France! Day 2: Via Roma


What? Via Roma for lunch (pizza!)
Where? 10 Place Michel Debré (37400 Amboise, France)
Price? 4,90€ - 9,90€ (for lunch, ~$6.9 - $13.9)
The skinny: An Italian restaurant, Via Roma had just expanded less than a month ago to accommodate more customers. It serves rather typical Italian fare using fresh ingredients. In summer, most customers opt to sit outside to enjoy the people-watching (there’s a strip of restaurants in this section of the street) and the sights—Via Roma’s located at the base of Château Royal in Amboise. Pretty sweet.

It’s the second day that I’ve been in Tours (France) and although I doubt I’m jet-lagged, (I slept like a baby on the plane…if babies fidget/twitch in their sleep that is haha) I wasn’t exactly prepared for a full day of walking either. 
Anyone recognize this painting? Well this is where we went! ;D


We arrived in Amboise, a town located a 30 min drive east of Tours, and after a quick introduction, were let loose. Sweet. We made our way first to Clos Lucé, where Leonardo Da Vinci stayed and died. It looks beautiful!! There was a tour being offered but at 8€ for students, I opted to save the cash for lunch. ;)

Façade at Clos Lucé. Pretty sweet living quarters eh?

They offer tours on bikes of the town. What you don't see is the long upward climb that these tourists had to brave in orde to get to the castle. Good on them! Especially the mother and daghter team who were riding a tandem bike. Such tanks!

After working up an appetite walking around Amboise, it was time for lunch before our tour at the château (castle). Directly across the castle were a strip of restaurants. The prices were all very similar so we just sat down at Via Roma.  
At Clos Luce: The garden / entranceway / view of the town from the courtyard

Eglise Saint-Denis: 904 year-old church. Beautiful acoustics.

Thought I'd show you what it's like inside Eglise Saint-Denis (on the right is the restored organ)

Via Roma offers a few lunch specials for under 10€! Ranging from 8,90€ to 9,90€, you get a pasta/half-pizza/sandwich, a dessert, and a drink. Wine costs 1€ extra.

Vesuvio (1/2 pizza for 4,90€)
I wanted to grab dessert elsewhere so I got the 1/2 Vesuvio Pizza (eggplant, mushroom, zucchini, peppers, cheese). Mmm. Really enjoyed that the cheese had a toasted crunch to it. The zucchini was on the bitter side but I loved the eggplant. :D The crust wasn’t tough at all and the edges were nicely baked and crispy. In my opnion, it’s slightly better than Continental Pub

Formule Pâte (pasta + dessert + boisson, 8,90€)
One of my friends got this. She went for penne pesto, tiramisu, and a peach Nestea. I tried her pasta: I’m a pesto lover and this was great! Surely no disappointment here. Seoyoung savoured every bite, she loves pesto too! :D The pasta itself is quite al dente. 
Looks can be deceiving! There's a lot of pesto just sitting at the bottom of the bowl.

Super cute! The creamy desserts (tiramisu and mousses) come in little jars like this. Wow, amazing this tiramisu is about 3/4 mascarpone! LOVE! The biscuits at the bottom are saturated with espresso. It was a little too strong for Seoyoung’s taste. I tasted it and thought it was great. The mascarpone balances out the strong espresso. 

Formule Pizza (half-pizza + dessert + boisson, 9,90€)
One of the girls, Lauren got this combo. Didn’t get a good shot but here’s her 1/2 Pipozi Pizza (ground spiced beef? with what looked like roasted red peppers). She got the chocolate mousse for her dessert. A self-described, non-mousse fan she was converted. That must mean something…good. :)
Be careful when ordering water! You may need to specify "tap water" since might give you the expensive stuff! eek. haha

Here’s a shot of Seoyoung’s Peach Nestea and Renato’s “Smarties Pop-Up”. He couldn’t resist and had to try one. It wasn’t that great. Picture a push-pop of a Popsicle-like ice cream with Smarties pieces blended in. 

After lunch we wandered around for a bit more; ventured into the few shops that were open. For some reason, every store and shop other than those on the mian streets were closed. Mind you we came on a Monday....odd. Anyways, castle time! :D:D
Chateau Royal that served as a summer residence for some kings.
This seemingly beautiful room has a dark past: it served as a place where Protestants were given the chance to renounce their religion before being beheaded / hung from the balcony (this is after l'Edit des Nantes was revoked in 1685 by Louis XIV banned Protestants in France.)  <--wow I have poor taste. I really shouldn't have ended my post with this "history minute". sorry!! :(

Verdict? Good honest food for a reasonable price with a great view. What’s not to like?!

Check ‘em out! I believe this is their blog? (warning: it’s in French :D)

3.5 out of 5 NOMs