Return of the welcome salad, quality meat… we tested the new Courtepaille menu

Since this Friday, November 10, 2023, the Courtepaille brands have been offering their customers the first menu since the La Boucherie group took over the restaurants in June. On the menu, the return of the welcome salad and excellent meat, tested in Saint-Apollinaire (Côte-d’Or).

In the Courtepaille car park in Saint-Apollinaire (Côte-d’Or), at the foot of Dijon, the trees, three quarters of which are devoid of leaves, remind us that we have entered the month of November well. A light, fresh wind leads us to warm up by the restaurant’s fireplace, recognizable by its thatched roof.

Especially since this Friday, November 10th, Courtepaille restaurants in France have been offering a completely new menu. A new beginning for the restaurant chain who almost never got up again the health crisis and the increase in inflation. Partial acquisition by the La Boucherie group will have allowed 87 of the 216 restaurants to maintain their activity.

In Burgundy, birthplace of Courtepaille restaurants, only three remained open of the fourteen that the region had until then. In Pouilly-en-Auxois, director Mathieu Étienne says that “very motivated” to the idea of ​​launching this new card.

“Adaptation is part of our daily liveshe smiles into the phone as he toasts the new lost brioche. We are reassured to see the activity continue, but we were not necessarily worried. Here we are not far from Courtepaille’s roots, people are connected to them.”

50 kilometers away, the entrance to the Saint-Apollinaire restaurant reminds us of the brand’s origins in Burgundy. A photo dated 1961, opening date of the first Courtepaille in Rouvray (Côte-d’Or)indicates “The first Courtepaille house”. “With this new formula, we want to rediscover the spirit of beginningsexplains the establishment’s director Elie Abeau. It’s important to revitalize the brand, relaunch it.”

Outside, cars gradually fill the parking lot that Courtepaille shares with another restaurant, a hotel and a snack bar. “Let yourself be tempted… New offer”, says a poster on the wall of the modernized restaurant. Only the entrance retained the thatched roof that made the Courtepaille famous on French roads in the 70s and 80s.

Through the windows, the flames attract attention. Something to reassure: the central chimney is still there. The smell of grilled meat begins to emanate from the small fireplace. It’s time to go back and discover the new menu.

For this first day you will have to skip the fries, as indicated on a board at the entrance. “The fryer failed”shouts the waitress as she brings the welcome salad, which returns with great fanfare. “People have asked us a lot. This will make our old customers happy”Vivien Hanache, director of the Courtepaille de Beaune, rejoices in the service.

Enough with the fries then. Nothing serious, it’s an opportunity to change support. But before thinking about the main dish, let’s take a look at the menu. Two menus are offered: a “Court’pause” with main dish, fruit and a coffee for €12.90 and a “Home Menu”. Count €19.90 for the starter-main course-drink or main course-dessert-drink formula and €24.90 for the complete formula.

Low prices compared to the old menu which cost around thirty euros. “It was important to be able to reduce prices with everything increasing elsewhere”, insists Elie Abeau. At the same time, we noticed much better quality meat than before. How to reconcile the two? Courtepaille maintains the mystery.

The menu offers two small starters to choose from: a terrine, a quinoa salad, eggs and mayonnaise, among others. Served quite quickly, they fulfill the contract. A good way to start the meal. But everyone will know that Courtepaille is a “steakhouse” and that people go there mainly to taste what is cooked on the central grill. Among the 14 dishes on offer, including three new ones, will be the butcher’s cut, a fillet.

The very pleasant surprise of the meal is here: meat very well grilled and cooked rare. We feel that the quality is there. We came to test this meat and we were far from disappointed. “There is a real desire on the part of headquarters to move into a more sophisticated market. And we have been very well supported to enable this”greets Elie Abeau.

We had a moment of uncertainty but we knew how to remain combative and smiling.

Elie Abeau

Director of the Courtepaille restaurant in Saint-Apollinaire

At the end of the service, the latter takes a few minutes to remember the last difficult months that Courtepaille has experienced. “We had a moment of hesitation, but we knew how to be combative, smiling. We have been testing the menu for three weeks and sending customer opinions to headquarters. I propose this. I’ve been in the business for years, so I’m used to changing the menu. But for the team, which is young, the challenge is theirs!”

The ten employees at the Courtepaille de Saint-Apollinaire will continue to offer this new offer in the coming days, with the restaurant open seven days a week. With, we promise, the return of fries.

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