Royan is popular with the Irish, among others, and the Michelin recommended La Foret is not too far out on the east, on the road to Talmont. It is easy to find.
Started, aside from a few small appetisers, with a massive Goats Cheese and Tomato plateful, containing several slices of a tart that had the cheese and tomato, several rings of another cheese at the four corners of the plate, various bits of fruit and crudités and topped with a “sail”, made up of two rashers on two skewers.
The other starter was also huge, a Carpaccio of various fruits: several slices each of melon, grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple, and grapes, along with a plentiful supply of sorbet. The centre point here was a glass of the local Pineau which you couldn’t really free until you ate most of the fruit.
Main course was Bauvette, a top class beef dish with parsley butter and caramelised onion, served with a few chips. Quite an amount of beat filled the long dish but there was bowl of salad on the side and also more chips. Massive and it went down well.
Then came the cheese course. I forget the first one on offer as we each went for the second which was a white cheese with cream and cognac. Beat that!
Then on to the desserts, all this remember in the €26.00 euro menu. Picked the classic Ile Flottante – melt in the mouth decadence. The other dessert at the table was a Terraro: a sorbet type combination of very fruity boules of frozen fruit (including blackcurrant, strawberry etc) all surrounded by sliced strawberries.
It was an unbelievable meal at quite a busy restaurant and the price was of house wine (red, white or rose) was, believe it or not, €6.00 for a 70 cl carafe.
There are a couple of set menus but the a la carte is huge, opens out like a broadsheet. There is no English version so you could struggle to get though it unless you have very good French. But take a chance. It is worth it!
The cooking, the presentation, the service, the location of La Foret and its ambiance is excellent. But be warned about those huge portions!
Check out my review of La Foret - I am cork - on Qype