This discreet gem alone justifies a trip to Oudon (a pretty little town near Ancenis). Steps from the medieval castle, Marie Le Calvez (a self-taught chef) and her husband Sébastien (in the dining room) have been running this cosy spot (old terracotta floors, stone walls, fireplace, velvet armchairs) for over 10 years. The delicate and inspired cuisine revolves around simple dishes enhanced with a few spices and exotic flavours that marvellously accompany the judiciously chosen vintages from the Loire Valley.
King prawn ravioli, served with a rich jus and tonka bean emulsion
Mr Terrien’s pan-seared pigeon breast and leg confit, with a garlic/chive/ginger marmalade and potato mousseline with peanut butter
Bananas flambéed with aged Damoiseau rum, coconut/passion fruit/kaffir lime cream and banana chips