“ 90 rue Colbert,37000 Tours. Tel: 02 47 66 95 49 „
Another of the restaurants that we visited during our stay in Tours was Au Lapin qui Fume (yes, the rabbit that smokes!). The owner of our hotel recommended the street that the restaurant was on as the place where the locals went for a good meal.
The restaurant is located at 90 Rue Colbert in Tours. It is away from the old town which is the main tourist area for restaurants. The restaurant is about halfway down the road so it is about halfway between the old town and the cathedral. We walked there from our hotel which was on Avenue de Grammont and it took us about 15 minutes. There are plenty of car parks within a couple of minutes walk of the restaurant and these are free to park in after 6.30.
The restaurant looked pretty busy when we walked past. Mr Tart and I like to go to places that look fairly popular so we checked out the menu. It looked really good so we headed in. There were a couple of tables outside but these were taken so we were seated inside. The restaurant is decorated in quite a traditional way (apart from the giant rabbit with the pipe on the wall.....I kid you not!).
The waitress brought the wine list over to us, which had a wooden cover in the shape of a wine bottle which was a nice touch. The menus were on blackboards around the wall. I'm not sure if they had an English menu which you could look at but we managed with our phrasebook.
Mr Tart ordered a small carafe of red wine and I ordered a carafe of water. It did take a little while for them to come and take our order but to be fair there were only two of them and they were dealing with a full restaurant.
I ordered the carpaccio of beef. I'm not normally one for raw meat but this was really good. There were about six slices of beef which was served with parmesan and drizzled with oil. Mr Tart had the melon and Parma ham. I tried this as well and it was really good.
For the main course Mr Tart ordered the rabbit stew. This was a rabbit (seemed like it might have been a whole one as there was a lot of it), stewed with vegetables, something that looked like couscous, lemon and olives. Mr Tart was really impressed and ate the lot. I had the lamb chops. There were three chops which was just about enough meat for me. The chops were really tasty but they were quite pink as seems to be the case in most French restaurants. The chops were served with sweet potato mash which was really yummy as well.
We were both incredibly full when we'd finished those two courses so we decided not to have a dessert. They did have a good selection though.
The restaurant menu wasn't hugely extensive but there was a choice for most people and nothing too extreme. However, there weren't any vegetarian options (again as seems to be the theme in France) so I wouldn't recommend for veggies! There was only one real problem with the restaurant and that was the heat. There was a ceiling fan but it was ineffective. There was also a stand fan which worked pretty well but it broke half way through the evening and it was uncomfortably hot after that. We were quite near the kitchen (although it is a tiny restaurant) so if you're near the front or outside it would be perfect.
The meal cost us Euro40 including Mr Tart's wine and the tip which I thought was a bargain for two courses of a really good standard.
I would definitely return to Au Lapin qui Fume. It had that really authentic French rustic feel. The service was a little slow at times but it was really friendly and the waitresses did their best to understand our limited French! The food was delicious and we were both really impressed. I thought that the price was really reasonable for the standard and quality of food. I would highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in the area in search of some excellent French food.