Norman lunch in the heart of Calvados

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Normandy & Brittany, Travel with Karen | 0 comments

Norman lunch in the heart of Calvados

I have to say that this outstanding little restaurant, Au P’tit Normand, was one of many highlights of my Normandy Brittany tour, and an excellent introduction to Norman cuisine and culture.  Delicious ‘cuisine du terroir’* prepared from scratch by “mom”, Madame Huguette Besnard, in a warm and inviting space.  Memorable dishes served with a smile and ample patience by her charming daughter (8 Americans trying to decide what to order can be a disarming task for some), the restaurant has a cheerful, genuine family-style feel.

* terroir:  A combination of land specificity and human savoir-faire.  Source: French Ministry of Agriculture

Mom_daughter_medChef and owner Madame Besnard with her amiable daughter

interior_medThe warm, convivial atmosphere makes Bruce feel at home

Mom’s specialties includes such savory local dishes as homemade country paté and veal chop from the Auge valley & oyster mushrooms served with Norman cream fraîche sauce and sautéed potatoes.

terrine_medTerrine de campagne maison aux 3 arômes (homemade country paté with three herbs)

veau_medCôte de veau vallée d’auge aux pleurotes et crème fraîche (veal chop from the Auge valley & oyster mushrooms served with Norman cream fraîche sauce and sautéed potatoes)

The savory dishes were so unbelievable, I could not imagine dessert could be a match, but I was wrong.  Being in the land of apples, I thought it apropos to order the apple tart, which did not disappoint.

tartePomme_medTarte fine aux pommes maison (homemade thinly sliced apple tart)
This was an original, and very good; thinly sliced apples were arranged atop a thick applesauce and homemade crust, served with a drizzle of homemade salty butter caramel sauce.

The apple sorbet also sounded interesting and unique.  The sorbet was excellent, but one dare not light a match around this dessert.

glace_calvados_med  Apple sorbet bathed in Calvados and apples sautéed in butter

As good as the tart and sorbet was, the real show stopper was the house specialty, a unique melt-in-your-mouth dessert that left our palate enthralled.  At first glance, it did not sound appealing to me (translated as “gingerbread”, of which I’m not a big fan), but our charming server enthusiastically recommended it, so I ordered one for the table.  She insisted we would love it.  “Oh, happy day!”

painEpices_medPain d’épices poêlé au beurre d’Isigny et sa boule de glace à la vanilla (spice bread sautéed in Isigny butter served with vanilla ice cream and homemade salty butter caramel sauce topped with slivered almonds)

Thank you Madame Besnard and lovely daughter for this memorable experience.  We will be back.