Tuesday 3 June 2008

Taverne Au Normandy, Place de La Cathedrale, Sees, Normandy

Behind an appealing burgundy facade, opposite Sees' majestic cathedral, is a traditional restaurant with a rustic, homely ambiance. Below the wooden beam ceilings, the walls are decorated with a bison's head, a deer's head and even a startled stuffed fox, while one wall is covered with dozens of framed stills from Joan D'Arc, which was partly filmed in Sees. Unfortunately, the overall effect is diluted by the waiters' white t-shirts emblazoned with a bison's head, and the laminated lengthy menus, which list scores of dishes including pizzas, omelets, crepes, traditional French specialities and even some Tex-Mex food. Still, Taverne Au Normandy serves huge, tasty portions and the cheapest fixed menu (18.50 euros for three courses), in particular, is great value.

A massive meringue glace
To start, for example, you can enjoy a great big bowl of peppery fish soup served with a heap of grated cheese and eight croutons. The main courses include a plate of juicy duck medallions accompanied by a hunk of artichoke, a pleasant plum sauce, crispy slivers of potato and some salad. You can top that with a massive meringue glace covered in warm chocolate sauce and surrounded by whipped cream and two scoops of coffee ice cream. Even the salads are very filling. The tomato salad (4.55 euros) is two huge chopped tomatoes lying on a forest of lettuce doused in French dressing, while the lardons salad (11.50 euros) features scores of bacon bits, pieces of Roquefort cheese, walnuts, plus toast and butter. The children's menu (8.50 euros) includes an almost adult-size serving of respectable ham, French fries and salad, followed by a couple of scoops of ice cream served in a vase-style glass. Whatever you order at the Taverne Au Normandy, you probably won't need the basket of bread. The wine list includes a 50cl pitcher of drinkable Cote de Bourg for just 6.90 euros. Service is generally swift and, full and happy, you will be tempted to tip generously. 8/10