Sometimes you just have to go out to eat. The idea of eating in is so unattractive that even though you might prefer a quiet night in front of the tele, you are spurred on by a stronger urge not to eat at home.
This is how we felt last night. We also had in mind our disasterous attempt at finding the fondue restaurant on rue Collot, and wanted to lay those ghosts to rest by finding the damn place! Cue Google and a search for fondue restaurants in Montpellier. It threw up not one but six possibilities with readers' comments to boot. Not one was in rue Collot! We got as far as reading about the first three: the first turned out to be brilliant but pricey; the second cheap and quite crappy; and the third good value for money and very tasty. Look no further, we thought, this is the one: "Le Grenier Savoyard" on rue Méditerranée behind the station in a fairly grotty area (it's all grotty behind the station!).
We got lost trying to find it, and walked all around the area just missing it. In the end, we headed back to the car and got the map. My hip was beginning to make itself known again, nagging away in a belligerent if non-crippling way, so I was glad when we finally got there. I was glad we'd booked; the place was empty... but probably not for long...!
Inside it was all authentic mountain style checked table cloths, wood beams, farm equipment and old skis all over the walls and a dinky little chalet effect for the bar. We were welcomed warmly and invited to sit at a table with an ashtray. The menu came and had not only fondues, but raclettes, steaks, tartiflettes and charcuterie/salad which was served as a side dish with the other dishes, for those of mountainous appetites.
We chose the fondue aux cèpes, served with a half litre pichet of white St Jacques de Savoyard wine and a glass of 'amitié' (grappa!). It came in a chunky Le Creuset saucepan with a basket of slightly hard bread. The fondue had chunks of cèpes in it, which gave it a lovely mushroomy colour and delightful fragrance. The taste was as delightful, the cèpes lending a delicious but not over-powering flavour to the cheese. The consistency was good; not too watery, and there was just enough for two good meals.
The chef, Brice Reynauld, came up to us at the end and invited us to take a glass of his home-made limon cello which of course, we accepted. It was fabulous, and a lovely fresh way to cut through the richness of the cheese, leaving you with a lightness in the palate to go home with. We congratulated him on his success, and I told him that my father likes it mixed with tonic as an aperitif while my mother has her beloved gin & tonic. He hadn't known it could be drunk thus, and said that the information had given him some ideas.
We left to a filling restaurant, glad to have eaten early, avoided the smokers and enjoyed a peaceful meal and friendly chat with the chef. Price 43€ total, wine included for two. Recommended!