We heard about Les Fernandes thanks to the restaurant booking website The Fork which currently gives 30% off the à la carte menu for certain bookings (generally early evening), which is a pretty interesting offer.
We even liked the name of the restaurant: Les Fernandes – the girly bistrot that boys love. Interesting… And what about the food?
Read our review to find out!
Their restaurant is a cosy affair, with a log cabin feel on the ground floor and a big stone-ceilinged room downstairs that we would probably avoid in the winter (during the summer, we’re guessing it’s actually rather agreeable). The interior design is sparse, but not really the focus of the place anyway.
Above all, the welcome from these two laides is wonderful – it’s not often you feel immediately at ease when you arrive in a place (apart from at our hotels of course!)…
The menu is mainly based around French classics, with a few twists.
After some very helpful advice on choosing a glass of wine, we ordered our starters – first up, ravioles de Royan (mini ravioli with comté cheese inside), with a very subtle taste that took a little time to develop, served (or perhaps drowned) in a very creamy sauce. For a first course, we found it enormous.
As for the six snails, they were perhaps a little overcooked, but the still had bite and the sauce was deliciously full of garlic. Yum!
For the first main course dish we choose a wok of vegetable and noodles, except… there were no noodles (we were warned in advance, but how can a restaurant run out of noodles and not get any more?)
The huge bowl had lots of vegetables in it, but was a little basic (no soya sauce for example) and overly greasy. A bit of a shame.
For the second main dish, we chose the scallops cooked à la plancha. These were very quickly cooked (aller-retour, as we say in French) and served with cubes of roasted butternut rôtis. Sweet and soft, they were the perfect accompaniment.
Alas, the white wine sauce that looked so good on the side of the slate was so neutral we had to look at the menu again to understand what was in it.
After two big dishes like that, we really had to make en effort to even consider dessert!
The brioche perdue (like French toast but with brioche instead of bread) was very soft and served with stewed apples and some milk ice cream. Very good!
The café gourmand is for those who can’t decided – it’s an expresso coffee with a selection of mini-desserts (four here – one of which they kindly replaced with another for me). Although there’s a lot to it, we could have preferred some more interesting flavours. Perhaps the fact that we were no longer hungry meant that we couldn’t appreciate it properly.
The word ‘copious’ keeps coming back to us. All the dishes at Les Fernandes are copious, so if you’re really hungry, that’s obviously great.
However, if you prefer smaller dishes with a little more taste or finesse, you might be left slightly frustrated. No dish was bad, but you’ll come across a sauce with not too much taste, some overly greasy vegetables, something a little over-cooked… You can feel that their focus is more on quantity, a little less on quality.
Despite this, the two managers are such wonderful, friendly characters, and that made all the difference. The atmosphere of the place s great, and with the special offer from The Fork, your dinner will be very reasonably priced for the neighbourhood.
We think we should go down and try the place out for yourself to see whether you agree! ?
Les Fernandes (here) is open for lunch and dinner every day except Sundays and Mondays
Online booking here
To check out all our photos of Les Fernandes, simply click here.