So much of the time restaurants with the best locations or the best views are either poor quality or extremely pricey. So Le Cheval Blanc Wine Bar right across from the Nîmes Arena is a real gem. Regardless of whether or not you like French food, it must be admitted that the French really know what they are doing in the kitchen. Even if you do not like the idea of escargot or frogs legs, where would we be without mayonnaise? And who doesn’t like croissants?
Le Cheval Blanc Wine Bar is quintessentially French. Inside it definitely has the feel of an old wine cellar with arched ceilings and classic decor. The waiters were very friendly. They even made sure to give my dog a bowl of water under the table. She was very happy – though she probably would have preferred my food.
The food was excellent. I happen to really enjoy escargot so I try to order them whenever I am in France. They were of course excellent. For the main I tried the oxtail in red wine sauce, which was a new experience for me and also very good. If you are a wine lover like myself, then this restaurant is perfect. They have a very extensive selection of wonderful French wines, many of which are unique to the region. But my favourite, unsurprisingly, was dessert. I had crème brûleé, which is a favourite of mine. If you have never tried it you should. If you do not like it, you are crazy. I respect different people have different opinions but when it comes to crème brûleé I do not understand how anyone can dislike it. They also had the most interesting ice cream I have ever tasted. They served three flavours, lavender, thyme and honey. They were incredible. Honey may not be a far stretch in terms of ice cream flavours, but I personally have never heard of thyme or lavender ice cream. I did not expect to enjoy it, but there really is only one way to describe it – fantastic.
All in all, it is a wonderful restaurant and one of my favourites in France. Sadly I do not think I will have the opportunity to go back to Nîmes any time soon, but if I do, I will definitely be returning to Le Cheval Blanc. There is, after all, still so much to try on the menu!
Photograph by Savannah Hayes
Above: Nîmes Roman Arena