Food for thought and not only that: Les Compagnons de la Grappe

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Les Compagnons de la Grappe
**** (out of 5)

26 rue Lepelletier
Lille, 59000, France

Neatly-tucked away from the hustle of Lille's centre, Les Compagnons de la Grappe offers traditional Flemish and French fare in a wonderful cosy rustic setting. The restaurant makes simple, honest, and great-tasting home-like meals in a similar setting.

The outdoor patio / terrace looks lovely and welcoming but even though the heaters were on, it was too chilly for a November night to enjoy food outside. It was pretty adventurous of us to head out on a Friday night with no reservations. The place was packed, but amazingly enough, we were seated immediately at a cute corner table by the fireplace. 

The decor is simple, bright and cheerful; the place exudes great ambiance. The menu was extensive with the regional Flemish specialties and French regulars; I picked a duck salad that I adore ever since visiting Gascony - Le Salade Composee (or Salade Landaise) with the best of the season - foie gras, magret de canard and gesiers. The plate was overflowing with goodness of regional produce - with potatoes on the side, the foie gras was very tender, the magret had just the right texture and smokiness, and the dish, overall, hearty and great-tasting. For desert we split a light rum baba that came with a generous portion of rum on the side.

The service was fantastic, quick and unobtrusive. The extensive menu options and the variety were a pleasant surprise in a restaurant that competes with hundreds of others in the category of Northern French gastronomy. I wouldn't hesitate going there again, actually, I just might.. soon!

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