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Restaurant Troisgros, Roanne


robert brown
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Troisgros---Roanne--

The rooms at Troisgros are beautiful--very contemporary, sleek with a bathroom much better than ours at home--glass-enclosed large shower, sunken tub, 2 sinks, marble counters all surrounded by mirrors.

There is a sitting room with a couch and desk and a large bedroom with a small balcony. The tables and light fixtures and the accessories are tasteful and modern.

As we were having both lunch and dinner at Troisgros, ordering was crucial. Also thanks to Robert Brown, we decided not to have the tasting menu and construct a menu of those things we really wanted to try.

Lunch -

We had champagne in the lounge, unlike Georges Blanc, we did not receive menus.

Amuse with champagne: presented in 6 "Chinese-type" soup spoons placed precisely on a rectangular plate - salmon tartar, marinated sardine with pimento and a crunchy bit of artichoke with a slice of ham.

2nd amuse--at the table--a thick custard of celery with bits of celery and a slice of banana on top--a big flavor surprise--and it worked beautifully.

1st course--noix d'huitres tiedies en vinagrette aux perce-pierres. The oysters were presented warm in their shells with a sauce from sea fennel, also known as crite-marine. This was an exceptional dish--the plump, briny oyster nestled in a delicately seasoned sauce with finely diced lemon, cornichons and the sea fennel. The unusual element of the dish was the placement of a sliced almond on top of the oyster--a surprising "crunch."

2nd course--Troisgros' signature salmon dish with sorrel. We had this dish 2 years ago, but didn't remember how wonderful it was. It was perfect - thinly sliced salmon, just barely cooked, on a rich sorrel sauce.

3rd course--Boeuf Charolaise Chateau au vin de Fleurie et a la moelle, pommes de terre a la forezienne. If my husband could have, he would have picked up his plate and not only licked it clean, but also eaten the plate itself - that is how good the sauce was.

The beef was perfectly rare, so tender you barely needed a knife. The beef marrow on top melted in your mouth and the sauce was classic French--the best of haute cuisine. The potatoes, which were served in a little silver casserole, were perfect and if you added some to the sauce--sublime.

Wine:

Lunch:

95 Raveneau Les Clos--superb, this is one of my husband's favorite vineyards in France.-

95 Cote Rotie, Cote Blonde, R. Rostang, Ampuis

This was supposed to be a "light lunch" as were having dinner in about 5 hours.

Dinner

This time we had our aperitif at the table and perused the menu while "sipping." The amuse was the same presentation as at lunch with the addition of a tomato in a vinaigrette of basil.

With the help of Pascal, the most gracious Maitre d', we composed our own tasting menu.

2nd amuse--on a bed of rock salt, the plumpest oyster in its shell with a sauce of lemon creme fraiche, a tiny bit of lemon pulp and strands of sea fennel surrounding the shell. This was served with a small, crispy bread reminiscent of a triscuit in taste.

1st course--Robert Brown who had been to Troisgros a few weeks ago, recommended that we have something stuffed with peas, almond and mint-- We had Pelmenis de petits pois et amandes. This was the thinnest sheet of pasta stuffed with pea, mint and almond puree. On top of the ravioli was a tiny pea pod filled with 5 skinless peas. Absolutely perfect!

2nd course--Troncons d'anguille chemises de noisettes et romarin. Thick slices of eel were cooked with the bones, then crusted with almonds with a rosemary and cornichon butter sauce. Tiny cornichon slices surrounded the plate. The rosemary was a little too pronounced and the eel nearest the bone was much more tender than the outer pieces. My least favorite of all the dishes.

3rd course--Canette de challans epicee et pickles d' echalotes, pommes soufflés.

This dish represented Michelin 3 Star table side service. A large silver platter holding a perfectly roasted duckling was brought to a cutting board table side. Deftly, our server carved the duck, sauced the plate and laid moderately thick slices of breast meat on the plate.

Roasted shallots accompanied the duck and much to our surprise, some cooked corn--surprising because, although you see corn growing in fields all along the roads, the French usually reserve corn for animals.

The piece de resistance for us--paper cones filled with pommes soufflée arrived which must have been made just seconds ago.

The duck was served in 2 services. The second service contained duck leg meat in the same rich duck sauce with a hint of orange and another serving of freshly made pommes soufflée--we were happy Troisgros campers.

5th course--cheese

6th course--we skipped dessert and had coffee and pastries in the lounge.

Wines:

00 Condrieu, Mathilde et Yves Gangloff--we did not know that Gangloff made a Condrieu. Jean Jacques, sommelier, explained that Gangloffs have about 1 hectare right behind their house planted to viognier--he also noted that the wines of Gangloff are wonderful, but Yves is "crazy" (not quite sure what he meant.) The wine was pure essence of viognier--light and even a bit fruitier than most Condrieu--a perfect match with the cuisine.

97 Cote Rotie, Les Grandes Places, Jean-Michel Gerin--the match with the duck was absolutely perfect.

Service at Troisgros:

There were 4 people waiting on us. All were professional competent without hovering . The Troisgros motto seems to be "watchful." Everyone covered for each other so there were no glitches or lapses. There was a perfect dance to the service--an unhurried "ballet" of seamlessness.

Last year our memory of Troisgros was very nice, very precise and perhaps a little "cold." This time between Maitre d' Pascal who was so considerate to ask if we wanted the same table for dinner as the one we had for lunch--a perfect location -- to Jean Jacques Banchet, the sommelier who gave us a tour of his 60,000 bottle cellar- everything was perfect. (By the way, Jean Jacques is a cousin of M. Banchet owner of the La Francais in Wheeling, IL--small world of food and wine.)

Over-all the feeling we got was elegance, perfection and warmth combined to make us feel very much at home and special--Michel Troisgros visited with us a bit after dinner. He was equally as warm and personable.

Le Central - Troisgros' bistro

Lunch

The bistro is immaculate, like everything at Troisgros. The paper place mat on the table had a picture, like a reflection, of a place setting so each item in the place setting was put on top of its "reflection."

1st course--we started with Galette craquante de jambon cru tomates et basilic. This was a thin, wafer-like crisp on which were placed layers of tomato, ham, hard-boiled egg slices with basil, olive oil and capers--kind of an open faced sandwich ..delicious.

2nd course--salmon cru marine a l'aneth, pommes de terre a la sauce Raifot. The salmon was much like gravlax, although sliced much thicker and served with a quenelle of horse radish/onion cream and thinly sliced boiled potato--excellent and just enough.

Wine:

00 Sancerre Vincent Pinard, Nuance--very nice, simple, clean and moderately priced - perfect with the food.

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Before we planned our recent trip to France, I checked the menus on Troisgros's website and it seemed almost insanely expensive compared to other three stars we had tried recently (outside of Paris). We skipped it in favor of a different itinerary -- but with regret. How did the cost at Troisgros compare with other meals -- say Georges Blanc (which we visited again last year)?

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Peter,

We did not find it excessive, but then we had been to Ducasse in Paris. We ordered very carefully and they were more than willing to do half portions. Value is a relative term, but the food, service, experience was so exceptional that I would do it again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was reviewing the Troisgros website, and came across the following promising-sounding white truffle dishes that I enjoyed at least contemplating. I have only had Troisgros' black truffle menu, never the white truffle one. :sad:

FASCINANTE TRUFFE BLANCHE D'ALBA (Fascinating White Truffles from Alba)

De fines lames de Saint-Jacques,

des cèpes crus, de la mâche sur

toast grillé 80 €

(Thin slices of scallops with raw porcini, mache and toast)

Cannelloni de mousserons à

la Piémontaise 80 €

(Cannelloni with mousseron mushrooms, Piemontese style)

Noix d'huîtres chaudes à

la " Magnatum Picco " 80 €

(Warm oysters with "Magnatum Picco" truffles)

Langoustine royale, la poire,

le poireau, la truffe 110 €

(Langoustines, pear, leek and truffle)

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  • 1 month later...

Troisgros is arranging a Condrieu/Cote Rotie tasting and dinner event for Monday, February 10, 2003.

The seven winemakers to be represented are: Burgaud, Clusel-Roch, Gangloff, Gerin, Niero, Perret and Christine and Paul Amsellem of Domaine Vernay. (Note I do not have much knowledge of these winemakers.) Some recent and some older vintages will be presented in a 7:00 pm tasting led by the winemakers. The price of under 300 euros is reasonable, as it includes a diner with matched wines after the wine tasting. :wink:

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This is a wonderful opportunity, for members who can visit France during the applicable period. Troisgros is not an establishment that offers such tastings without having something remarkable result. Also, the price is appealing, given the tasting and dinner (with wine included of course).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Many e-Gullet members have sung the praises of Restaurant Troisgros, and I doubt that I have much new to say, but I wanted to post about my experiences in appreciation for the members whose posts led me to this great establishment.

My meal at Troisgros took place shortly after I had arrived in France for a three-week stay. It was my first visit to France and the first official three-star meal that I have eaten. Part of the inspiration to go to France was eating at Alain Ducasse in New York, a new experience to me at the time.

As with my meal at La Ferme de Mon Pere, going to Troisgros involved a lengthy drive from Tourettes sur Loup near Nice. As expected, I was not let down.

To enjoy the meal in complete peace, I reserved a room at the Troisgros hotel as well. The hotel and restaurant are extremely charming with a modern décor punctuated by a lot of black and well-placed touches of vibrant colors.

Unlike the décor, the restaurant shows a much greater respect for tradition. The menu is extremely deep and no doubt full of dishes showing classical French cooking at its best. There are numerous new dishes as well. I decided to compose my own tasting menu focusing on the classics:

Fines lames de St-Jacques, cepes crus de la mache (scallops salad with mache and white truffles—although the name indicates cepes)

Escalope de saumon a l’oseille (salmon with sorrel sauce)

Troncon d anguilles et grenouilles (sections of eel and frog legs)

Canette de Challans epicee (roast duck)

Les fromages frais et affines

Quatuor des douceurs (four desserts).

Without doubt, the roast duck was the star of the meal. It was, as has been previously mentioned by others, served in two courses with the puffed potatoes—which are round, golden hollow ovals. The tableside service is quite stunning, but perhaps even more impressive is the simplicity of the dish. I have roasted ducks several times trying various approaches, and I have never even come remotely close to achieving something similar. Perhaps the ducks in France are different. Towards the end of the night, Michel came out to all the tables and I asked him about the duck. Apparently, all he does is to sear it and then stick in the oven. I was also curious as to how the potatoes are made, but I did not ask.

The salmon with sorrel sauce was also quite impressive. I found the scallop salad to be the sleeper. It was listed on the white truffle part of the menu, but I am a little confused now as my copy of the menu says it was with cepes. I had never eaten white truffles before, but I thought that I was eating them with this course—there were plenty of thin circular discs shaved on top of the salad that looked like white truffles (had the white veins of white truffles I’ve seen in pictures). Maybe they were just cepes. They resulted in a very tasty dish, although just by themselves, they did not taste that exciting. My favorite course aside from the duck was a cappuccino with foie gras served at the beginning of the meal. It had a very rich and comforting taste and I could have eaten several more of them. I guess that savory cappuccinos are common in France, because I saw them on a couple of other occasions. I thought the weakest course was the eel with the frog legs—it seemed like they had been sautéed with a generous amount of garlic. This course however was still not bad.

The wine list at Troisgros is absolutely phenomenal, and I do not even know much about wine. I had a 1988 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet for 220 Euros. I do not know if that is a good year. The wine menu listed a 1989 for 230, but when I asked for it, I was told they were out of it. Regardless, the 1988 was the best wine I’ve ever had.

The hotel and restaurant staff are all very gracious. I would really like to mention the breakfast there as well. While the croissants in France are already better than those in New York, the ones at Troisgros were on another level. The fact that they are only one small part of a flawless breakfast is quite remarkable. Troisgros, more than any restaurant I have been to, struck me as a place where one could eat many times before becoming tired of the food. I certainly would not mind trying to put this theory to the test. The restaurant was certainly a wonderful introduction to three-star dining.

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jakubc,

I agree with you completely on your reaction to Troisgros. It is definitely the perfect three star experience. Also, even though we had lunch and dinner on the same day, I could have had another 4 meals. This is cuisine that is neither tired nor tiring.

"I was also curious as to how the potatoes are made, but I did not ask."

The potatoes you had were pommes soufflé. A recipe for it can be found here http://cheftochef.net/r/0/A00141.shtml. Julia Child also has a recipe for this classic dish.

My least favorite dish was also the eel dish, although our presentaion was quite different from yours.

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Jakubc, thank you for that post. It makes one feel good to read the pleasure in your "voice" as you describe the experience with Troisgros. I was there last long ago when Jean was still with us and in the kitchen too. We had a memorable meal and stay. There was a thread a while back about Troisgros, with some very detailed posts.

I thoroughly enjoyed yours.

Where else did you eat on your trip?

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jakubc -- The frogs' legs/eel dish was recently sampled by me too. It is called "Troncon d'anguille et cuisses de grenouilles au laurier" (Eel and frogs' legs with bay leaf?). The eel was presented in a filet, and it was very fishy tasting. The flesh was not particularly elastic-tasting; nor did it have the denseness one sometimes associates with eel. Significant use of melted butter and strong connotations of fat in the dish, which remained dominant despite the utilization of lemon peel to mitigate it. Frogs' legs were deboned and fatty tasting. Taken with a Puligny Montrachet "Les Demoiselles" 1993, Madame Francois Colin. Also the least preferred dish within my particular Troisgros meal.

I have had much better eel dishes at the restaurant previously. Troisgros remains one of my favorite restaurants. :laugh:

Did you receive a white chocolate-outer layer fairly large lollipop? The inside was passionfruit ice cream.

The late 4Q 2002 Quatuor (spelling) of dessert was (1) sabayon with coffee (average), (2) beignet with rasberries, (3) coconut cream with pineapple bits and pineapple gelee and chocolate tower, and (4) guava gelee and white chocolate and banana concoction. Pre-dessert was, for different meals, (1) chocolate tart with strawberry/licorice gelee and milk ice cream (the milk was very savage-tasting for some reason), and (2) thin strands of mango (almost like spaghetti) that were slippery and moist.

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Patrice:

I unfortunately have a hard time recalling the desserts, although I would like to believe that they were a little different than those of Cabrales. I want to say that my predessert featured coconut ice cream. I recall a little chocolate cake as one of four desserts. I will peruse my notes to see if I wrote down anything. Indeed, I remember that I enjoyed the predessert more than the dessert. However, I find that this has happened on more than one occasion, perhaps reflecting my affinity for lighter desserts (strictly from an aesthetic basis). I found the preface to Ducasse's pastry book a little interesting in that regard. Revel alludes to Ducasse bringing back fruits to dessert. I have no idea about the factual basis of that statement, but I do like fruity flavors. Interestingly, as a child, I did not like very many cooked fruits.

My dinner companion ordered the jalousie de pampelmousse (hope the name is correct) at my suggestion since it is listed as one of the signature dishes by the Michelin guide. I think that was a more interesting move. I recall the bitterness of the grapefruit being a pleasant taste this late into the meal.

We each drank a glass of Sauternes with dessert, although we did not ask what kind it was.

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Jaybee:

I spent most of time in the south. I ate at two two-stars: Hostellerie Jerome in La Turbie and Clos de la Violette in Aix-en Provence. I also ate at four one-stars: Loulou near Nice, L'Epuisette in Marseille, Le Sud in Le Lavandou, and Gran Grotto in Genoa as part of a one-day foray into Italy.

I'll try to put together my impressions in the near future. As a quick summary, none of the meals was bad and most were very good. I found Le Sud to be quite interesting. I had discovered it in a local restaurant magazine while eating in a small town, "La Bouche a Oreille". The pre-fixe only menu features black truffles in every course except for dessert. Outside of the three-stars, Jerome was the best meal.

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  • 1 year later...

Had a sublime 24-hour stay at Troisgros last week, thanks for the recs from guys on here.

We arrived after a sprint around Burgundy (to be written up elsewhere later), with a visit to Jean Thevenet at Domaine de la Bongrain earlier in that day we were already in great spirits but what was to come was to only consolidate this.

It was our first wedding anniversary and we were already staying in France for a week, but decided on Troisgros for the 'big event' of the trip.

After a decent drive through the surprisingly picturesque regions of Beaujolais, we arrived in the overall unremarkable town of Rouanne. Found the hotel before being whisked away by the one-way system, an hour later arriving in the underground car park, from this point on for 24 hours we barely had to lift a finger.

The room was exceptional, large (by London standards, very large) with a separate seating area and large shower / bath room. The decor was perfectly to our tastes, more colourful than the Schrager places we have visited in the last months, no expense spared from the linen to toiletries (Hermes).

Waiting were 3 pastries each, the first sigh of the excellent things to come. Strawberry shortcake of incredible flavour, sublime miniature chocolate éclairs and meringues so light they almost floated away! - Easily the best patisserie of the trip.

Had a little walk around Roanne, the indoor market was interesting and worth a trip, as I'm told are the museums but we were not in the mood.

On returning I spent almost an hour perusing the wine list, burgundy is the real area of speciality here but it was great across the board. Mark ups were very variable (400% for some Rully, but a negative mark up (a mark down?) elsewhere - more of this later).

There is also a great little library area with a good selection of food and wine literature (a decent amount is in English).

So to the food, the dining room is split into two main rooms, we were seated in the part overlooking the gardens, tables very widely spaced with serving tables next to nearly every one for the sommeliers and waiters to do their job.

We went for the degustation, course were: (this is from memory, not the actual menu descriptions)

  • 3 Amuses - Lobster with a light vegetable sauce - Fois Gras with Beetroot -
    Acidity of tomato, with an anchovy wafer
    Frogs legs with satay sauce
    Semolina with caviar in a light meat consommé
    Lobster with a verbena infused sauce
    Sesame crusted Marlin with artichoke and orange water sauce
    Veal Liver with beetroot (my wife took a substitute of filet of local beef)
    Cheese
    Poached Apricot
    4 miniature deserts (wild strawberries with a strawberry sorbet, strawberries with violet crème, raspberries with chocolate millefuelle, one other I forget)

I am not a food critic and will not give detailed reviews of individual elements, but the whole meal was cooked with amazing lightness, even cream based sauces had an element of acidity than prevented getting bogged down despite the huge amount of food.

The cheese board was as good as I have ever seen, and a request for the waiter to pick for me to match the remaining wine was perfectly executed.

Service was perfect throughout, we enquired what Verbena was (only seen it in chocolates before) and a little plate of the fresh leaves appeared within 2 minutes. The table service was excellent, fascinating to watch the waiters carve at the tables, I was begging for someone to order the whole duckling to see how they carved it!

The wines were excellent; a 1/2 bottle of the house rose champagne was missing a little bit of depth that I like in rose, but great value.

The main success for the wines was Coche-Dury, I read elsewhere on here that Mr Coche visits each year to bring the allocation across and this must be why these are such great values. Went for a 1995 Mersault les Rougeots, which had power and depth I have never encountered in a white wine before, it was stunning. And amazingly the price was less than I see this at retail for the 2000 and 2001 vintages. Both Coche Dury and Raveneau are amazing bargains here.

A half of Pommard was a great match for the later courses, and the Austrian vin de Paille great with the fruit based deserts.

A sublime meal, I think it has the edge on Marc Meneau's degustation we had a year earlier, and although very different to Gordon Ramsay is a more rounded and interesting gastronomic experience (I benchmark to these as they are the only 3 stars I have been to before)

A tour of the cave with the sommelier the next morning and a taste of some new wines they had in from the Loire rounded off a great trip. I recommend this to anyone visiting France, and even go as far as to say it is worth a detour from London (so easy via Eurostar and TGV).

Of course, this is not cheap, but QPR - Unbeatable

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And amazingly the price was less than I see this at retail for the 2000 and 2001 vintages. Both Coche Dury and Raveneau are amazing bargains here.

Retail prices for Coche-Dury are sky high because the _merchants_ apply a 400 % markup. Mr Coche sells his wine at the same price to both restaurants and merchants (or not at a very different price). So Coche-Dury at Troisgros is not a bargain, it's just that _most_ retailers apply crazy markups. Well, as long as there are people to buy ...

And thanks for your review ! :smile:

"Je préfère le vin d'ici à l'au-delà"

Francis Blanche

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I was at Troisgros about 15 years ago - and I'm glad to hear that nothing has changed (the town is still unremarkable and the restaurant is still fabulous :smile: ). Congratulations on your first anniversary and may you have many more (I'm coming up on my 34th in a few months). Robyn

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Retail prices for Coche-Dury are sky high because the _merchants_ apply a 400 % markup. Mr Coche sells his wine at the same price to both restaurants and merchants (or not at a very different price).

I am surprised here, but bow to your greater knowledge of the situation.

It seems fairly unique here, there are a large number of rare wines (le Pin, Petrus, Kongsgaard, Kistler, SQN etc) and these all sell in London for (for recent vintages at least) at a similar price to the cost of buying direct from the winery (or negotiant for Bordeaux).

Why would only Coche-Dury demand this massive mark up?

Not saying it isn't true, just want to understand the situation

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  • 1 year later...

I had dinner here last Thursday, and a wonderful evening it was. The place and people are as hospitable and welcoming as one could have possibly hoped and the food was superb. Me and my companion both took the full summer tasting menu. Starting off in the lovely, slightly Japanese styled garden we were brought 3 canapes on spoons, a piece of cauliflower with Comte in a little vinegar, a chunk of lobster wrapped in unbelivably thin slices of apple and some artichoke heart with kumquat. The vinegar/citrus combinations ran throughout the entire meal and this was a perfect introduction to them. We also got a first encounter with the place's real star, Yuzu - not the citrus but a 2 month old kitten who clearly rules the restaurant and provides much theatre by making the waiters remove her from the dining room about once every fifteen minutes. She will climb on tables once they have been cleared but didn't see her commit any major breaches of dining room ettiquette... One woman in the room had 2!!!!! lap dogs with her for the entire meal and my friend and I we rather hoping the cat would cause an indiscretion but no such luck. Hilarious and indicative of the extremely unstarchy and fun atmosphere in general.

The meal proper began with a cold pea soup laced with orange peel and chewy dried corn that had somehow also been flavored with orange. A very fresh, simple but subtle dish. Next, 2 raw sardines, one filled with basil and one with tapenade, with some pickled shallots and white truffle. The truffle was pretty superfluous alas, not really pungent at all, as nice as they are to have around this wasn't much more than pretty looking garnish. I don't understand why restaurants this good bother with them out of season, its not like they have to prove something by having it on their menu. A wonderful dish otherwise though, and the quality of the fish was outstanding. Next up a foam of fennel with mussles, clam, smoked salmon and tiny shrimp. Light and effervescent, would perhaps have liked a bit more fennel taste to come out in the foam, which was dominated by the cream and egg white, but light and luxurious at the same time. Next, a fillet of mullet covered in a dense dense sauce from the juice of the bones (jus d'arette - I didn't fully get the waiter's explanation). According to the menu also with cocoa, but there seeemed to be a good bit of saffron in there to me. Basically a boulliabesse broth reduced to the nth. Fantastic, vibrant saucing and another perfect piece of fish. Accompanied by a few butter beans and a strip of red roast pepper. Next up the only somewhat disappointing dish of the meal, a half small lobster each, grilled, with the tail in the shell and the claw meat on the side. Seasoned with ginger and chilli oil, fine but ultimately a rather dull plate. The tail was a bit tough, although the claw meat was superb. The seasoning seemed somehow too monolithic, especially in a dish with so few flavor components. My friend is chinese and she felt it was basically a version of haute chinese lobster with everything except the lobster left out... The sole meat course was a wonderful piece of veal, I think cooked in some mixture of poaching and roasting, with a citrus/vinegar based accompaniment, including various cut up pieces of lemon and orange and shallots. A rich, creamy, but still clear aubergine puree on the side. The sheer quality of the meat was the real winner in the dish though.

Cheese was good although many of the choices were milder than I hoped. I chose a few of my favourites, of which the Roquefort and Epoisse were by far the standouts, my friend asked for whatever was left after I picked that was strongest and got a rather bland plate, maybe the waiter assumed that we weren't up to the challenge, which was a BIG mistake... More likely they just tend towards a slightly conservative selection, both in terms of maturity and style. Enjoyable cheese but I was hoping to be blown away and wasn't - we'd had better St. Marcellin in a simple place in Lyon 2 nights earlier. The desserts were excellent, a fig poached in vinegar with licquorice ice cream followed by a 'summer pudding' that took all the classic summer berries and put them on a fruit syrup soaked strip of bread. That came with a very pungent mint ice cream and a spoonful of incredibly powerful strawberry liquor. I drank a glass of excellent Mersault with the fish dishes, we had a half of 99 Faiveley Nuit St.George 1er cru the somellier was especially keen on with the meat that was very correct and drank well but lacked a bit of edge and complexity to me. An excellent Armangac from the cheaper end of a simply unbelivable list back into the 30s after the meal.

The setting and the service are superbly classy without pretention, I especially like how the asian influences in the food are paralled in the decor, also got to see the gigantic kitchen, which looked unbelivably calm and well organized, with massive ranges that people can work on all sides of and smelt like heaven. Michel Troisgros works the room with a lot of charm and enthusiasm, coming across as a really nice guy, and little Yuzu owns the show... Overall I did feel the constant use of citrus/vinegar combinations was a bit unvaried, and I could have done with a richer, more classical dish somewhere along the way. Perhaps the use of luxury ingredients was a little misplaced too, I would have taken a little caviar over the bland white truffle any day. There were also quite bizarrely few vegetables in the entire meal, which is perhaps a result of an approach that is focused entirely on a main ingredient and enhancing seasoning/saucing/garnish rather than more varied plates. I loved the lightness and clarity of everything though, I really felt I tased every component of every dish without things ever getting crowded or busy.

It was the first time either of us have eaten in a French 3 star, and I would have been quite happy before the meal to let it totally overshadow my best American meals, which I have to say it didn't. Absolutely wonderful food, and the setting, sense of occasion and service were certainly at a level I haven't encountered before, but I can't say the meal redefined my sense of good food. Perhaps that's an unrealistic expectation to have, but having read so many debates about the relative merits of French haute cusine vs. the rest of the world I was interested to see where I'd stand. More research needed is the verdict, once the bank have forgiven me for this bit of study...

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Alexhills, We've really come very far in America as have other countries, but I suspect you'll agree that even though the best meals in France no long leave the best meals in America in the dust, a trip to France soley for the gastronomy is still worth the voyage. I've no doubt that the rising standard in the US has been set by a generation of French chefs and we're still developing own own traditions of exacting dedication that match that set by French brigades. A dozen years ago, I might have said all the great chefs in America are French. Many Americans also like to point to Alice Waters as the anti-Julia Child who showed the world the importance of fresh produce as opposed to French technique. In fact, Alice herself has always credited her time in France as inspiration for her dedication to the quality of raw materials. We've begun to put it all together here.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Alexhills, We've really come very far in America as have other countries, but I suspect you'll agree that even though the best meals in France no long leave the best meals in America in the dust, a trip to France soley for the gastronomy is still worth the voyage. I've no doubt that the rising standard in the US has been set by a generation of French chefs and we're still developing own own traditions of exacting dedication that match that set by French brigades. A dozen years ago, I might have said all the great chefs in America are French. Many Americans also like to point to Alice Waters as the anti-Julia Child who showed the world the importance of fresh produce as opposed to French technique. In fact, Alice herself has always credited her time in France as inspiration for her dedication to the quality of raw materials. We've begun to put it all together here.

Bux - I agree totally with you both about the impact of French chefs on the US and, of course, about the worthwhile-ness of eating in France. For me the difference in the two food cultures though, was more obvious in a meal I had at Villaret and wrote up in docsconz's trip thread and in the markets than in the meal at Troisgros. The level of cooking at a relatively unflashy place, and also the kind of menu - veal tounge, pigs trotter - seem something that isn't matched in America or the UK. The point about people being keen to eat tounge or foot relates to the key to me - the French are much more connected to the means of producing food, and the importance of every last bit of plant or beast, than is the case in America - let alone here in England where most kids would struggle to identify a carrot in its natural state. I once heard a waiter at a superb American restaurant trying to explain what pig's trotter was to some diners without using the word foot... I suspect not a problem in France.

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. . . .

I am not a food critic and will not give detailed reviews of individual elements, but the whole meal was cooked with amazing lightness, even cream based sauces had an element of acidity than prevented getting bogged down despite the huge amount of food.

I'm not sure professional food critics give such detailed reviews of individual elements. That's what I, and other inarticulate members, do when we're stuck for truly original and erudite things to say. :biggrin:

It's a relief to have an alternative post.

The cheese board was as good as I have ever seen, and a request for the waiter to pick for me to match the remaining wine was perfectly executed.. . . .

I think comments such as this are very telling about a restaurant. At a two star restaurant years ago, after I selected a red wine for my main course, the sommelier told us to leave some for the cheese and returned to suggest a particular cheese we should add to our selection because he thought it went very well with the wine.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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