We live in the area and know several people who have been to La Tavern. I am afraid that apart from the setting, there is little to recommend this restaurant. Our table of four was one of maybe 4 tables when we arrived. The staff seemed to do a lot of running around yet little work. We got menus immediately and then were asked if we were ready to order after about 3 minutes! We said no, but then sat without any attention or drinks order being taken for 15 mins. Eventually, we had to ask for apperatifs. We knew that the menu was fairly limited at dinner time, but the website did not say that no Tapas or salads would be on offer. After about another 10mins we had to ask for our order to be taken. This kind of service has no excuse - the place was not busy and had at least four staff. The order was taken for food and I ordered a goats cheese and filo parcel with sun dried tomatoes. Next, we had to ask to order wine, and we were unsurprisingly getting a little annoyed! Wine arrived quickly - the Graves already mentioned by some other reviewers - I am afraid we found it tannic, dry and thin - but hey it was only 14euros.
So the first 3 starters arrive, mine not to be seen, but then it appears. A massive pile of iceberg (yuk) half a hard tomato and two tiny rounds of toast with just as tiny amounts of goats cheese on top. I didn't even have chance to catch the waitress upon delivery. So I told her - sorry I have the wrong food. 'Oh your starter is off, this is similar' - charming! I said why didn't you tell us it was off? 'oh I just knew now and our menu is changing tomorrow'.
No apology - only an 'do you want to change for something else?' I didn't or god knows how long we would have to wait. It was as appetising as it looked. Far too much lettuce and not enough goats cheese.
Other starters - a seafood gratin with sabayon, basically mixed frozen seafood in thin bechamel shoved under the grill. This is not a sabayon. Carpaccio of beef fared better along with duo of duck.
Main course - I ordered a 'shepherd's pie' of duck parmentier. I got just that - tinned confit of duck meat under a mountain of thick mash, topped with a scab of tough cheese. No attempt had been made at flavouring the duck or a sauce. Overall, tasteless and un-enjoyable. Oh and with a side order of iceberg salad!
Other mains - the veal was ok, the accompanying vegetables were a mixed bag of under and overcooked. the fish of the day was 3 fillets of red snapper and three tiny over cooked scallops in a thin and tasteless 'butter' sauce. We were not staying for anything else.....
One of us popped down to the hotel at the bottom of Aubeterre to see if we could have cheese and dessert there - which we did! Lovely service with a smile (costs nothing - neither does an apology) and everything as should be.
La Taverne came over as indifferent to its customers in the extreme, both in the service and the quality of it food - and it is not cheap for what you get. There is some choice in Aubeterre and if you want the same boring 'french' cooking churned out for tourists hurry down! If you want a properly cooked fresh meal at a reasonable price (other places do set priced menus at night as well as lunch) with good service - give it a miss.
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