Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dining Out in Vaujany, French Alps at the La Remise

Vaujany is a small village and there are only a handful restaurants here that are open in the evening. Many wintersport holidaymakers coming here usually opt for self-catering or have their meals catered by the chalet apartment or hotel they are staying.

Now Dutchman and I are always open to any combinations of catering. We mostly self-cater though, bringing with us some winter dishes from the Netherlands, simply because we love eating them in the cold Alps. Dutch cuisine is not for the gourmet foodies but its comfort food for us especially during wintertime. I am talking about you boerenkool, zuurkool and hutspot with rookworst. Yum! But to break the monotony, we go out and eat at restaurants on some evenings.

La Remise

Our dinner spread at La Remise. Nicely plated huh?

La Remise

We have also experienced our meals being catered before. We quite liked it as well because it was convenient and hassle free. A wintersport holiday is not a summer holiday or a city trip where you hit the restaurants every night. It is super cold outside and there are evenings when you just want to spend your time indoors. The catered meal experience we had was our wintersport holiday in Valmorel several years ago. We stayed in an all-catered traditional chalet hotel in nearby Le Crey. We really liked the concept, maybe because they have meal themes every night, and they also have a lively bar.

So here at Vaujany I managed to list down a few restaurants in the village that we would like to try out. My short lists were: Restaurant La Remise, La Table de la Fare, Restaurant Le Stou and Hotel-Restaurant Les Cimes. We only managed to eat at 2 restaurants, La Remise and Le Stou. La Table de la Fare was busy and they only had a table available after 21:00, whereas we didn’t make it to Les Cimes since we still have some Dutch winter dishes available for heating up.

We however made a good choice with Restaurant La Remise. I have read good reviews about the restaurant and I can only say nice things about them as well. Some people say that the restaurant is traditional yet touristy. Well of course it is. Who else will eat here every night? Not the 300 inhabitants of this small alpine village but its tourists and visitors, right?

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click Read more link below]

The location is at Place de la Fare, on the topmost part of the village where you can find a small square with shops, cafes and restaurants. Although they have posted on their website that reservation is encouraged, we didn’t. I had planned to go to the restaurant to reserve for our evening’s dinner but I had to rush back to our apartment chalet to get the car keys and pick up the Dutchman who was unfortunately stuck in Alpe d’Huez. Luckily, the restaurant had a table for us.

I read they have great pizzas here as well.

La Remise

The restaurant has a cosy traditional wooden interior adorned with alpine life trimmings and winter sport accessories hanging from the wooden beamed ceiling.

The day before dinner at La Remise had been a mix happening of good and bad events. Dutchman and I skied and snowboard in the morning, enjoying the smooth pistes and the little journey from Vaujany to Alpe d’Huez and back. Then I made a decision to take a little “me” time off in the afternoon because I wanted to explore the alpine village. But halfway through my walking around the village I received a distraught call from the Dutchman who was stuck in Alpe d’Huez. He took the wrong part of the mountain with his snowboard and could not go back anymore because the lifts were closed. So I had to pick him up. The drive took me an hour as I had to stop somewhere to refuel. We arrived back in Vaujany already after dark.

The day before this, we unluckily missed our lift connection in Oz-en-Oisans and we had to take a bus and a special taxi back to the village, arriving after dark as well. Read here: French Alps - Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski on a Sunday and Missing our Connection to Vaujany. I promise to make a review post on the Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski Resort very soon!

There is more. The day before our arrival, we got lost on the road (blame our old Nokia GPS). It took us an extra 2 hours drive to reach here, arriving in Vaujany also after dark!

It was like a wham - bam - pow after each other. *sigh*

So with all the drama in the last 3 days of arriving late and missing lift connections, we were really hoping to close this evening with good food and ambiance at La Remise. Perhaps we can still save the day. Well, the last 3 days I mean.

We did not order starters and went straight for our main courses. We were eyeing the Fondue but Dutchman had his heart on a burger and fries. He was willing to trade his burger for Fondue if I insisted on it but then I saw the lamb shank. The last time I had a similar dish was when I was in Quebec, Canada in the autumn of 2015. I remember it being delicious. Thus, a lamb shank for me then. As for our drinks, I settled for the local red wine while the Dutchman had his usual cola.

Dutchman drinks alcohol but not during dinners. I used to drink wine every night during dinner at home, but not lately though. I just do not have the desire and Dutchman shares the disinterest as well. But I do drink wine when I go out such as this evening at La Remise. Alas, we face the reality of our habits and tastes changing over time. It is inevitable.

The service was very quick and before we knew it we have our meals on the table.

Lamb Shank

Dutchman does not eat until I finish taking pictures, haha. It was quick though =) but wait, isn't my plate just so pretty?

Burger La Remise

Dutchman's huge burger and fries. The cheese is oozing!

Lamb Shank

My lamb shank with mashed potato and vegetables.The presentation is lovely!

La Remise

Interestingly their extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar came in spray bottles. I cannot make up my mind if having a spray top is much handier or better than the usual.

The huge juicy burger and crunchy fries were very good, says the Dutchman. My lamb shank as well was equally delicious. It was nicely cooked and very tasty. The sauce was complementary to the meat and I am quite grateful as well that they added some extra sauce. Some restaurants forget this part, that diners need extra sauce for their meat! I chose for vegetable and mashed potato for my sides which paired well with the lamb. What can I say? This was a very satisfactory meal.

I also have to say that I really loved the way this restaurant put a lot of attention and detail in the presentation of their dishes. The well meaning aesthetics really made a difference. It added an extra special touch to the overall positive dining experience. I am sure they have helped ignite our sensory taste buds.

For dessert, Dutchman and I shared a café gourmand. We also ordered a separate cappuccino. The desserts were adorable looking served on a black stone tray, and they were all scrumptious to taste too. This serving was just enough for us.

Cafe Gourmand

These were all delicious and it is good to share when you cannot handle too much sugar.

Cappucino La Remise

The café gourmand is a typically French combination of coffee and desserts. You usually get at least 4 types of mini desserts and a café (espresso). I drink an espresso at the end of the meal whereas the Dutchman a cappuccino. In addition to this, we are not huge dessert eaters so the idea of sharing a variety of small desserts really appealed to us, well especially to me.

TIP: When in France and you want to share your desserts over coffee? Order a café gourmand instead! And then just buy an extra café.

We found our (older) female hostess very nice as well, she did her best in speaking English to us. She was also dressed very classy. I had the feeling she was the owner of the restaurant. Thank you for the lovely service and special minutiae on everything.

In summary, the lovely dinner at La Remise saved the day, er I mean, the last 3 days =)

La Remise is located on Place de la Fare in the uppermost part of Vaujany. From the station, you take the 2 escalators and then the staircase.

Travel Period: January 2017
Destination: Vaujany (Isere - Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes), France

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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