Archive for mai 2010

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London

mai 31, 2010

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant doesn’t get a lot of good press. At least not from those, who eat in better restaurants rather frequently. Many claim that the food is too clinical, without any emotions, without much interest. I’ve had one lunch at this restaurant, about 18 months ago, when I ate a few of his classics. Those were all decent, without being moving at all. Would I pay £90 for three courses there again, not for the ones I ate last time. But, a friend and I decided to go back to see how things are around Royal Hospital Road. Lunch isn’t as pricey, at a mere £45 it must be one of the friendliest 3* lunch menus around (even if JG’s in New York is still cheaper).

One of the annoying points of my first visit here was the service. The famous Monsieur Breton was there at that time, and service was the stiffest, most annoying that I’ve ever had in a 2 or 3* restaurant. You were treated like you were an idiot, not knowing how one roasts a pigeon, or what polenta is. This time, it was refreshingly different. Robert Rose was running the show on our lunch, and he was doing it, as good as one can hope it to be. Service was efficient, friendly and there when needed. There still are some silly things like them announcing a surprise, especially prepared by the chef, when it’s a simple amuse bouche, but well, that’s how it is I suppose…

As it was a lunch, and I still had a dinner with quite a bit of good Champagne to look forward to, we decided to skip the apero, and go for a bottle of 2000 Scharzhofberger Kabinett Riesling from the truly amazing Egon Mueller (the IV. at this point in time). It was decently priced, amongst a list of rather erratic mark-ups. There were some steals, like this one, and some outright foolish, silly prices on there. The wine in question was stunning, for a Kabinett Riesling, you really can not expect any more. It’s concentrated, powerful, fruit-driven, if backed by a finely balanced acidity. Lovely, really, really lovely stuff.

We had a selection of nibbles, which were all decent, and perfectly harmless. I wouldn’t mind having a bit of it again, but I wouldn’t ask for them neither. This seemed to be like the stuff we had last time…

Bread was very good, I really enjoyed the black olive, and honey breads, which were made in Ramsay’s federal bakery. Very good.

The amuse today was a deep-fried frog’s leg with potatoes and a wild garlic soup. Now, the frog’s legs were really nicely cooked, quite tasty, but the portion was too small to really taste much of what was going on in there. The soup was decent, if not remarkable by any means. Compare this to the stuff one serves at other 3* restaurants, this seemed a little weak, Good.

To start with, I tried a version of Ramsay’s classic tortellino. This time it was filled with crab and prawns and drowned in a lemongrass consommé. Now this really wasn’t bad at all. Tasty, well-seasoned and featuring good pasta, I rather enjoyed it. It was already a notable step up from the previous bites. Very good.

Next up was a porchetta with lardo, confit tomatoes, olives and basil. Hhhhm, if you have a copy of Ducasse’s outstanding Grand Livre de Cuisine lying at home (either the haute cuisine, or Mediterranean) you’ll find a recipe which looks pretty similar to this one. This is not to say that Ducasse invented this dish, but to use rabbit in it, and serve it in this way is reminiscent of the way a certain Franck Cerutti used to serve it… However, I don’t really care about copies or not, this was the best dish of the day. It was tasty, beautiful, well made, and really enjoyable. This was a straight 3* dish, one which was great. Only thing I’d have liked was a mention of the fact that it was a rabbit porchetta on the menu. Excellent.

Next came two meat courses (the fish dish on the lunch menu looks not interesting to me). First was a beef cheek, braised in red wine, and served with a jardinière of spring vegetables. On the side came a great creamy polenta. It is always great to see things like this well made in a good restaurant. However, for a lunch menu it was pretty good I must say. What was great about it, was the Polenta. It was creamy, powerful in taste, and very deliciously fatty. That’s all a polenta should be, and that’s how I love it. Very good.

Next up was my second favourite dish of the day: A porky treat with fillet, black pudding (very nice), Saucisse de Morteau, and that outrageous smoked belly, they serve with the pigeon too. It came with Sauerkraut and a Madeira jus (hhhm sounds a bit funny nowadays). This one really was tasty. Everything was tasty, as pork often is, and perfectly cooked. The Sauerkraut worked well with it, and the sauce bound things together. With the rabbit, this was my highlight. Very good.

As a pre-dessert, we had a great little Eton mess. This one was very pretty, and very very good. I really enjoyed the various textures and preparations in this, and found the little Ramsay sticker on the ice cream sandwich rather amusing. Excellent.

Dessert came in two parts. First up I had asked for a pear tatin with Stilton and a walnut ice cream. Boy, this tatin was really great. Far, far better than the pretty poor tatin (sorry guys) at the Square a few days earlier, this had the perfect amount of sweetness, great puff pastry, and the right amount of caramelisation. The Stiltion wasn’t really added in big enough quantities, but gave the whole thing a little bit of saltiness. Excellent!

A rhum baba was decent, if a little over-cooked and therefore not all that great. The addition of the citrus fruits certainly was a nice idea, but couldn’t save things at the end of the day. Good still.

Petit-fours are funny, the little tree of chocolates is great, while the ice cream balls in liquid nitrogen seem a little bizarre in this restaurant. Looks like one is trying to suddenly be very modern. It doesn’t add anything to the dish, so the point of it’s use escapes me. They are tasty though.

Overall this was a faultless lunch, even if the baba was over-baked. Everything was perfectly executed and presented, the food was very good indeed, if that lack of emotion really could be seen as a valid point. What I found interesting was the close similarity to the Louis XV’s food. In terms of presentation and cooking, quite a few of Clare Smyth’s dishes really look like someone has tried to transplant that restaurant to London. It might not be the best of ideas in the long-run, as the Louis XV is what it is due to it’s location, and the products of the area. For me, this might be the only thing Ramsay and Smyth could work on a bit. However, I can see that this is a 3*, that is worth the rating despite the criticism.


Home cooking, spring

mai 28, 2010

Here are a few pictures of dishes I’ve cooked over the last few weeks. Spring is after the colder part of the year my favourite season of the year, as you have a bunch of tasty stuff coming during it.

First up, simple oysters, marinated in a Japanese vinaigrette, served with a pea soup. We drank a fantastic 1996 Macon Chaintre from Valette with this.

Also served on that day was a roasted lobster tail, with a vanilla jus and morels, roasted in butter (infused with the stems, garlic and a few dried morels). It was simply, but I really enjoyed it. With this we drank a V.O. from Selosse, which was stunning, to say the least.

Here the wine, which I absolutely adore.

Before the afore-pictured lobster, the dinner started with an asparagus soup, asparagus and lobster mitts, cooked in orange oil. It was tasty, simple and just the kind of food I enjoy. Wine-wise, a white ’04 Chateau Fonsalette was a more than worthy partner for this starter.

The main was a take on Gert’s outrageously good ox tail, morel and potato dish. I braised the ox tail with a fair amount of wine, and other good things for  a night, pulled it off the bone, and prepared a compote with it. A very buttery potato puree, and a few pan-fried morels on top, and a glass of ’59 Smith Haut Lafite made this a match made in heaven!

Here a pic of the wines of the night:

After going to China in a week’s time, I’ll  be back in Luxembourg, where a lot of good wines, and great summery products will await me: Lobsters from Brittany, langoustines, maybe a few decent tomatoes,…

The Capital Restaurant, London

mai 23, 2010

The Capital Hotel has changed its chef a while ago, and now the kitchen is turning out much more classical simple dishes, which Eric Chavot probably wouldn’t have served. A while ago I decided to head over there for dinner, which proved to be remarkably good as you shall see.

The wine list is very refreshing here: Mark-ups on wines that are bought in at £100 or more are minimal, and the rest is very fairly priced too. Raymond Boulard’s Petrea costs a mere £56, until recently they had a 2000 Ramonet Chassagne “Vergers” for a very fair £89, and at the top end of the range, there was a nice selection of Leroy wines: 2000 Echezeaux cost no more than a bottle can cost you in an auction, around £450. We decided to drink a bottle of the brilliant 2005 Kistler Dutton Ranch, which must still count as one of the top Californian Chardonnays. It is a great wine, concentrated, balanced, very floral and fruity on the nose, and not as heavy or over-oaked as some other wines of that area. A complete winner.

To start us off, a rabbit tart was served with a little pepper jus was served. It was tasty, light and well made, not really exciting, but hard to criticise. Good.

Up next came a very well made terrine of pork, duck, foie gras and pistachios. Served with some kind of jelly and a few marinated micro-shoots, it was just what it said it would be. The flavours were all there, and worked well together. A really good terrine, for the rather attractive price of £14. That’s the way we like it. Very good.

My main course was a lobster Thermidor, slightly more pricey than the terrine (£34). However, it was pretty much a whole Scottish lobster on a plate. If not served in the head, or anything like that it was a very good plate of food nonetheless. The lobster was perfectly cooked, and had great texture, the creamy sauce was just gratinated, and the spinach was rather agreeable too. I was surprised by the level of the cooking here, as product quality, execution and presentation were all of a high order. Very good.

As a dessert, we had a roasted pineapple with some kind of crème brulee inside. What the sorbet on top was made out of, I didn’t write down, but it was a good dessert. Maybe a tad too sweet for my taste, but nonetheless very well done. Good.

Overall it was a very enjoyable evening. From the drink in the cosy bar to the food, the great wine and perfect service, everything was far better than I had hoped it would be. I also found the pricing incredibly reasonable on the whole, given the hotel’s status. For a good classical meal, with great wines on the side, this is certainly a safe haven.

Viajante, London

mai 15, 2010

Viajante is Nuno Mendes’s new restaurant. It is set in a rather interesting location, close to the Bethnal Green tube station. The room is beautiful, and fits the cooking perfectly. During my first lunch here, (no more than a week after opening!) service was great. It might not have been as polished as in some of the more established starred restaurants, but it was friendly, warm and brought us all we wanted. I don’t ask for more, especially if the food is as good as it was here today.

We drank a great 1999 Duval Leroy Blanc de blancs, which had good depth, and concentration. After that we moved to an Australian wine, composed of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It was a beautiful pairing for most of the food, and very fairly priced at £44 a bottle. The following wine was the best of the bunch, a 2006 St. Joseph from Vins de Vienne. This cooperative, made up of some of the finest winemakers of the northern Rhone, produces some great wines, and this was no exception.

First up were Crostini de romesco and gordal olives, almonds and Jerez. This didn’t only look beautiful, but it had great intensity of taste too. As careful as the presentation was, it was a beautiful combination too, where the olives gave just the punch they should, no more, no less. Very good.

The second amuse wasn’t bad neither: A smokey aubergine with soy milk. A crispy sandwich was served with a few jellified preparations of aubergine and soy milk. What I liked about this was the freshness, and the intense, deep flavour of the dish. This was another very enjoyable amuse. I was looking forward to the rest…

The final amuse was simply called Thai Explosion II. A bit of confit chicken was served between thin sheets of philo-pastry. It was tasty, well-seasoned and fresh. All I want in a restaurant, great stuff. Very good.

A word about the bread and butter. Both were stunning. The bread had an incredibly light, airy, fluffy texture, with a very thin, crunchy crust. It felt like eating very tasty air, or nearly, and was a highly accomplished piece of baking. The butter is made in a rather complicated process. First it is browned, then frozen, and whipped, to make it lighter. Sprinkled with violet potato powder, it was great to be eaten with the bread. Like a little bon-bon. Excellent.

Squid tartare and pickled radishes, samphire and frozen squid ink jus. This was another incredibly fresh, light dish, which might have been influenced by some Nordic chefs’ cooking. The squid, pine nuts and frozen ink jus combo was very enjoyable and worked beautifully. Excellent

Textures of beetroot and crab, green apple and whipped goats curd. I considered this to be the “weakest” dish of the day, although Laurent of GOT really enjoyed it. My problem was the beetroot, which slightly overpowered the delicate crab. The apple, goat’s cheese and crab combination was great though. Good.

Roasted Celeriac, tapioca and S. Jorge Cheese. Another picture on a plate, which really impressed me visually. Not many restaurants in London go into such detail in the plating, so this really was a great plate of food. The flavours and textures were just as good as the look, which made me count this as one of the best dishes of the day. Excellent.

Lemon Sole, brioche, yeast and cauliflower. Another very well thought out combination, this dish really showed off the product’s quality. Compared with another Lemon Sole dish, I’ve had at Inter Scaldes, this was much more interesting and better. This was another highlight, just like the next one was too… Excellent.

Up next was a Pigs Neck and prawns, Savoy cabbage and anchovies, fried capers and grated egg. This was an intriguing combination, which brought together quite a few diverse elements into a rather well-composed plate. The elements all worked very well, and the pork was quite exquisite. Beautifully braised for 24hrs, it was tender, tasty and simply delicious. The combination with the egg was very good, and the other elements, like the slightly grilled salad, gave it some crunch and herbal taste. Excellent.

A beef dish with Miso was added, as we still had some red wine left. This featured a great piece of tender, and tasty beef, very well cooked and beautifully presented with great garnishes. Simple, and very well executed, this was great modern food, which really adds something new to London’s restaurant scene. Excellent.

We moved on to the sweet part of the meal with a glass of Tocolato from Maculan. A Thai-Basil and lemon sorbet was a capable palate cleanser, which prepared us for the dessert. Very good.

The dessert itself was a Dark chocolate and hazelnuts, praline powder and blackcurrant gel. I didn’t expect a fondant au chocolat in such a modern restaurant, but this one was complemented by a whole bunch of complementing elements. Not only was it very good, but it also was incredibly beautiful and well done. Another very good plate of food.

The petit-fours and the coffee (from Square Mile) were just as good as the rest, and further solidified this restaurant’s serious commitment to count among the best in town.

Overall this was a great lunch. Just one week after opening, the kitchen seemed to work perfectly, and the lunch was of a very high standard. It’s hard to identify a favourite course, as most were great. The experience was rounded off by a nice, if short selection of wines, and great relaxed service. If you really like food, take the trip down to Bethnal Green, where you’ll be able to have some of the most interesting meals in London.

Inter Scaldes, Kruiningen

mai 8, 2010

Inter Scaldes is a quiet Relais & Chateaux property on the banks of the Oosterschelde. This means that the restaurant has a great advantage, as some of the finest seafood comes from this estuary, which lies a few houndred metres away from the kitchen. When I visited the restaurant in April, the lobster season had just started, oysters were there, and a whole bunch of other good things were also present.

The restaurant today was empty, with just one other table taken, but that didn’t disturb me all that much. The room is not too bad, a little old, although it could do with a remake here and there. It still is pleasant enough, although not comparable with the beautiful room at Hertog Jan, De Karmeliet or that of Oud Sluis, to cite but a few in the region. Service was very good throughout the meal and we were warmly greeted from the start.

The wine list here is good, even Domaine d’Auvenay wines are to be had here, although the pricing is rather steep. We drank a Viognier La Rosine from Michel & Stephane Ogier, which was priced at a rather hefty 95euro (that’s a more than 4 times retail price). The wine lacked intensity, balance and only the last few sips began to be enjoyable as the wine started to open up. Such things are rather sad, but well… For red we had a bottle of a wine from Carcassone, whose name escapes me. I remember it to be very interesting and well made, although it too must have benefited from a rather nice price rise.

The meal started with a few nibbles. There was a rather useless tuile, and a few spoons filled with: Pear foam, nuts and raisins; Foie de canard, red beet jelly; Fish rillette with curry, Tosazu jelly. Most of them were harmless, although the pear foam was plainly sweet, without much flavour. The foie gras had an intriguing texture, and the rest was decent. There was nothing phenomenal about these, but they weren’t bad neither. Harmless.

The Amuse was: Royal of egg with smoked eel, cauliflower. The royale of eggs was  flavoured with basil and rather tasty, especially the bits of eel were very tasty in it. Overall all this was more like it: Bold flavours, well seasoned and carefully cooked. Very good.

Our long menu started with CANARD PEKING: popcorn cream, quince, warm brioche. A Peking duck flavoured foie gras custard of some sort was hidden beneath a layer of popcorn foam and served with a spoonful of quince puree. Tastewise this one was interesting. The custard was very salty, and one really needed the quince to make the balance right (which the service advised us to do). If this was done, the taste was great, although either the custard or the popcorn cream made the whole thing seem a little cloying or heavy. I can’t share the enthusiasm of some of my convives on this, and must say it was no more than good.

Next came a first fish course: LEMON SOLE: puree of white turnip and burnt mustard, gravy of kombu. The overall taste of this dish was very enjoyable, although I hadn’t really discovered any burnt flavours in there, until I read the description… The problem here was the construction of the dish and the quality of the fish. The fish was alrgiht, but very mushy, without any remarquably great texture. In such a simple dish, it is primordial to use products of outstanding quality, or that are so impressive on their own, that the dish makes sense. To use a rather menial lemon sole, seems a little bizarre. This seemed like a weak course to me.

SEA BASS: poached in whey, curdled milk, sautéed orange, Bari olives provided a welcome change. This was spectacular. The sea bass was of fantastic quality. Cut from a very large fish, it was perfectly poached and it’s garnishes accompanied it marvelously. I really enjoyed this rather unusual dish, which really surprised me after such a mediocre start. Excellent.

The next course was a huge letdown to be honest, as my friend told me so much about its magnificence. TURBOT: poached in smoked milk, clove mousseline. Conceptually, the dish sounded more than interesting, although the problems became apparent rather quickly: First of all, it was the third course featuring cooked fillets of fish, the second of which, in which the fish was poached in a dairy product. Secondly, the fish was overcooked, and very dry and stringy on the outside. Also, the fillet was cut from a rather small turbot. Compared it to the monster we had at the Sportsman, or the fish Christian Bau, Christophe Moret or others serve, this really wasn’t all that outstanding at all. The mousseline was good, but overall this was another harmless dish, which in addition had a technical error. Poor for a 2* restaurant.

I had requested an oyster dish to be added to our menu, as this region of Holland produces fantastic oyster. Here it came: OYSTER: with green vegetables, tosazu, oyster foam. A play with a Belgian classic: anguilles au vert, this huitre au vert was served at 36 degrees Celsius, the temperature people such as Olivier Roellinger consider to be the best for the consumption of oysters, as they have the most complex taste at that temperature. The very meaty, large oyster sat beneath the green sauce/veloute and some oyster foam. It was brilliant, with bags of flavour and a really amazing mouth-feel. The green sauce was also very good, although maybe a tad to powerful for the oyster. However, considering the course this meal had taken, it seemed like a blessing. Very good.

LOBSTER: with yuzu, Maltese asparagus, Parmesan sauce. Now, Oosterschelde lobster is considered to be the finest of all lobsters by a very knowledgeable friend of mine. If it is well cooked it really is amazing (a proof of which I’ve had at Hertog Jan for instance). This lobster was also very good, although the dish really seemed like a home cooked dish. A bit of a decent puree, the lobster tail, very well cooked I must admit, and a rather watery sauce, which didn’t add much. Whilst very nice, I had expected much more from this course, what we had was rather boring and a little underwhelming. Good.

RAZOR SHELLS: from the Oosterschelde, jus perfumed with coffee, coconut. Ahh, finally another very enjoyable course. This was a nice, well thought out course, which I very much enjoyed. Very good.

The best course of the day was excellent, really excellent: SCALLOP: prepared in its shell with truffle and cauliflower. A scallop is trapped in its shell and then served with a cauliflower mousseline, a single cauliflower rosette and the cooking juices. This was great. The truffle had a very strong present flavour, which made the pairing of scallop/cauliflower/truffle work brilliantly. The quality and cooking of the scallop was also top notch. What I found rather bizarre, was that this was the second course, in which we had some vegetable that wasn’t turned into a puree (the first one being the single asparagus with the turbot). That certainly was welcome, as so many purees do get a little monotonous with time. Excellent.

PIGEON: with young carrots, Dai Dai ponzu, ginger sauce with lime. The pigeon here was perfectly cooked, very tender but lacked salt. The jus suffered from that exact same problem too, and would really have come together if a little more salt had been added. The carrots were tasty, if very much overcooked. Brilliant here was the little roll of cabbage. Overall it was a pretty good course.

‘BAL MASQUE’: apple and pineapple, vanilla foam, coffee bean ice cream with cardamom. A very pretty dessert, it was very good too. The flavours worked, the balance was there and it wasn’t too heavy. If one was looking for a problem, one could argue that the base of the sphere was much too thick, which creates quite an unpleasant mouth-feel. Good.

SOUFFLE: curd soufflé with Vanilla. Now, chef Jannis Brevet apparently bought an oven, especially created to cook soufflés for the rather impressive amount of 50.000euro. The soufflé we were served today was very good, that goes without question, but I can’t say that it was the best soufflé I’ve had in my life, as the Gavroche, Ledbury, Square or other restaurants manage to serve soufflés that aren’t worse than that.

Overall this meal really was quite a disappointment. Everything seemed to be alright, but rare were the dishes that got me excited. In fact, out of 11 courses (not counting amuses and nibbles), only 3 were very good or excellent. That is a pretty poor ratio. The problems were not so much in the technique or the products, although there were some issues with those too, but rather in the way most dishes and the menu were conceived. First of all, there was a rather large amount of puree-based dishes. These didn’t have any textural interest, and made no sense in the dramaturgy of the menu. Furthermore, most of the dishes seemed uninspired, without much that was interesting or exciting. This was all the more sad, as the scallop for instance was a real winner and showed that this kitchen is certainly able of very good food. From my experience, I probably won’t go back there, as there are too many other restaurants that are much more interesting, and easier to reach.

Chateau les Crayeres, Reims

mai 3, 2010

The Chateau Les Crayeres in Reims is an institution. It used to be the residence of the Pommery family, and now houses one of the finest hotels in France. Since a few months a new chef has taken over: Philippe Mille. Ex-sous-chef of Yannick Alleno at the Meurice and winner of the Bocuse de bronze a little while ago, he is certainly someone who is to be watched. Having spent a day in the Champagne, I decided to have lunch here, whilst sipping Raphael Bereche’s fantastic Reflet d’Antan in his winery. If you already came that far, you might as well enjoy yourself I thought. Plus, there was a bit of time to kill before moving on to Avize, where a few bottles were waiting for me. So, what better thing to do than grab lunch?  The room hasn’t changed from my first visit a year back, and most of the service brigade was still there too, including Philippe Jamesse, the very good and knowledgeable sommelier.

The wine list here is impressive, a few houndred different cuvees from the Champagne are on offer, and the rest of France is not misrepresented neither. Price-wise things are very friendly too: Selosse’s brut Initiale is 110euro, whilst Coche Dury’s Meursault Rougeots from 2005 is around 150. That’s a decent price for such wines, especially in such a grand dining room. Other steals included some of David Leclapart’s wines. I decided to drink a glass of Roederer’s blanc de blancs 2004 with my starter and a glass of Henriot Cuvee des enchanteleurs 1996 with the main course. The Roederer was very fruity, rich, and intense, with a nice freshness that kept things in balance, whilst the Henriot was great. It had exactly the richness I love in some Champagnes. In addition the mousse was very fine, the nose a dream, and the wine as a whole an unexpectedly fine partner with the main I chose.

Whilst perusing the menu, we were served a few nibbles. There was a marinated white fish on a spoon, a foie gras cube, some hot pomme dauphine or something of the sort and a little tube, filled with a kind of ham mousse. These were nice, and pleasant, but not really groundbreaking.

The amuse itself was interesting though, a salad of beef cheek was served with a lemon cream and a cromesquis of cornichon and capers. I liked the beef salad, but unfortunately it was too cold to have much flavour. The mousse on top was too powerful, and if one had a bit of both, the mousse overwhelmed the beef completely. If taken away, the beef was nice though, and not necessarily bad, but still no outburst of joy or so. Nice. I was beginning to wonder if it was worth coming so early after Mille’s take-over…

Here came the starters though. First up a few scallops with artichoke ravioli and foie gras. Technically perfect, this dish was a real 3* plate. The products were of fine quality, the cooking very precise, the ravioli equally well made, and the whole thing lovely. I adored it, and was rather surprised how quickly Mille had settled in. It left me wanting more, and regretting to not have taken the longest menu available. Excellent.

Next up was a risotto with green asparagus and Iberico ham. A generous portion of a very well made risotto was topped with two nice, fat green asparagus and a few slivers of Iberico ham. In general I’m not a big fan of eating risotti in a restaurant, as the Ducasse recipe is more convincing than what many restaurants serve.  Here however, the risotto was great. Creamy, al dente, well seasoned and served with perfect asparagus, it was a very good classic. Hard to fault, and very delightful.

The fish course was a sea bass with shellfish. A fat piece of sea bass came with a creamy shellfish sauce and a few mussels, cockles,…. Another French classic, which is very simplistic in it’s approach, but doesn’t let any mediocrity on the side of the products and execution pass. But, there was no real problem here with either of the two, as the fish was beautiful, cut from a very large wild sea bass, it was cooked to perfection and served in a decent pool of unctuous shellfish jus. Hard to beat if it is as well made as here. Excellent.

Finally the meat came, a pluma of Iberico pig was served with traditional French garnishes: the condiment of a sauce charcutiere. First of all, This was by far the best pluma I’ve had so far. Incredibly juicy, tender and tasty the meat was simply magnificent. Of outrageously good quality, it didn’t really need the garnishes, even if they were very convincing and worked well with it. An outstanding course, one of the best of the year, concerning my experiences so far.

We skipped cheese and went straight to the sweet side of things. An exotic fruit dessert was served. It looked more than pretty, and was refreshing, well made, and interesting. A very good end to the meal.

Overall, if one considers that 3 of these courses cost 68euro, this is very fair value, and the cooking is in safe 2* mode. I must say, that the food on this occasion was much better than when I visited the restaurant a year ago, even if Mille has just taken control of his new kitchen. He seems to rely on a few classics at the moment, but executes these so well, and with some really interesting ideas, that I have absolutely no problem with that at all! I will certainly be back, as there are quite a few things in this region that are worth discovering.