Cosne-sur-Loire is not the most exciting place on earth. It's where life goes on surrounding Sancerre tourism. But it's also where many visiting wine guys stay. So I thought for sake of completion, after my laudatory post on Cosne's lone terrific restaurant, it would worth mentoning also Le Square, which is Cosne's most accessible and convenient restaurant.
No, the wine's no good, and service veers from welcoming to furious according the whims of whoever's working. But there's a lovely terrace on, yes, a square, and as long as you bring enough mosquito repellent it's a lovely place for dinner in Cosne on a Sunday night, when, as far as dining options go, the alternative is noodling for catfish in the nearby river.
A key reason I enjoy these bike trips is the physical effort they entail allows me to enjoy meals at places like Le Square. It is dining-without-aesthetics, or feeding, which restorative activity is almost impossible in cities where economic competition has promoted aesthetic differentiation of food providers.
Cosne is also home to kebab stands, family pizza parlours, and one ambitiously priced, funereal place called Le Forge. (Has anyone been?) But for absolutely standard French standards in a tolerable environment, look no further than Le Square.
We wound up there after debarking the train and shared a bottle of Sancerre rosé from Domaine Patrick Girault, a Bué-based conventionally-farmed 12ha estate of no particular interest. It was representative of its type - brisk, high-toned, showing brief notes of stone fruit and sour berries - and, more importantly, cold.
For what it's worth I'd generally rather drink a conventional Sancerre rosé than a conventional rosé from further south. And it seems salutary to remind myself from time to time that alongside its capacity to intrique and inspire and obsessionally compel, wine can also merely refresh.
|E applying copious mosquito repellent in the square in front of Le Square.|
1, rue des Frères Gambon
Tel: 03 86 28 17 75
Sancerre Bike Trip: Restaurant La Tour, Sancerre
Sancerre Bike Trip: Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre
Sancerre Bike Trip: Le Chat, Cosne-sur-Loire
Sancerre Bike Trip: François Cotat, Chavignol
Sancerre Bike Trip: Sebastien Riffault, Sury-en-Vaux