After an exciting day in Chinon and a quick stroll around Poitiers, we needed sustenance and if possible, something delicious. The evening before in Fontevraud had been a culinary disappointment, so we were on the look out for fabulous food. We found it at the ‘Auberge Chez Cul de Paille’, a place that has been, in one form or another, a restaurant since 1645. One had to assume then that they knew what they were doing. And rightly so, this was an absolutely delicious dinner. We were lucky to get a table, so maybe consider making a reservation.
The restaurant offers a set menu with two or three different main dishes to choose from. Starters and desserts are the same for everyone and come in potpourri of small dishes to share. We started with five small appetizers which consisted of a fresh oyster as well as a falafel each, cucumber salad with curried sour cream dressing, carrot salad, and a charcuterie plate with a thick slice of pâté.
The pâté with fresh green peppercorns was absolutely fabulous and just ridiculously tasty. The cucumber salad was fresh and with the curry just a tad different from what we usually get at home. The carrot salad had oriental flavors with black sesame seeds and fenugreek. I loved the oyster and even my friend, who is usually not a fan of any kind of seafood, ate with gusto. The falafel was the only dish I didn’t care for, it was a tad too salty. On the whole though, it was a great start into our meal.
The wine needed some time to cool, the bottle clearly came from outside the fridge. But it was a nice bottle of local Sauvignon and worked well with the fish we had ordered.
Our codfish arrived with fennel and new potatoes and was simply delicious. Just the caramelized sauce was a touch too sweet for me. It worked exceptionally well with the fennel but not with the fish. Since the fish was the main feature I felt it was a bit off. There was also some heat in the back of the sauce, quite unexpected but lovely. My friend loved the main dish wholeheartedly, so no complaints from her side.
A highlight was definitely the dessert. It came also in form of different plates to share, best of all was a mousse au chocolate. It smelled and looked so enticing that we started to dig in before I got a picture. Just look at the sheer size of it.
If you think we didn’t finish it, think again. With it also arrived a kind of Tarte au Citron but with fromage blanc and lime instead of lemon. Very light and the tarte shell was super delicious. It was the overall best dessert, although I have just raved about the mousse. The mousse tasted of excellent dark chocolate and the roasted nuts on top added the little extra oompfh and made it irresistible. But the Tartelette was just sublime. Only the cream puff, which was perfect in itself, came in second compared to the other two desserts. The fresh fruits were a great addition and provided much needed acidity to cut the sweetness. Only the rhubarb was not peeled correctly, so we couldn’t take a bite.
Overall, this was such a great restaurant, unpretentious but with extremely good food. The service was lovely and we had a fabulous time. Definitely a place to remember and come back to when in the area. Even worth a detour. Yours, Pollybert
Auberge Chez Cul de Paille
86000 Poitiers, 3 Rue Théophraste Renaudot
Tel: +33 5 49410735
Tue-Sat: 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00