Well, amazing! Stuck for choice on a last minute day trip to Lille we wandered lost and hungry down the tiny Rue Peterynk and found Au Gre Du Vin. A shop, a wine cellar, a delicatessen, a small selection of fresh artisan meats and... tucked away in the back.... on split levels an exquisite little restaurant.
Barely 10 covers, tiny tables surrounded by whimsical foody ephemera hanging from the walls and ceiling, a blackboard with the constantly changing menu and a charming and efficient host called Patricia. Jars of earth line a cupboard listing the various soils of the French regions paying homage to Le Terroir, the complex ephemeral elusive idea of place that pervades regional French food and wine production.
There's not a lot of choice, which is good. The dishes that emerge from the kitchen are for sharing, which is even better. The ingredients are superb, which is the best bit. They serve tremendous 'tasting plates' of delectable nibbles, great plates of charcuterie, generously prepared assiettes of salmon in multiple forms, deliciously melting peppers laced with oily silver anchovies, a simply heartstopping selection of foie gras presented in several ways, mountains of fresh crusty breads and beautiful salty cold meats. The influences of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Sud-Ouest dominate both the menu and the wine choices. Everything is beautifully chilled and expertly presented. Wines are paired brilliantly and thoughtfully and offer a crisply fresh addition to a perfect lunch menu.
In front of the restaurant the tiny shop has bins and bins of unusual artisan wines of enormous quality. The range was outstanding. A perfect discovery.
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