Dining Day Trips
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Chef Roland Parny serves many French treats at La Gallette Berrichonne.
Finding France in Fordland
Located only 30 minutes east of Springfield, Fordland’s La Gallette Berrichonne French Bakery and Café is a one-of-a-kind restaurant that’s well worth the drive. By Savannah Waszczuk
Plopped right on the main drag in the small town of Fordland, La Gallette Berrichonne (143 E. Main St., Fordland; 417-738-2112) is a French bakery and café that has a definite leg up on other restaurants of its kind. While it’s located in a little 417-land town with a population of just around 800, people from all over the state travel here to enjoy the one thing that matters most when it’s time for a meal: the food. Open regularly for breakfast and lunch and offering special seven-course dinners on Friday nights, this gem is well known for its delectable French entrees and pastries made by the one-and-only French Chef Roland Parny. The restaurant itself is modest, with a metal building exterior and a handful of cozy tables and booths dotted throughout a main dining area.
Chef Roland Parny loves cooking up a variety of French food and desserts at his Fordland restaurant
Chef Roland Parny attended Saint Amand-Montrond Cher culinary school in Central France at age 17. Next he attained 55 years of cooking experience in kitchens all around the world, and he was even instrumental in the inception and start-up of national bakery-café chain La Madeleine. Now he’s the star of the show at Fordland’s La Galette Berrichonne, where he works closely with his small staff that includes his sweet and charming wife, Elaine.
Located in Fordland, the small restaurant features many cutesy finds and accessories.
An early morning breakfast here is sure to provide delightful conversations with the wait staff, and if you stop in for lunch, you’ll get a meal for a steal with dishes like beef burgundy, Chicken DuBois, seared salmon and more, all for around $10. But if you really want to treat yourself, we recommend calling and snagging a spot at one of Chef Roland’s seven-course French dinners on a Friday night.
For these special events, the lights are dimmed, tables are dressed with linens and Chef Parny pulls out all the stops to create a memorable French meal. While the food differs each week depending on what Chef Parny finds on his shopping trips, you’ll often enjoy a crudité plate or a soup, a delectable protein, a sorbet palate changer, a cheese presentation and a mouthwatering French dessert. Speaking from experience, it’s all absolutely rich, indulgent and delicious, and it’s a steal at only $45 per person. A highlight of the event happens mid-meal, when Chef Parny comes out from the kitchen and chats with each table of guests. Oh, and if you’re new to French cooking, have no fear: Chef Parny is from the rural area of La Berry, France, and he describes his cooking as mom’s home cooking with a little flair.
Schofield + Gray is an outdoor market that’s hosted in Fordland once per month. Check out its Facebook page to see dates, then head over and look for a treasure.
If you head over for a meal off the regular menu on a Saturday, plan to go on a weekend when the Schofield + Gray outdoor market is in session. Once per month, the guys from Springfield’s Grayson Home transform an old Fordland homestead into an outdoor wonderworld with live music, grilled hot dogs and several visiting vendors who sell new home décor items and a huge collection of refinished furniture, antiques and collectables. Find dates on Schofield + Gray’s Facebook page.
While all the food at La Gallette Berrichonne is delicious, the desserts alone are worth the trip.
Seven Courses of Decadence
The menu at La Galette Berrichonne changes each week. Here's what we had on our visit.
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