Auberge du Terroir, 3 Place Saint Martin, 50170 SERVON.

Phone: 0(0 33) 2 33 60 17 92

There are many fine restaurants in France, as everybody knows. It is one of the highlight places for gastronomy worldwide. Some might argue that the best places are the most luxurious ones, and that often is true. But not always. Many small institutions have little recognition in terms of international standards, but still are hidden treasures. The Auberge du Terroir located just a few miles inland from Mont Saint Michel in the small village of Servon is one of them. Its location is in an old presbytery which is rather modest and unassuming. But don’t let that fool you. The cuisine is exceptional.

The inn is owned by a charming, down-to-earth couple who chose to preform their art away from the broad lights of the city, in an intimate environment. Anne and Thierry Lefort bought the place, a 16th century school building with a presbytery, which had been torched during the French Revolution and abandoned. They made it anew. With love and care, they restored the ruins and turned the place into a mom and pop inn and restaurant.

Thierry Lefort was previously the private chef for some of the most illustrious families of France, and he managed an early retirement from official circuits and great chefs’ apprenticeships. Now he cooks with passion for a limited set of daily clients. His moto is: product quality first, discretion second. During the high tourism season you must expect to find that there are no vacancies less than a week in advance. This says a lot as to the reputation of the place. To top it off, their daughter is one of the most outstanding sommeliers in France, who worked under Alain Ducasse in Paris and New York, and is now ¬†working in Dubai. She is about to create a wine list which should make your palate more than happy! Menus go from a small 30 euros to 50 euros. It is an outstanding bargain, considering the quality of the food, and the warmth of the welcome.

One last small yet major thing: all their ingredients are organic, in season, and from the region: vegetables,  salads, and fruits. That is also true for their fish and meat, which are organic and of exceptional quality. Try their home-made caramel ice cream, you won t be disappointed. Bottom line, their restaurant is a must if you are anywhere near the Mont Saint Michel area!

D.A.