Thursday, June 27, 2013

Château De Pray @ Amboise-Chargé, France

Cuisine: French
Price: EUR69 per person (what I paid for)
Visited: 5 May 2013
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Value for money: 9/10
Services: 8/10

The dining room of Chateau de Pray is the most favourite of all restaurants during my trip to France in 2013. The chateau itself is one fine luxury hotel. It is located just at the edge of Amboise and Charge. This is a really nice place. There is a fairly large and comfortable backyard where it can be viewed from the restaurant too. Though the place is kept in classic style of decoration in orange theme, it sometimes makes me feel rather weird with the darkness and haunted-like atmosphere.

Chateau de Pray

the red carpet (^3^)

At the time of our visit, Chateau de Pray did offer 2 choices of tasting menu: 4 courses for EUR55 or 5 courses for EUR68. My particular attention would be to the wine list. The range of wine offered is largely local wine from Loire Valley. All are in decent price. We did hesitate to try both white and red to match white and red meats of our dishes. Special attention to the sommelier of the restaurant who recommended such lovely wine to match fabulously.

the classic setting of dining room

table arrangement

the menu

The choice of bread was plainly white or brown. The amuse bouche for the night was mackerel with cucumber and seaweed that was light, fresh, and forestry: boosting the appetite indeed (8/10).

amuse bouche

The first course was white asparagus from Richelaos, cream of Bresse and capucine (8/10). We seemed to have asparagus almost every meal here due to the season of asparagus. The asparagus was firm and soft. The aromatic and spicy flower matched the creamy sauce. This was the dish for Spring time definitely. To go with asparagus and scallop for next course, we had half a bottle of Le Claux Delorme Valencay Minchin 2011 which is a local white wine with sauvignon blanc as the single variety: love, light, and crisp.

white wine of the night

white asparagus from Richelaos, cream of Bresse and capucine

Next was scallops, "Boule de Siam", Sorrel and scallop sauce (8/10). This was again a yummy dish to experience. Light and creamy sauce to pair with perfectly cooked scallops: kind of classic. I may like this dish a lot, however, it may not be the so so great dish. At least it was enjoyable enough to be called delightful.

scallops, "Boule de Siam", Sorrel and scallop sauce

closer look to scallop

For meat course, we were served with slow roasted duck, spring carrots and lemon from Menton (8/10). This was the highlight for the night. Obviously, we did not hesitate to have red wine to match (with again good recommendation from the sommelier): Domaines Amirault Grosbois Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil Les Mullaudieres 2011, which is cabernet franc dominated wine. The duck was so fine, tender, and smooth. Another classic dish that served with gravy made from duck jus and citrus. Spices aroma came from mashed parsley. The sense of sweetness and freshness from carrots and green gave the final touch (9/10).

red wine of the night

slow roasted duck, spring carrots and lemon from Menton

Before dessert, a selection of cheese to be chosen from plateau of cheeses was served. These are fine and quality range: from cow to goat, and soft to hard. They were served with walnut or apricot and peach breads (9/10). For myself, I love soft cheeses so only soft cheese for me on the night. For those who cannot take cheese, you may ask for substitution. We got offered with green salad with balsamic instead (^.^).

green salad

plateau of cheeses

my creamy and soft selection of cheeses

To end the meal, "Gariguette" strawberries from the valley, fennel and astina cress was offered. So refreshing that brought the sense of Summer. Special attention to local strawberries that were really fresh and sweet paired with sour taste of sorbet (7/10). Of course, a selection of petit fours was the final "finale".

"Gariguette" strawberries from the valley, fennel and astina cress

petit fours

All in all, Chateau de Pray is one fine restaurant that worth a visit. Price is not excessive, food and wine are delightful, and services are good (good English speaking too). Personally, I will sure give it a return if I have a chance.

Château De Pray @ Chargé, France
Rue du Cedre
Amboise-Charge 37530

Open Hours: Wednesday - Sunday for lunch between 12:00hrs and 13:30hrs and dinner between 19:00hrs and 21:00hrs. No lunch for Wednesday.
Tel: +33 (0) 2 47 57 23 67

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