If you read my last post from today you know that we had shit for dinner last night and lunch today. Seriously, we would have done better eating at McDonalds. The food was terrible. That is the correct usage of that word, not the way the Orange Mussolini uses that word. Tonight we were able to get reservations at one of the better restaurants in the area. So this post is a restaurant review. That will be helpful if you find yourself in Tain L’Hermitage on your travels.
The restaurant is Maison Gambert. It is a chateau in the middle of a vineyard. The dining is done outside, in a terrace overlooking the vines and the town below. Its is a small space with 10 tables outside and room for perhaps 50 people. The first and most important thing I did was to check the wine list. that is the whole reason for being here. I wanted a white Hermitage. I love the red but reds sometimes give me headaches so I prefer the whites. On the list there were 6 white Hermitages ranging in price from 110 to 300 euros. Yes, you did read that correctly. I chose a midrange one at 125 euros. You only live once. In poverty.
I’m not sorry I selected that wine. It was everything I expected. It drank like a fine liquor. Not the alcohol but the viscosity and the complex flavors which kept getting better as the bottle got emptier. I was really sorry to finish that bottle.
For appetizers Alice chose a Trout dish and I chose Marinated Shrimp. I asked Alice to review her dish and she said “it was good”. I asked her for more detail and she said “it was fishy”. So I said you didn’t like it? And she said “no, it was good”. That is all I’m going to get out of her.
Mine was excellent. I have not had marinated shrimp since Sicily where they specialize in that dish using their famous red shrimp. These were better. Not the shrimp but the way they were prepared. The shrimp were presented on a bed of zoodles (zucchini strips) and were filled with an orange colored cream that I was not able to identify. I believe the ginger was one of the components. There were also crunchy peppercorns that were not too strong or hard and they added a pleasant crunch and spice to the dish.
Both of us opted to share a steak since we have not had one in a while. That turned out to be a mistake. The steak tasted OK but was gristly and fatty and not all that tender. It was served with a paprika butter and a ratatouille which was OK. Ringo really enjoyed it however so there is that.
For dessert Alice chose a chocolate tart (that is all she ever gets) and I picked an apricot compote with vanilla ice cream. Alice raved over the chocolate tart and I thought my dessert was very much just ok. The Rosemary that was used to season the apricots gave them a slightly moldy taste which I did not enjoy so much.
The bill came to 250 Euros which 125 of that was for the wine so, all in all, the price was not too bad. I just wish I had made other choices. I don’t think I will be going back anytime soon. At least in this lifetime. But the wine was spectacular so all is good.
After dinner we walked Ringo along this road. The hotel is just past the bridge in the picture. Good night.