we were I think it’s safe to say thoroughly replete. The service was very good and very friendly, the food was extremely well presented and the chef has obviously learned his trade well, because everything was cooked to perfection. Having eaten there before I don’t think the standard has fallen in fact I think it may have been slightly better than my previous visit, which following a change of ownership is in my experience pretty rare. The final bill came to
52.60, so it wasn’t cheap, but it was certainly good enough to have been worth the money, had it been an evening meal we wouldn’t have even thought about it. It was a delightful meal in a pleasant setting with efficient friendly service and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it. Tate - 2011

About the author: Tate spends the summers in the Vendee and is passionate about good wine and good food,he writes exclusively for the
The coping of this article is permitted as long as the complete article along with these credits are published.

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Dining room La Sableautine Restaurant