Food, Travel

Eating and Drinking Grenoble

This last weekend, the Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin headed to the south of France, under the pretext of the Ninja Turtle’s trail race, but really, it was to enjoy the warm weather and the best of Grenoble’s gastronomy. The Ninja Turtle, being an ardent user of TripAdvisor, turned to the trusty old application on her mobile phone and did some last-minute research during their 6-hour road trip from Metz.

Of course, top priority went to the pre-race meal. With carb-loading in mind, the Ninja Turtle scrolled through the listings, keeping an eye out especially for restaurants with pictures of BIG servings (because this Turtle can really eat). Soon enough, she found exactly what she was looking for, an Italian place called Ciao a Te. The reviews really talked up the place, especially with some people claiming to have waited years to get a table, but the duo lucked out – five minutes before they’d rung in wild hopes of making a reservation, someone had cancelled their table, liberating the place for GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle. It was fate.

In this family-run enterprise, the atmosphere was exactly what one would imagine eating at an Italian friend’s to be like. The service was friendly – even intimate, and as a sign of their immense pride in their standards, diners have to actually walk through a part of the kitchen to get to the dining room. They have absolutely nothing to hide!

The duo were absolutely starving when they arrived, but the food came out quickly enough, and the portions were enormous. The antipasti plate was to share, and the restaurant makes the most amazing bread rolls fresh daily. After begging the waiter twice for the recipe, the young man got one of the chefs, his equally young sister, to give the Ninja Turtle the recipe. She even insisted on giving the duo a bag of extra bread rolls to take home!

They kept humbly repeating that it was a really simple recipe and there was no real secret to it, but they must be lying or these Italians must have fairies in the kitchen because those bread rolls were really out of this world.

Antipasti platter to share, with the best bread rolls in the world.

Antipasti platter to share, with the best bread rolls in the world.

GodzillaPin holding up the half-bottle of rosé that went with their meal.

GodzillaPin holding up the half-bottle of 2013 Italian rosé that went with their meal.

Giant prawns and fresh tagliatelle in a cream and cognac sauce.

Giant prawns and fresh tagliatelle in a cream and cognac sauce.

Beef and spinach meatballs wrapped in aubergine, smothered in bolognese and cheese. Best savoured with those amazing bread rolls.

Beef and spinach meatballs wrapped in aubergine, smothered in bolognese and cheese. Best savoured with those amazing bread rolls.

The bill was very reasonable, especially considering the quality and quantity of the food, and the overall experience. The Ninja Turtle personally thinks that this was by far the best meal of the trip, possibly even this year. At any rate, it was hands down the best Italian restaurant she’s even dined in, here in France.

The next meal they enjoyed was a post-race and birthday celebration meal at the restaurant Zakhang, a place that describes its food as French-Indian fusion, and rated #2 in Grenoble by travellers on TripAdvisor. This was a very posh type of dining place, and also required a reservation. Indeed, just as the duo were walking in (half an hour late), two other sets of diners were being turned away for showing up without a booking.

Amuse-bouche of spiced focaccia and hummus.

Amuse-bouche of spiced focaccia and hummus.

GodzillaPin savouring the rosé proposed by the waitress to match their meal.

GodzillaPin savouring the rosé proposed by the waitress to match their meal.

Another restaurant that baked their own bread in-house. They made 3 types: sourdough, maize with sunflower seeds, and wholemeal multigrain.

Another restaurant that baked their own bread in-house. They made 3 types: sourdough, maize with sunflower seeds, and wholemeal multigrain.

Mille feuille of crab and wasabi pea purée for the Ninja Turtle.

An entrée of mille feuille of crab and wasabi pea purée for the Ninja Turtle.

While GodzillaPin chose a cucumber raita with pomegrenate and carrot sorbet.

While GodzillaPin chose a cucumber raita with pomegrenate and carrot sorbet.

Duck breast with herbed rice for the Turtle's main course.

Duck breast with herbed rice for the Turtle’s main course.

While GodzillaPin went with the lighter fish and mashed root vegetables.

While GodzillaPin went with the lighter fish and mashed root vegetables.

GodzillaPin's dessert of the day (we forget the name but it was a flavoured creme with grilled apricot served with meringue.

GodzillaPin’s dessert of the day (we forget the name but it was a flavoured creme with grilled apricot served with meringue.

And the Turtle wrapped her meal up with a pistachio panna cotta served with lychee honey, rose petals and sorbet.

And the Turtle wrapped her meal up with a pistachio panna cotta served with lychee honey, rose petals and sorbet.

Unfortunately, the air-conditioning had broken down on that particularly hot day, and poor GodzillaPin was perspiring through the whole meal. The experience was somewhat compromised as a result. The service was efficient though, and the food was good – definitely somewhere for a special occasion (as reflected in the price tag), and as always, book in advance. This restaurant also has a little window outside, where one can look through into the kitchen. After the meal, the duo walked by and chanced upon the two chefs, so they stopped to say thank you for a wonderful meal. Naturally, the chefs appreciated the feedback.

GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle really enjoyed the trip, not least because of the food, which is just as well since the duo will be heading back down south in two weeks’ time!

Advertisements
Standard

10 thoughts on “Eating and Drinking Grenoble

  1. Mandy Maidment-Hodges says:

    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday, dear JoAnne
    Happy Birthday to you.
    X X x x x x x x x ??

    Love from Mandy&Jeff 😘😃🎉

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Godzillapin says:

    Actually, it my desert was named:
    ” tarte renversée à l’abricot et son sorbet à la verveine ”
    Délicieux =)

  3. assume the trail race review is coming later? I’ve only been to Grenoble once, to a very fancy research centre my company has there – but I also remember eating awesome food!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s