The restaurant Imagine is located just near the city center of Nantes, 2 steps away from the Place Graslin. It offers a creative cuisine led by its young chef and owner, Anne Lise GENOUËL.
Return on this beautiful gustatory experience in this little post with our review!
This review is completely independent, we ate anonymously and paid our bill in full.
Why eat out at Imagine
Is Imagine worth it? Our review
Choosing a restaurant in Nantes can be a real ordeal because the offer is so wide and tempting. It was while reading a portrait of Anne Lise GENOUËL that we thought that this young woman had character and audacity and that her cooking was surely worth the detour!
We tried it one weekday lunch and we were not disappointed!
The frontage is particularly discreet, the restaurant is located in one of the massive buildings of downtown Nantes. But once inside, the atmosphere changes! The ochre colors are with a retro decor that leaves a lot of room for wood to warm up the atmosphere.
As for the cuisine, the menu is short, to offer a market cuisine where the products are fresh and beautifully worked. Whenever possible, the chef works with local products, giving priority to short circuits.
The wine offer is well thought out, offering a wide choice without falling into profusion.
Finally, you can come back regularly, the menu changes every week at lunchtime and at least once a month in the evening. And since we really enjoyed our lunch, Imagine is in our list of our 15 best restaurants in Nantes.
What you will eat there
At lunch, the chef offers a unique 2 or 3 course menu (starter/main course/dessert), usually with a choice between fish and meat for the main course.
In Anne Lise's kitchen, we feel a sustained attention to the combination of flavors with resolutely creative dishes. There's never a dull moment on the plate! The chef leaves a lot of room for spices (from appetizer to dessert during our lunch!) and invites you to discover grains and legumes as side dishes.
Our lunch menu:
- Appetizer: eggplant ravioli with cumin, feta and candied lemon
- Dish : bao (small Chinese bun stuffed with pig's loin, bell pepper and mushroom)
- Dessert : Peach and coriander
What you will drink
The wine list offers a good fifty references, of which a dozen are available in glass.
A large place is left to the Loire, but you will be able to take a step aside to taste a vintage from one of the French wine regions! And if you are in the mood for exoticism, you can even go to Slovenia or Chile, with a dozen references in foreign wines!
In the Loire, we find the most emblematic PDO of the region (Savennières, Coteaux du Layon, Chinon...). And for the whites, we have of course a large choice of muscadet, the Loire wine produced around Nantes!
We opted for a 2018 Anjou rouge, from Pierre Chauvin. This 150 year old family estate has been converted to organic since 2005. His vineyards are located in the commune of Rablay sur Layon, near Angers. Even if the majority of the estate is dedicated to the white grape variety of the Loire, the Chenin, they also cultivate a Cabernet Franc from which they make a silky and tonic wine, typical of the region.
Plan your trip to Nantes!
- 15 best things to do in Nantes
- 5 thematic itineraries to visit Nantes in 1 day
- Our advice to visit Nantes in 2 days, or in 3 days
- 12 best hotels to stay in Nantes
- 15 best restaurants to eat in Nantes
- 8 best museums to do in Nantes
- Our tips for the elephant and the machines
- Visit the castle of Nantes
- How to rent a car at Nantes airport
The atmosphere of the restaurant
Neither stuffy nor crazy, it is a restaurant whereyou feel good. The restaurant is large enough that the tables can breathe and you can hear each other talk. The warm and unpretentious decoration contributes to the relaxation, without offering a bland place, without character. The few retro touches feed the creative dimension of this restaurant.
Why is Imagine known for
Anne Lise GENOUEL likes to recall that she imagined herself a chemist before becoming a chef. But she has not opted for molecular cuisine. What she likes is to work the material, to sublimate it, to sculpt it...
After having worked in various Parisian restaurants while studying at the famous Ferrandi school, she fled the capital to settle in Nantes. At 28 years old, she dares to launch her own restaurant, it will be Imagine. 4 years later, she doesn't seem to regret anything... and neither do we!
Imagine for the gastronomic creativity... Imagine for the escape offered by the flavors of its dishes... Imagine for the oenological sensory trips... Just imagine!
A little more patience...
All the photos, maps, information, good addresses to make your stay in the Loire Valley a success, will soon be gathered in a single guide in ebook or paper!
If you wish to be informed of the publication of our guide on the Loire, register:
Practical information - Imagine, restaurant in Nantes
Type of restaurant:
Open from Wednesday to Sunday for lunch.
Service at noon from 12:00 to 13:30 and in the evening from 19:30 to 21:30
How to get there
Located on the outskirts of town, very close to the pedestrianized downtown area, Imagine gives you the choice:
- The public transport network, Bus or tramway, which will drop you off at 1 minute from the restaurant.
- The restaurant is accessible by car, but parking will be difficult and expensive.
If you choose to come by car, we advise you to park in the Graslin parking lot or in the mediatheque parking lot. And if you really feel lucky, try your luck in the streets adjacent to the restaurant.
A menu for children under 12 years old is available.
In our opinion, this restaurant offers excellent value for money for Nantes. The starter - main course or main course - dessert menu was offered to us at 19,5€ and starter - main course - dessert for 24€! For wines by the glass, count about 6€ and a majority of the bottles of wine between 25 and 50 €.
For 3 people, we paid 76 € for a really delicious meal!
Reservation and contact
- We strongly advise you to book your tableonline at Imagine
- And if you still have a question, you can find out more on the Imagine restaurant website.
Our top 3 things to do in Nantes
The elephant and the Machines de l'Ile
Over the years, the elephant and the machines on the island have become the cultural and tourist signature of Nantes. They combine incredible technical know-how with a phantasmagorical universe largely inspired by the Nantes author Jules Vernes. You can only succumb to these funny animals made of wood and metal.
The castle of Nantes (Dukes of Brittany)
The impressive castle of Nantes is a real architectural puzzle, the result of a tormented history, which it is pleasant to reconstitute. You will meet the Dukes of Brittany, the famous Anne of Brittany, wife of 2 successive kings of France, but also Louis XIV! The castle houses the surprising and very well designed museum of the history of Nantes.
- Discover all our advices and photos to not miss anything of the castle of Nantes (Dukes of Brittany).
The Pommeraye passage
An immersive experience in the bourgeois and wealthy universe of the 19th century, with this unique shopping mall in Europe. The play of light, the ironwork on the staircase, the sculptures... everything contributes to making this passageway a timeless place dedicated to the pleasure of window shopping.
And to learn more:
Our top 3 places to stay in Nantes
Just a stone's throw from Nantes' magnificent Jardin des Plantes, sleep in an authentic 19th century church converted into a 4-star hotel. Sleeping under the stone vaults, but in a resolutely design decoration, this is what we liked at the Sozo hotel!
Radisson Blu Hotel
Walking through the "salle des pas perdus" and having breakfast in the former courtroom is the experience offered by the Raddisson Blu Hotel, located in an impressive neoclassical building that used to house the courthouse.
- Back in photos on our night at the Blu Radisson Nantes
- See availability and prices of the Blu Radisson Nantes
Maison du Monde Hotel & Suites
When a great name in French interior design gets passionate about the hotel business, it gives a hotel with a warm and subdued atmosphere. In addition, it is ideally located, between Place Graslin and the Passage Pommeraye!
- Back to our night at the Maisons du Monde hotel in pictures
- See the availability and prices of the Maisons du Monde hotel
And to learn more: