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Try our regional produce

What culinary specialities can be found in Sens and Villeneuve-sur-Yonne? We’re not lucky enough to have Piment d’Espelette chilli pepper, Guérande salt or Marmande tomatoes. Nevertheless, local restaurateurs and producers strive to showcase local produce from Burgundy and the Yonne, starting with snails, Jambon à la Chablisienne (ham cooked with wine) and jambon persillé (parsley ham terrine), not forgetting gougères (small cheese puffs,) which are not to be missed.


LA MADELEINE, A STAR IN THE SENONAIS

La Madeleine is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in northern Yonne. It was opened in 1990 by its chef, Patrick Gauthier, in the district where he grew up, la Madeleine, named after the old church next to the restaurant. He finds inspiration notably at Sens market, which he visits early on Friday mornings to devise his menus and shop for produce. With such a name, don’t be surprised to see a warm Madeleine fresh from the oven, served with your coffee !

Patrick Gauthier au Marché © Pierre Pichon

Patrick Gauthier, Michelin-starred chef of the restaurant la Madeleine, at the market © Pierre Pichon

 

In 2017 the restaurant moved to the end of Yonne Island in a more modern setting in perfect keeping with its fine, seasonal cuisine. From the terrace, there is a wonderful view of the river.

With menus starting under €50, indulge yourself, don’t hesitate to try it out ! La Madeleine is spearheading local gastronomy, but you may be enticed by other types of Sénonais restaurant the semi-gastronomic, cuisines from around the world and small brasseries where you can find fresh produce at reasonable prices.

 

HISTORY OF WINE IN THE SENONAIS

 

Though it is no longer obvious today, Sens was once a wine-making town ever since the Roman invasion. It is even said that at the beginning of the 15th century, Sens bridge marked the boundary between the wines of Burgundy and the wines of France… Sénonais wine production grew between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, reaching its peak in the 19th century. In 1806, there were 258 professional winegrowers in Sens! Vines spread over the whole municipality, but the best production came from the vines above Paron, on the hillside of Crève-Coeur. The phylloxera pest was to hit the area, destroying all the vines,

 


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

Today however, the desire to revive one of our region’s traditional activities is symbolised by the Clos de Crève-Coeur association which maintains a vineyard in Beaudemont (above Villeneuve) and the conservatory vineyard plot at the Champs Captants park in Sens. The local guilds celebrate Saint Vincent’s Day in Sens, Villeneuve and Saint-Clément every January.

 

LOCAL SENONAIS SPECIALITIES

 

While the Sénonais does not have a dish that is typical of the region, you will still find something to delight the palate : between the Sénonette, a sweet from the delicatessen Rose et Léon, the Pavé Sénon from Boulangerie Jugé (an almond biscuit filled with prune jam), the Sénon cake available at several boulangeries in Sens (a small almond tart filled with blackcurrants and covered in royal icing) and Brennus chocolate from Pâtisserie Gauffillier in Sens layered praline coated in dark chocolate, with the image of Brennus, our famous Gallic chieftain, on top), there is plenty to take your fancy!

While there is no longer any wine production in Sens, why not try some local craft beer, marketed under the brand name Thomas Becket (former Archbishop of Canterbury, who was exiled in Sens around 1164) – tell us what you think!

Produits du terroir

Some of our tasty local produce ! © Pierre Pichon