La Petite École – worth a detour

By: Betty Serow
This item appears on page 15 of the October 2017 issue.

Central France is an area frequently driven through and not visited. Restaurant la Petite École (Rilhac, Vergongheon, France; phone 04 71 76 97 43, www.restaurant-lapetiteecole.com) is a good reason to make a detour.

In the village of Rilhac, located in the commune of Vergongheon, the restaurant is run by a couple from southern France who bought it on a whim while visiting the area on vacation from their jobs working in someone else’s restaurant.

The old schoolhouse has been transformed with big windows. It’s decorated with maps and charts to reflect its former life, and there are candles everywhere. There is also an outdoor patio for dining.

The food was amazing and imaginative. The menu of the day included burrata [soft Italian cheese — Editor] with air-dried beef and tiny green peas; a delicious steamed white fish garnished with asparagus, couscous and oranges, and, for dessert, stewed rhubarb with cherries and Amaretto whipped cream.

The house also offered us an amuse-bouche of local meats and caper berries before dinner and a mini chocolate cake to enjoy with our coffee after dinner. Including a bottle of local red wine, the meal for three of us in June 2017 came to 154, billed as $172.

The Michelin review of the restaurant, along with a few pictures and a map, can be found at the Michelin Restaurants website restaurant.michelin.fr/2b7f2bx/la-petite-ecole-rilhac.

BETTY SEROW

Tallahassee, FL