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Deux Saisons, Damvix.
5, rue Garnauderie, Damvix. Tel. 02 51 87 13 11
We were spending the day exploring a part of the Marais Poitevin that I had not visited. We had thought that we would lunch at a restaurant on the river Sevre Niortaise called the Auberge du Vieux Batelier, (The Old Boatmanís Restaurant) and so we swung by early to check it out. It was a tad expensive and we had tasked ourselves with searching out value for money, so when Trevor said that it was frequented by coach parties, I lost my desire to eat there. We decided that we would continue on our travels and find an alternative.
Now when Trevor gets the call to eat itís a must to find somewhere fairly quickly, I think Iíll have to pack some biscuits to stave off his hunger pangs. It was under these circumstances that we entered Damvix, a pretty little village on one of the canals, there is a large restaurant barge which departs from the quay there, but at 41 euros a head it wasnít what we were looking for. I said to Trevor that I would prefer to continue along the road from Damvix to Arcais to find a little restaurant on the canal with a bit more charm, but Trevorís hunger won the day and we decided to eat at one of the restaurants in Damvix. There were 2 restaurants on opposite corners, we decided on the Deux Saisons solely because they advertised in a limited way the content of their 12 euro formula, whereas the other restaurant didnít.
We sat at a table outside overlooking the road and the other restaurant and the waitress came to take our order, she was delightful and very pretty, somehow thatís always an encouraging start for me. Trevor had an alcohol free beer and I drank the house wine that was included with the meal it was no Grand Vin but it was as you would expect it was a no nonsense Vin de Table, which was perfectly acceptable. The first course was what one could only describe as a very original mixture comprising of a slice of ham pie, a slice of salami, half a boiled egg with mayonnaise, macaroni lightly coated with a garlic tomato and cheese sauce and vegetable couscous. Now you might think that this would be an odd mix, and youíd be right it was odd but it was tasty and quite contrary to my original thoughts in an odd way I enjoyed it. The main course was cote de porc, essentially a pork chop, it was served with a vegetable risotto and courgettes and mushrooms. This again was a very odd mix, the constituent parts were well cooked and there were two pork chops when they could probably have gotten away with one. The meal was finished with Oeufs au Lait, this is milk, eggs and vanilla which have been cooked. When I first saw this on a restaurant menu and enquired what it was the restaurateur told me it was CrŤme Caramel without the caramel, when I went to pay the bill the restaurateurís husband and his group of farming mates kept repeating the words crŤme caramel without caramel (in French of course) and laughing uncontrollably. All I can say is that some people are easily amused.
By the time I had finished the meal in Damvix I was extremely confused I couldnít work out whether I was in France, Italy, Morocco or Timbuktu. I like variety, but when Iím eating I need to have flavours that go together and that I recognise alongside one another. This meal though well enough cooked didnít do that for me and even the very pretty waitress couldnít make up for it. With coffee the meal came to 26.50 euros for the two of us, which is pretty good value for money, but I couldnít rate this as one of the better formula meals that Iíve eaten, and I canít help thinking that had we ventured a little further along the canal we might well have found a restaurant with more charm and possibly a more cohesive menu, of course it might well have cost more, who can say. Maybe next time weíll go a little bit further and find out. - Tate June 2009
About the author: Tate spends the summers in the Vendee and is passionate about good wine and good food,he writes exclusively for the www.vendee-guide.co.uk
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