Ever since he gave us a cooking lesson in 2011, Fabrice Lemonnier (Fabrice le Chef) has been reinventing himself. Following experience in pub-restaurants in England and Malta, he moved to Daglan and began growing, and growing, his business.
Initially he catered, gave cooking lessons, and worked in various area restaurants. Then he took over Daglan’s old butcher shop and expanded it to include a variety of products, including cheeses and a number of dishes he prepared (which I covered in “Fabrice le Chef: Open for business,” March 29, 2013).
Later he turned his shop into La Cantine, a small restaurant/café facing Daglan’s main street at Place de la Mairie (which I covered in “Fabrice le Chef, reimagined,” March 25, 2016).
And now he has completed a major expansion, growing into the adjoining house and dramatically re-fashioning it as a restaurant, while also adding a pleasant terrace behind the restaurant. He’s kept the name La Cantine, but otherwise the place is certainly new and improved.
One of his specialities is serving fresh oysters on Sunday afternoons, and that’s why my wife Jan and I visited his expanded restaurant recently. Here’s a look at the oyster table, on the front terrace:
To convert the adjoining house, Fabrice had construction workers knock out large spaces in the old stone walls and insert windows. Here’s a look:
This is the terrace at the front, right between the expanded restaurant and Daglan’s main street, Rue de la République:
And this is the new terrace, behind the restaurant, where Jan and I enjoyed our plate of fresh oysters, served with some chilled white wine:
Finally, here is the interior of the expanded restaurant space:
Friends were there for dinner just the other night, and said that every table was taken. So the newly expanded La Cantine appears to be off to a good start. Well done!