Like every year (or almost, depending on the seasons), you will find our Coups de pouce (“helping hand”) section. For the most part, it showcases newly opened restaurants that the jury wished to help out, or simply newcomers to the guide that we thoroughly enjoyed discovering. Whatever the case, these restaurants are truly in tune with the spirit of Les Tables de Nantes.
They are a reflection of our jury’s diversity and selection process. Although these establishments are very different, they all keep us anchored to our fundamentals: the quality of ingredients and their transformation through a chef’s talent, a connection to our region and its soil – especially in the case of wines – while nevertheless remaining open to other cuisines, and the “soul” of restaurant-owners, who did not choose this difficult profession by accident, but in order to provide their guests with the most pleasant dining experience.
But do not go looking for absolute perfection! Approach each restaurant as we did: curious and laid-back. This should in no way prevent you from paying attention to the quality of the cuisine, the service, and (sometimes) the setting, all of which work together towards creating a truly enjoyable moment.
Since the mid-1990s, the raison d’être behind Le Manoir de la Régate has always been great food. But it was the arrival of Mathieu Pérou a year ago that ushered this “cheerful” establishment flirting with the edge of the Erdre River into an exciting new era. After a spell working under the tutelage of such renowned names as the Ibarboure brothers in Guéthary, Thierry Drapeau at the Logis de la Chabotterie and Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney, the young 25-year-old chef returned home to work with his father. After a tentative start, the Pérou clan has now found its perfect cruising speed — one powered by the local terroir and quality produce.
“Amazing fish markets are only an hour’s drive from here! The fish are caught at night and delivered fresh each morning…” These are the words of Manuel Le Gouil, a young seafood (but not only…) chef, and his wife, Audrey, who has served as the heart of the restaurant by providing an atmosphere of comfort and quality service for guests over the last four years. The message is clear: there’s no need to look any farther, when everything you need can be found here. This is a place where the cooks are passionate about shellfish, the taste of iodine is an asset and the market gardener reigns king.
For the last ten years, La Villa Saint-Germain, which can be found basking in the shade of the Tour d’Oudon, has been the joy of Marie, a “self-taught chef” who is always seeking her next challenge, and Sébastien, a “Breton traveller” and lover of “the wines of winegrowers”. They have created a place where you can come and have a good time. Just imagine a gathering of friends at home filled with laughter and gaiety, where you can share dishes of local products that the couple elevates with spices from all over, having your emotions stirred by their unique and unexpected pairings.