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“Nice bistro, not too fancy, with fresh food and quick, friendly service”

Restaurant Le Val Joli
Ranked #3 of 11 Restaurants in Vouvray
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $38
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
NY
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Nice bistro, not too fancy, with fresh food and quick, friendly service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

The place is right on the road going along the Loire, and I think a lot of people stop by there going off the road, or because they are staying at the camping which is right over the corner.
The restaurant is medium sized, not fancy, but is nice and clean, and very bright.
We were there during the afternoon and even on a slightly gray rainy day it was nice and cheery.
It's a place where you can get fresh, relatively basic food, with some local flavor, quickly, and sit comfortably while enjoying it.

Food:
Wine menu has wines from Vouvray, and few wines of the overall Loire region, as well as other French wines.
Food is available either as a menu (starter, dish and desert or cheese) or a la cart.
The bread was freshly baked, warm and tasty.
The side salad was made of fresh, crispy ingredients.
"House" Foie gras with dried apples and spiced apple chutney is a bit on a heavy side, and I wish the apples and chutney were more present, but overall was nice.
Filet of turbot with skin and caper sauce was well prepared, not too dry, and with crispy skin. The capers and the sauce were not overpowering, and overall the fish was a tiny bit under seasoned, but nothing that couldn't be adjusted with a tiny bit of freshly ground peppers, and Himalayan salt which was present in individual grinders on the table.

If you choose the cheese plate for desert, you get to pick which you'd like from the cheese tray / platter, cut and served directly for your plate. The selection is approximately 15 cheeses, even if a bit basic it represent well the different tastes, strength and hardness of French cheeses.

Service:
The service was quick, and friendly.
At the time of our visit the place was completely full, and yet our food, and everybody else's came rather quickly, and was warm and fresh.
Even though we didn't ask for this, and are quite fine with French, because the people working there heard us speaking in English amongst ourselves, they tried to address us in English, and make us feel comfortable.

Ambiance / Decor:
Out the windows in the back you get a very relaxing view of some trees and stone bench.
While the ceiling is not very high, the overall feeling is spacious and airy, even if the sitting arrangements are a bit too close together.
The paintings that hang on the walls were a bit bright in spots, but I guess they added the touch of color that livened up the beigy-white walls.
With all the people in the place, in fact it was some kind of anniversary celebration, it was relatively noisy, but not overly so, possibly due to the noise absorbing panels in the ceiling.

Overall not a bad value for the money.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bes55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Stéphanie is the heart of this place!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2012

We've visited Le Val Joli a couple of times, 4 years apart, and Stéphanie's place is still worth a good dinner! Ask Stéphanie for her recommendations on local wines along the food.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank The_Travel_Observer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emsworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Stephanie gets it right!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2012

My wine group chose the Val Joli for dinner on our first night in June. I had previously visited and sampled the excellent cooking. The starter of cucumber and smoked terrine , the Supreme de Pintade as the main and the Tarte aux fruits et crumble to finish were all first class and right on the mark, and we would recommend The Val Joli to any group visiting this area. We travelled from Amboise for this meal and the journey was well worth it!!
As we left, I noticed that every other table in the establishment was occupied (on a Monday evening) and this says everything about the quality of their cuisine!
Thank you Stephanie!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“OK food, but horrible service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

Let me begin by saying that I spent 10 years working as a server, so I understand that it is sometimes difficult to serve foreigners. I also understand that there are different expectations in France of service than in the US. I try to keep this in mind when I am judging a French restaurant.
My husband and I decided to go here during our recent stay in Vouvray. It was our first night, and we were interested in trying local cuisine & wine. I was a French literature major in college, but I have not practiced the language in several years, so, on my first night, I was just getting back into the habit of pronouncing French words. I feel that it's polite to at least attempt to speak the local language, however, so we did our best to ask for a table, order a bottle of wine, and proceed to order off the menu. As everything came as ordered, and I replied to all the questions of our server without trouble, I thought we were doing all right.
However, after dinner, our server suddenly refused to speak a word of French to us, and even after I asked for a French dessert menu (I really wanted to work on my vocabulary, and that's one of the best ways to learn), he brought me a poorly translated English dessert menu (This confused me, as I had ordered dinner off the French menu without problem). I don't know what had happened, but he suddenly had an attitude towards us and was treating us very badly. It's hard to describe, as it wasn't necessarily action, but more attitude.
We ordered coffee after dessert, and then waited nearly 45 minutes for him to come into view so we could ask for our check, so we ended up going to the front desk to ask for one. We felt very snubbed, particularly as everyone else in the restaurant seemed to be receiving much prompter service (I know that service is slower paced in France, and I have no problem just relaxing and enjoying myself, but this seemed deliberate).
The food was only so-so, and, after the treatment we received, I would not recommend this place to anyone. I know it is probably difficult for the French to constantly deal with Americans who don't know their language/culture, but I was trying my best to be polite and I was treated very badly for no reason.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Leah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fresh is Best”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

Dont expect to get you food in a hurry. Stephanie and her team are part of a very proud range of restauranteurs who start from scratch. You do not find bulk "industrial" products in this family run concern. Naturally that means that service is a little longer. But hey who cares, when you can sip on "a little Vouvray" from the surrounding wineries. They have a delicate touch with traditional cuisine. My man is a fan of andouille (tripe sausage), and proclaimed the dish as good a s it gets. He and our english visitor also raved about the milk rice pudding. This time we made a point of going on a Tuesday, as previously we have been dissapointed because le Val Joli is closed all day wednesday as well as sunday and monday evenings.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank megaustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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