Oiseau Oiseau – Delicious natural food and wine

Oiseau Oiseau – Introduction

We often visit Normandy on our visits to France as we have a cider producer who makes delicious natural apple and pear ciders using the same techniques as his family has been using for hundreds of years. This now means that we get a chance to visit the restaurant called Oiseau Oiseau which has been established in the small village of Perche-en-Nocé.

Oiseau Oiseau is the restaurant Sven Chartier, whose Paris restaurant Saturne we had always loved, opened with his wife Marianne last year in country France. (He also visited Sydney many years ago to cook a meal we enjoyed very much at Sixpenny.)

He only opens three days a week (Thursday to Saturday) but it is well worth a visit to enjoy what he does with the very best local produce and, of course, a clever selection of natural wines.

The village is about 2 hours west of Paris in the beautiful Perche region. We should start by explaining a little about how to find it if you are not familiar with the structure of French villages. France is divided into 34,965 areas called communes. Each commune has a mayor and a “mairie” or town hall. Within the boundaries of the commune there may be other villages that do not have the same status as the main village.

In this case, the village where you will find the restaurant is Perche-en-Nocé. Now this village used to be classified as a commune, however a few years ago (2016) it was incorporated into the neighbouring commune of Préaux-du-Perche which is now used as the address, however the centre of that village is about 7 kilometres away! Therefore use the Perche address in your navigation device if you are looking for the restaurant.

There are also plenty of nice places to stay in this area. It is also not too far from D’une île, the restaurant and accommodation established near Rémalard in the same general area by the team from Septime in Paris. This is also worth a visit and it is an easy 16 minute drive along the D11 and then the D920 to reach Oiseau Oiseau in Perche-en-Nocé.

Now to the restaurant and the meal!

This was a perfect lunch, a seasonal celebration of some wonderful produce, eaten in a dining room full of laughter, children and pleasure. Everyone in the room, including the staff, seemed to be relaxed and happy.

The Oiseau Oiseau room is airy and light with the tables being widely spaced. The service was relaxed and friendly. We started ordering in our “less than adequate” French and the waiting staff immediately offered to speak English without any hint of condescension.

As we had to drive after our lunch we restricted our wine ordering somewhat. We were delighted to find that we could order a number of favourites from the wine list where there was a whole page of wines that were available by the glass including the Bouju Festejar. This pale pink pet nat from the Auvergne is a long time favourite of ours, so it was a perfect way to start the meal

In addition, Oiseau Oiseau has a very interesting selection of non-alcoholic drinks available. We really appreciate this both for the driving and the fact that Roger (who does most of the driving) has a medical condition that means, after a lifetime of devotion to wine drinking, he has to be very restrained in that respect.

We were then served our first courses. They both looked very attractive as can be seen from the photos immediately below.

The first dish was seasonal green beans, figs (variety Bourjassotte, which we have not knowingly eaten before) and fresh goat cheese. This was a delightful combination. We were very happy that we had chosen September to arrive here as the figs have a very short season. They were delicious!

The other dish was clams hidden by lardo and with a hint of pumpkin (the ancient variety tromba d’Albenga, which seemed fitting with lardo di Colonnata).

We should also mention the house made bread that had been placed on the table by this time. It was an excellent sourdough bread, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Perfect!

Stunning ris de veau and young chicken were served next. Both were accompanied by crisp potatoes and tomatoes and a dollop of a yellow tomato purée seasoned with Vietnamese mint, perhaps the only hint of his more complicated cooking at Saturne.

We will only show one of the photos as they both look very similar!

To finish we were served a strawberry sorbet, strawberries and shiso as one dish and mirabelle plums with vanilla ice cream topped with an arlette as the second.

As the arlette covered the plums completely we will only show the sorbet. See below.

We enjoyed the desserts with a glass of the Champagne from rising star Charles Dufour.

Overall Oiseau Oiseau provided a wonderful meal and is a place we will return to in the future.

You can check their details on the Oiseau Oiseau Web site here. The dishes that are currently on offer are listed here.

We have also included Oiseau Oiseau in our story about where we dine in France outside Paris here.

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