Le Relais des Salines

We're back! Vacation's over. We didn't have the weather one can expect in July, but we still enjoyed our two weeks in France. During our stay on the island of Oléron, off the Atlantic coast just opposite Marennes, France's oyster nest, we discovered a wonderful little restaurant, located on a wooden pier in a place called Le Port des Salines, outside the town of Grand-Village-Plage (see below).

The place seems to be packed all the time, so here's a word of advice, book ahead if you want to seat outside. The menu is displayed on chalkboards throughout the restaurant, because the owner changes it three times a year, sometimes more, according to the availability of  seafood and seasonal produce. And yes, it is mostly seafood you will be served there. 

The first time we went (the food was so good, we returned a couple of days later), I had the Rillette de crabe served with parmesan crisp for starter. Mark had housemade foie gras stuffed with langoustine. Both were absolutely delicious.

I followed with something that intrigued me, Brochette de seiche confite à la graisse de canard (Skewer of giant calamari cooked in duck fat), and what a delightful surprise it was! The calamari chunks were crisped on the edges and incredibly tender on the inside. It was served with a side of delicious mojhettes (white beans) baked in cream, bacon and diced vegetables. Simply put, perfection in a plate!


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