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Roussillon Redux


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Starter 1 - scallops & black pudding, the former OK, the latter excellent; the whole not more than the sum of its parts.

Winot- that does sound like very good value. Especially the choice of wine.

But isn't the above dish you tried becoming a little dated? It's very subjective I grant you - but I see no way that these two ingredients can work on the palate successfully.

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  • 2 months later...

I revisited Roussillon for dinner the other day. It used to be just round the corner when I lived in the area, but I haven’t been for a few months. My impression is that this place is starting to make waves on the London restaurant scene, maybe because of its high profile poultry ban, its veggie menu or its increasingly well-respected sommelier, Roberto Della Pietra.

We all went for the spring menu gastronomique with accompanying wines, which comprised the following:

1. Salad of Kentish Spring Leaves, Thin Tart of Confit Rabbit & Rosemary – a great, quite robust starter. Maybe erring on the salty side but certainly not offensively so. Rabbit had a well developed, gamey flavour but probably could have been picked a bit more carefully – each of us were surprised by one or two bits of bone.

2. Pan fried Halibut, butter sauce, peas – a nice contrast to the previous course. Very simple dish. Fish could perhaps have done with a little less cooking, but I’m nitpicking really.

3. Truffle Risotto with Veal Jus – this regularly appears on Roussillon’s tasting menu and it is perfectly executed. It is a totally indulgent, creamy, warm ooze that feels completely naughty but… sorry, I’ve turned into Nigel Slater.

4. New Season Lamb (Rack and Braised shoulder) – if you’ve had the tasting menu with wine at Roussillon, you will understand that by this stage the wine was starting to affect my memory, so I can’t remember what else was on the plate. Probably spring vegetables, thyme gratin and jersey royale potatoes, according to the website. Anyway, the lamb was melt-in-your-mouth stuff, with the braised shoulder providing a nice little side thought.

5. Cheese plate – the cheese board at Roussillon is extensive and delicious. All very well explained and generously dished up. If you feel a bit drunk at this stage, which you would be hard-pushed not to, the wines lined up with each cheese certainly finish you off.

6. Custard brulee with lime sorbet – there was more to this dish. Alas, my memory fails me. I do remember that the brulee was perfectly smooth and just set to the point of being able to stand alone. I liked it barely set, others might just have preferred it a touch firmer. Lime sorbet was hugely refreshing and sobering (but it was contending with well over a bottle of wine’s worth by this stage, so to no great effect).

7. Louis XV – another Roussillon regular. A greedy chocolate lover’s paradise.

I am an avid Roussillon fan. I think the food is amongst the best in London but the experience is what really counts. I find it an incredibly relaxed, unpretentious restaurant. The staff are very friendly and chatty but can also do statesmanlike and elegant. Roberto is quite happy to chat to you for hours about wine and it’s inspiring to see him talk so passionately about it. His wine choices are innovative, and are designed to make the meal more interesting, rather than serving wines that might be an obvious choice. But beware, you get A LOT of wine.

The one real negative is that they never change the canapés – crudités with mustard dressing, chick pea beignets and pickled ginger, cucumber and raw salmon on a cocktail stick.

Overall, a fantastic way to spend an evening!

(i hope that was Ok for a first time post :smile: )

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  • 4 months later...

Just received from Roussillon the "Feast at Roussillon 2006". Ostensibly the most enormous tasting menu I've ever seen. A world record attempt? £195pp if you're very VERY hungry...

Mrs Beeton’s Prince of Wales Soup

~

Light Cauliflower Royale

Deep fried frog legs & crispy parsley

~

Light Truffle Soufflé

~

Pigeon & Artichoke terrine

Chutney & brioche

~

Egg Caviar

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Crunchy Endive & Apple Salad

Walnut dressing

~

Langoustine Médicis

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Scallops “á la Normande”

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Lobster’ declination:

Consommé, jellied & Thermidor

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Cut of Dover Sole

Leek Marmalade & crustacean jus

~

Cœur de laitue á la truffe

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Boudins Richelieu

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Wild Duck Mallard in Four services

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Petit Pois á la Française

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Cardoon gratin

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Swiss chard au jus

~

Williams Pear Sorbet

~

Mango Salad, Lemon balm jus

~

Warm chocolate Feuilleté

~

Vanilla Soufflé

~

Chocolate & petit Fours

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  • 1 year later...

It seems to have been a while since anyone mentioned Roussillon on here!

I was there last week for dinner and thought it quite decent. I had a customised version of the 10yr anniversary menu. It was a bit of a rollercoaster with regards to consistency: some courses were a little bland, whilst others wowed.

What was refreshing was the simplicity of the dishes - not a foam, spume, jelly, mousse in sight - not that I especially abhor these…

There is definitely some potential here: My Roussillon Review

Did anyone get around to trying the Flower Menu last May or the Feast Menu ever?

Cheers

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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  • 10 months later...

Had lunch at Roussillon last Friday (14/08/09), I must admit this restaurant was off my radar and only went there due to the promotion that the Times was running.

To be honest the times promotion (£20 for three courses + vouchers) when compared to the standard lunch which is £35 + 1/2 bottle of wine meant no real difference in price once you added wine but I'm glad they did it, otherwise I may not have gone.

The food was stunning, and the service was exceptional they sussed we were there for a lazy lunch so everything was relaxed and unhurried. Starter: veal consomme with spring truffle ravioli (So good I could have had three courses of it); Main: Summer vegetable with spring truffle and my companion had the suckling pig both were sublime. We added a cheese course to share and for £8 had a sliver of about 15 cheeses with some good bread. Desert was a disappointment, not that there was anything wrong with them but everything else had been so far above expectations (from £20 menu) that a standard desert did not make the mark of the rest of the meal.

Now, it was a birthday lunch (They didn't know) so £40 for two turned into £177 inc service by the time we left. but the food was v good (how do you get that much truffle taste out of a summer truffle), service was perfect for the occasion, and I believe they detected that as other tables were served faster (I assume they were perhaps on a business lunch) but to detect that is a mark of good restaurant.

Recommend

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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  • 2 months later...

Another wonderful meal at Roussillon last night, which continues to deliver well-balanced, high quality dishes without too much fanfare. It's a modest, classy location and atmosphere, which seems to fit its target market well.

As usual, we went for the Autumn tasting menu:

LIGHT VELOUTE OF CAULIFLOWER & TRUFFLE

A warming, hearty start to the meal, comprising some perfectly cooked mini-florettes dressed with truffle oil (I think), then finished at the table with the cauliflower veloute - itself flecked with black truffle.

ROASTED LANGOUSTINES, FENNEL INFUSED WITH LEMON GRASS, CRUSTACEAN JELLY

Robust flavours here, including two very tasty langoustines - the delivery van from the 'live langoustine company' was outside the restaurant when we arrived, so there's no room to question the freshness! The shellfish reduction was perhaps a touch overpowering, but the jelly packed a punch while remaining light. A faint hint of lemongrass was complementary in its aroma.

SOFT & CREAMY ARBORIO RICE RISOTTO, AUTUMN BLACK TRUFFLE & BROWN BUTTER

Surely now Roussillon's signature dish, this risotto is so absurdly tasty and no matter how many times I try to recreate it at home, I fail. It is indulgent, creamy and rich with a generous shaving of truffle and a dark veal jus to give a meaty, umami hit.

SLOWLY BRAISED CUT OF MONKFISH, SAUTEED CRUNCHY COS LETTUCE, SAGE & GARLIC SCENTED BROTH

A slightly Asian aroma from this dish. Good flavour from the monkfish but maybe a slight underseasoning of the lettuce. The stroke of genius here was courtesy of Roberto (sommelier) who paired it with a lightly chilled Alsation red pinot noir.

ROASTED ANJOU PIGEON, GLAZED MUSCAT GRAPES & CARAMELIZED CELERY, PIGEON JUS & VERJUS REDUCTION

A simple, classic dish here but made special by its flawless execution. Wonderful pink pigeon breast was melt-in-your-mouth stuff, accompanied by a soft, braised (?) leg.

SLICE OF PERFECTLY RIPE SAINT NECTAIRE FERMIER, AUTUMN LEAVES & MADEIRA JELLY

Slight change of tasting menu strategy since I last went to Roussillon. At this point, it used to be free reign of the cheese board, but now it is a set Saint Nectaire Fermier - not that that's anything to complain about, because it was a wonderful cheese, perfectly ripe as promised. Madeira jelly was a little lacking in flavour on this occasion.

CLASSIC PEAR SOUFFLE, PEAR SORBET & WARM VELOUTE

Some top notch cooking from the kitchen for this course. An exquisite, small souffle was paired with a small ball of pear sorbet, which was almost creamy enough to be ice cream in my book. The veloute was delicious but probably superfluous.

LE LOUIS XV - CRUNCHY PRALINE & DARK CHOCOLATE

Another regular on the Roussillon menu that has been adequately described in previous posts / reviews. An unctious concentration of chocolate, perfectly sized on the tasting menu - not sure if I could ever eat a full sized a la carte portion.

So, taking all into account, Roussillon remains amongst my top restaurants in London. Its tasting menus have always been a bit of a masterclass in balance. The portion sizes can seem a bit stingy at first glance but at the end of the meal, one feels nicely satisfied. Each course is not only well constructed in itself, but also in the context of the whole meal. Put simply, Roussillon is a class act.

This is further compounded by the remarkable work of Roberto della Pietra in pairing wines with each course. I've said this before, but he too achieves a balance by choosing some classically complementary wines and other wines that extend the dish from what's on the plate to something more, often making choices that seem less-than-obvious.

Of course there is the odd niggle - for example, some of the bread was cooked slightly over last night and, in my view, the canapes still lag the quality of everything else - but these are hardly sticking points, given everything else.

Highly recommended.

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Thats quite spooky really, I looked at this thread yesterday after looking at the Michelin list for London. We are down this weekend and have always wanted to go.

I e-mailed them with a query yesterday and up to now have not had a reply, so I booked somewhere else.

Shame really especially that your post makes interesting reading.

Still there is always next time (if they ever back in touch) :hmmm:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 3 months later...

According to the following from Gauthier's blog ( http://gauthiersoho.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-week-it-has-been-at-one-point-i.html#comments )Alexis is about to leave/has already left Roussillon and will open up elsewhere in May.

Has anyone picked this up on the grapevine?

"What a week it has been; at one point I thought that we would never sign. Then on Friday, I received a call from my lawyer saying that we had exchanged contract.

The only thing that can stop us now is Westminster council not granting us a new Licence.

Retrospectively, I feel that the deal has been very smooth and I am glad that I can start planning the opening of my restaurant.

12 years at Roussillon is a long time but I could have gone on for another 25 years.

It is a real pity that my business partners did not share my enthusiasm, hopes and desire for the future. They were too busy planning their own exit strategies. It took a long time for me to realise that but it is never too late.

So I could go on and develop on how I have been taken for a foul; how I have been taken for ride; how I have been lied to; how they lured me into thinking that they were truly interested in taking Roussillon to another level....That was just bullshit!

It is better not to look back- I have learned from my naivety and can move on.

My timing is very straight forward- the restaurant is going to open in exactly 77 days= 4th May 2010.

77 days to concretise my thoughts. I have a very clear idea of how I want my restaurant to look like.

I also know too well that he has to be THE restaurant I would love to visit on a regular basis. I always think that if you are true to your feelings, patrons will feel comfortable to visit you.

I'll develop on the real identity of the restaurant in later blogs."

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Interesting snippet from a later blog entry...

I received a phone call today about a flooding in the ground floor dining room of Lindsay House. A flooding between exchange and completion is not exactly ideal. I knew that there was some sort of issue regarding the flat roof in the back of the restaurant. I suspected that water could infiltrate via the air conditioning unit. The landlord confirmed that the leak had been repaired; clearly not. Not sure who will have to pay to fix this. Obviously, I am not going to abort the deal due to the flood; and I have no right to do so. It is just a bit annoying. Let's get it fixed and let's move on.
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  • 1 month later...

PRESS RELEASE 1st April 2010

Michelin-starred London restaurant Roussillon announced today that, following twelve years of successful collaboration, Alexis Gauthier has decided to move on to devote more time to his other projects.

Roussillon's General Manager Michael Lear said; "We are enormously proud of our long and happy association with Alexis Gauthier, and wish him the best of luck in his new venture."Roussillon's trademark was an exquisite blend of French cuisine with the finest of British seasonal vegetables.

Roussillon will announce developments at the restaurant following completion of the refurbishment plans taking place this week. The shareholders of Roussillon will continue to commit to developing young talent.

Gauthier is due to launch his new London restaurant at Lindsay House in Soho with Roberto della Pietra and Gerard Virolle on 7th May 2010.

Information and booking on 0207 494 3111 or www.lindsayhouse.net

email: booking@lindsayhouse.net

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