Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Les Pres D'Eugenie


fergal
 Share

Recommended Posts

We spent the Xmas period in the South West of France & San Sebastian. On our way to the Basque counry we were fortunate to discover that Les Pres D'Eugenie was open.

It's had fine reviews from Andy Hayler and the Wandering Epicures, but I can't find a single mention of meal there on eGullet. Being Michel Guerard is one the fathers of modern day gastronomy, his lack of profile is puzzling (refreshing?!)

Hardly on the beaten track, Michel Guerard has held 3 stars for circa 30 years and it is really worth the effort to venture to Eugenie Les Bains. It's the most chi-chi of spa towns with the restaurant part of a gorgeous old school spa hotel, run by the couple. So you will see the chef in the restaurant most days.

Image 126.jpg

All the trappings of luxury are evident - huge open rooms, big fires, quality ingredients, generous service, no sense of hurry

Our meal consisted of:

- the finest mushroom soup - silky smooth with submerged ravioli. Seconds were offered!

- wood roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras & cottage cheese

- pigs trotter, duck liver and prawns 'on toast' with an eel salad.

The desserts did not hit the same heights, but it was one of the most pleasant dining experiences I've had.

Has anybody been of late?

Photos & full review here:

http://foodmiles.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/les-pres-deugenie-michel-guerard/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

As a (big) fan of gastronomy, it’s normal that I want to visit as many different restaurants as possible – in reality mainly Europe (and Japan). Often, the time and logistics prevented me from doing that. Sometimes, I think I even “failed” to dine at the places when the legendary chefs were still active in their kitchen such as the restaurants of Michel Bras, Harald Wohlfahrt etc. However, in May this year, I managed to dine (twice!) at Michel Guerard. Getting into Eugenie-les-Bains was certainly not easy, so I decided to stay there as well for convenience.

 

The food was indeed fabulous. It’s been a while when I had a meal in France, but outside Paris that’s immediately got absolute 3-star (or “four”) in my notes. On the first night, my memorable dishes were mainly coming from the Chef’s Guerard’s classics:

-delicate ravioli, filled with numerous earthy Morels and some Girolles, inside rich and creamy soup. There were also asparagus and black truffle. Everything worked well together – a perfect embodiment of silky and smooth creation of Michel Guerard

-lightly poached lobster (in small portion sadly) was tender and delicious, covered by butter and herb sauce. Equally exceptional item was the side dish: sweet onion integrated with glazed peach and parmesan cheese; complex yet balance with deep flavor and slight acidity

I was told that these 2 dishes were guaranteed to always be available all year. Yes, it means the restaurant bought lots of morels and had to preserve them

 

-somehow, I loved this dish called Truffle zephyr. Essentially, it was an airy, light and ethereal floating island (white cream filled with intoxicating black truffle coulis) having deep flavor of ‘cold soup’. The soup was made of creamy leek, onion and potato – delicate and flavorful. The first few bytes were unforgettable …

-dessert lover would usually come here specifically to savor the marquis de bechamel aka “ugly souffle”. The combinations of flavor and textures from soft cake, caramel, raspberries and rhubarb etc. were superb. I was a bit shocked with the size and only capable of consuming ¾ portion of it; I did not regret to have ordered it though it’s not my favorite dessert here

-well, the wood fired beef medallions was dazzling with deep flavor and tender texture. The sauce was precise and tasty while the crisp and light potato souffle was one of the best I’ve ever had

 

On the following night, I also had a few outstanding dishes. For instance,

- plump and beautifully cooked scallops were meaty with their pleasant and naturally sweet flavors. It was enhanced by the lovely and delicious buttery brown sauce and balanced by the 'stir fry' onions & somewhat bitter chicory. The slight sourness derived from the citrus fritter provided a nice accent

- The high quality herbs-stuffed Pintade was moist, thanks to the sauce - the best part when consumed with the guinea fowls skins. What made this dish better was that it came together with tender sweetbreads stew, earthy morels, fresh peas & their emulsion as well as little black truffles. Commonly boring bird was transformed into creative and tasty dish, kudos to Chef Guerard!

-my favorite dessert was the delicate chocolate millefeuille displaying: light and bitter coffee cream, rich and decadent chocolate & sorbet, and rather sweet Armagnac cream sauce - magnificent flavor variations with different degree of intensity yet felt smooth and balanced

-not my favorite, but in Landes region … savoring foie gras was necessary. The maître d’ allowed me to have both duck and goose liver side by side. Generally, I get used to eating duck liver (having beige-orange color) more which was rich and creamy; the goose liver (more of pink color) was delicate and refined with subtle flavor. The livers were accompanied by jellies of mushroom, duck and wine.

 

As stated before, there’s no doubt that the cooking here was magnificent – perfect seasoning, sauce, texture, temperature etc. The presentation might not always be beautiful; well, the kitchen created the dishes with the main purpose for the palate enjoyment. The legendary chef, Michel Guerard (in his mid 80’s) visited the dining rooms in both evenings. Dressed in plain white, he tried to greet as many diners as possible. Given his stature, apparently, he was still shy sometimes and did not like to show off; proof? One of them was that he hardly wore his MOF tunic.

 

The restaurant was busy in general. One the 1st day, 1/3 of the guests participated in the spa program thus they ate the slimming cuisine (2-3 courses per meal). On the 2nd day, there were nearly 60 people attending the dinner; by 9 PM it’s pretty much full house. The attentive, smooth and relaxed service showed a slight drop as everyone tried to move as efficient as possible – 5 sommeliers were on the floor on that Friday night.  However, it’s not the reason for complain … just a personal observation.

 

Had this Michel Guerard’s restaurant been located in Paris, I would’ve probably visited the place at least half dozen times. I am glad to finally make it! I would certainly would love to return here again and (if possible) bring my wife along next time

 

More comprehensive review: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.com/2018/09/les-pres-deugenie-michel-guerard.html

Meal photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/sets/72157701424064875/with/44021093194/

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...