Friday, September 09, 2005

Le Cheval Rouge in Saint Menehould France

We were coming back from England the other day on the A4 and stumbled on to a little find! The restaurant is called Le Cheval Rouge in the town of Saint Menehould (pronounced "Menou") between Châlons-en-Champagne and Verdun where Dom Pierre Pérignon was born. The town is famous for "Pied de Porc à la Sainte Menehould" pork trotters bound and boiled for 12 hours in stock with white wine, herbs and spices, according to a centuries-old recipe. As the story goes, when Louis XVI tried to flee France in 1791, he was undone by his love of trotters: He stopped in Sainte Menehould to sup on pieds de porc and was recognized by the post master and later arrested by Revolutionary Guards. Ever since, pig's trotter's have been the edible symbol of liberté, egalité and fraternité. A democratic dish with a revolutionary pedigree. But the truth is I didn't see anyone eating them in the restaurant. What I did see on every plate was a big pile of the most beautiful golden brown pommes-frites cooked in the pork fat from the above mentioned pigs. I watched as fifty year-old business men ordered extra plates of frites and ate them one by one with their fingers! The kitchen is a serious one, knows how to make their clients happy and pays close attention to detail. They offer a packed brasserie (where we ate) and a formal dining room. Deserts looked fantastic but we didn't have room for it because of all the frites. We will definitely return!



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