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Le Moulin  Rocheservière
Rue de la Malcoute.  Tel.02 51 48 92 78

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Trevor and I had left my friend at Ron at Rennes airport and had motored down into the very north of the Vendée. Trevor had set his sights on eating at Le Moulin in Rocheservière, a converted water mill on a pretty stretch of the meandering River Boulogne. The restaurant is overlooked by an impressive viaduct and has a terrace built out over the river which as we hadn’t booked and were late, was unfortunately full. As a result we were seated in the modern and very classy dining room which was open and airy with the riverside wall comprising entirely of windows and the decor being red and white with a black stone tiled floor. As well as the terrace being full the dining room, which was not small was also well populated. There was a formula meal at 10.50 which comprised an entrée from the hors d’oeuvre table a main course which was a choice of beef, ham or the dish of the day and a dessert from the dessert cabinet. Neither Trevor nor I fancied the hors d’oeuvre table so we went for the 15 formula giving you either an entrée and plat or a plat and dessert, the difference of course was that there was a much wider choice on the 15 menu, although on this particular day the dish of the day on the 10.50 formula was the house speciality which was a rack of ribs. There was also a children’s menu for under 9 year olds which on the day we visited was ½ a rack of pork ribs and chips, a choice of dessert and a drink all for 7.

We had ordered a non alcoholic beer for Trevor that he was initially using to calm the wasp sting that he had received on his hand the previous day and which was swollen and irritating. As there was no Vin de Table I ordered a half bottle of Côtes du Rhône at
8, the full bottle was only 3 more but a whole bottle of wine at lunch would have seen me sleeping the afternoon away. The wine itself was at first taste a little fresh, but it did mellow with a little airing. Both Trevor and I decided on an entrée and plat Trevor had chosen a Salade Croquante which was smoked duck breast with seasonal fruits and a tuile basket filled with crème de brebis all on a bed of mixed salad. The duck was tasty and worked well with the crème de brebis which is a creamy sheep’s cheese mixed with peppers, onion, garlic and crème fraiche and topped with a slice of crispy bayone ham. The seasonal fruits were a couple of different types of melon and the mixed salad included both green and red leaves. The fruit was fresh and the salad was crisp and the whole dish totally worked not only visually and flavour wise but also the mix of consistencies. I had ordered the pate de la maison and I was not disappointed. It was a rough homemade pork pate studded with small pieces of pepper and peppercorns. The two generous slices were served with a couple of sliced cornichons and a small green salad, dressed in light balsamic vinaigrette. I love pate and I was very happy to eat this one it had a great consistency and an even better flavour.

Our main courses arrived Trevor had ordered Aiguillette de canard et son foie gras poêlé sablé au romarin, this was the small fillets from the breast of the duck with pan fried foie gras and a rosemary shortbread biscuit, it was served in a cream sauce with a small green salad, a pot of cubed salsify and homemade chips. Trevor seemed very happy with everything and I did have a taste of the duck which was delicious. I on the other hand had my hands full with my main course which was Petites Côtes de Porc, this was some fifteen small pork ribs cooked in their own special spice mix and served with a conical bag of homemade chips, a small green salad and a pot of salsify. I must confess that I didn’t even taste the salsify or the salad as the ribs and chips were challenge enough for lunchtime. The ribs themselves were beautifully cooked they were succulent and the spice mix wasn’t at all overpowering, the chips were just a little bit overcooked and greasy for me but I can forgive that as we were late into the restaurant and it was so good to eat chips that were homemade rather than out of a packet. The whole thing was fantastic and as the menu suggested the only way to eat it was with my fingers. The wine had mellowed with breathing and had been a good and robust accompaniment to the whole of my meal, it was quite strong at 13.5% but was all the better for its strength. By the time we had finished the restaurant had emptied but the staff were very accommodating and were happy to serve us with large white coffees which we drank with relish. Trevor was delighted as it was served with a chocolate covered nut. We also managed to get a look out on the terrace and I must admit on a lovely day it would be a delight to eat there “al fresco”.

This restaurant was a great find by Trevor. The only shame for us is that it is too far away from us to visit regularly. Most if not all of the customers were local and the food was very good quality, homemade and not expensive. Far from having no ambience the restaurant was delightful and the staff were friendly and helpful. Sadly this is a mix which that is becoming all too hard to find, as restaurants that cater for the lunchtime workers trade with good food at competitive prices tend to be in nondescript dining rooms offering little or no ambience, and even in these the prices seem to be creeping up. None of this however applies to this restaurant. I was extremely impressed, good homemade food, in a lovely environment at a competitive price served by helpful friendly people, what more could you reasonably asks for. This restaurant would be right up there in my favourites, and so you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I highly recommend it. Tate - 2011

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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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