In a former inn in the Gironde, a star chef spoils you for less than 20 euros

After several years in starred restaurants in Paris, Pierre Rigothier decided to open his own restaurant in Gironde, where he is from. (© / Nicolas Gosselin)

The decor is worthy of one starred restaurant, the contents of the plate have the flavors. However, the addition is significantly less salty.

By opening the moon restaurant in 2019 within a old inn built in the middle of the 19the Century, which he had completely rebuilt for up to 50 guests (not counting the seats available on the terrace when the weather is nice), Pierre Rigothier set about making a gastronomic offer accessible to all budgets.

At lunchtime, this chef, who has worked in several starred restaurants in Paris, offers a menu for 19 euros. “We are in a village inn. We didn’t want to come here and close the door on the locals, that really would have been the cliche of the chef coming from the capital,” explains Muriel, wife of Pierre Rigothier, who introduces the place.

A restaurant that enlivens the village

Abandoned for years, hidden behind thick dark curtains, the building finds the light. In Vayres, the opening of the Lune restaurant did not go unnoticed and, according to the manager, was enthusiastically welcomed by the population, even if the health crisis and the restrictions slowed down this momentum somewhat due to the circumstances.

It must be said that the 4,000 or so inhabitants of the Girondin village did not have much to eat apart from a pizzeria and a kebab. And there aren’t many restaurants in the area either. Even less of this quality.

Located between Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion, the Lune restaurant aims to attract both tourists and locals among locals and professionals with a surprise evening tasting menu from €55 (in four courses; expect €70 for the six-course menu). Midday.

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Pierre Rigothier lost his teeth at the Ritz

“Lunch is the soul of war in gastronomy,” says Muriel Rigothier, who evokes a “sawtooth-like” visit, especially in the evening.

“You have to make yourself known. Then we have to pay suppliers and employees. Lunch allows us to have a fairly large and varied clientele thanks to our prices,” she adds, even if the manager acknowledges that “the reality principle” could force her to revise the price of the menu slightly upwards. .

Dressed in jeans, a white t-shirt and a big smile, Pierre Rigothier is enjoying this new life away from the flashy restaurants of the capital where he has spent most of his career.

He made his first experiences at the Ritz, the Laurent and then the Vernet, three hotels with two Michelin stars. Then, after an enriching experience of five years across the Channel, the Talence-trained chef had bestowed his first star on Parisian restaurant La Scène Thélème, which he joined in 2016.

A return to basics

Tired of stars, tired of the City of Light, Pierre Rigothier – originally from Bordeaux – decided on a whim to return to the Gironde in autumn 2017. First to offer his small family a better living environment by moving to the countryside. “A return to the roots,” says his wife. But also to open a restaurant. This is how Moon was born.

The place where he chose to do it happened by accident. “Crush,” says the father of two. Basically, he unsuccessfully searched closer to the right bank of Bordeaux. And this old inn caught his eye. It’s also just a few kilometers from her home in Saint-Germain-du-Puch.

In his restaurant, Pierre Rigothier cooks Pyrenean trout to perfection, especially accompanied here by shiitake mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts and a few spices.
In his restaurant, Pierre Rigothier cooks Pyrenean trout to perfection, here especially accompanied by shiitake mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts. (© / Nicolas Gosselin)

The restaurant’s name, Pierre Rigothier, decided to pay homage to the kid he was, a passionate astronomer who dreamed of “meeting the moon”. The 42-year-old Girondin shares his passion with his customers thanks to an exceptional know-how.

Thanks to his wonderful fish cuisine, in particular the trout from the Pyrenees, which he prepares to perfection, or his delicious pork-based dishes, he sends gourmets to seventh heaven with every bite. And that’s not a Gascon promise!

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