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Le Bréard (Bib gourmand, Honfleur)
On a weekend in Normandy? Here's an address where cuisine bursting with flavour and ideas combines local produce with oriental spices at an unbeatable price in this region...
Paying a visit to Honfleur is always a pleasure! Close to the old port, you'll find several interesting addresses, foremost among which the very trendy Sa.Qua.Na run by the Aveyronnais Alexandre Bourdas awarded a Michelin Guide star in 2007. Less expensive and easier to book, I recommend Le Bréard, located in a paved little street close to Eglise Ste-Catherine and which distinguishes itself firstly by the kindness of its proprietors, Karine and Fabrice Sebire.
Born in Honfleur in 1971, the latter is the prototype prodigal child who, before returning home, did several stints at major restaurants: La Tour d’Argent, Le Senderens and, above all, Le Grand Vefour, under Guy Martin, whose right-hand man he was from 1998 to 2001.
Like many young chefs of his generation, Fabrice is particularly fond of Japan and its cuisine at once elegant, refined and dietary. His mascot dish on the 34 euros menu is 'tuna cooked three ways', which he accompanies with soya sauce and wasabi mustard: from raw to grilled, a whole range of different flavours and textures unfurls in your mouth!
Star Normandy products are also spiced up, like the cider candied young rabbit which Fabrice proposes with a crunchy apple pastry mixed with ginger. Scallops from the Seine Bay are for their part paired with a tartare of mango and passion fruit and flavoured with a coconut foam. Highly original, the cod (which has become rare today!) is roasted, flavoured with raz el hanout (a spice mix from North Africa used in couscous) and served with a delicious mashed maize with citronella... The flambeed banana with banana and ginger jam is a real treat.
Inventive, creative, up-to-the-minute… Fabrice and his wife Karine also make it a point of honour to present on their menu the best regional products like the excellent sweet cider by François David at Blangy-le-Château*, their tray of Normandy cheeses matured by François Olivier in Rouen (taste the goat cheeses from Étretat and the sublime Pont-l’Evêque by Spruytte!) and the exceptional artisanal Calvados artisanal by Adrien Camut. Even the baguette of bread is excellent, from Le Blé d’Or bakery in Honfleur run by Madame Deschamps.
And the icing on the cake? Menus at 26 and 34 euros! What else could you ask for?
*François David grows old varieties of apples entirely organically. To obtain maximum flavour and taste he dries his fruit for several months in his loft before squeezing them the old way. His ciders are natural, without any chemical concentrates and without any added gas. Still little known and not distributed in Paris, they are incredibly inexpensive at 3.50 euros a bottle on the spot!
7, rue du Puits
14 600 Honfleur
Tel.: 02 31 89 53 40