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Annecy: Merged topics


lizziee
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We will be in Annnecy in September. We are eating at Veyrat for dinner and had planned a lunch at Clos des Sens. Clos des Sens is a wonderful place that just got its first star last year.(The chef's son is currently the pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria) Unfortunately, it will be closed for vacation when we are there. Does anyone have any suggestions for a "gem" in the area?

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It is a bit of a drive (maybe 30 minutes or so), but there is a Relais & Chateaux hotel in the tiny hamlet of Le Bourget du Lac called Ombremont that has a lovely restaurant called Bateau Ivre, which I believe has 2 Michelin stars.  You can eat on their tented terrace and enjoy a beautiful view of the gem-like lake below.  Order the omble chevalier (char), which will come fresh out of the lake.

After lunch you can walk down to the lakeside and rent a small paddleboat and while away an hour or two in the middle of the lake enjoying the fresh mountain air.  

Veyrat will be a real treat too.  Maybe the best meal I ever had.

Enjoy!

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Lizziee, don't overlook that old chestnut L'Auberge du Pere Bise. It is on the most beautiful piece of lake property in France, maybe even more so than anywhere in Switzerland. Of course the cuisine has taken a header from the glory days of Fernand Bise, but when we go, we manage to cobble together a nice meal centered on the inn's classic chicken with tarragon sauce. It's a great place to stay, as well. Cheap it ain't. But what a view!!!

I haven't been to Ombremont in many years. It is a pleasant spot too, but I can't comment on the cuisine. I have happy memories of summers spent on both lakes. The Lake of Annecy is the lake superior.

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I'm not sure how this might be of any use to someone who is not picnicking or renting a house in France, but there's a puveyor of wonderful Alpine air cured meats and sausages in Annecy. He's at the street market with a large stand, but also has a shop in the center of town in the older area of narrow streets. This is probably only of general interest to someone else who finds this thread and I resisted posting in the hope I could run across the name of the shop.

Robert Buxbaum

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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.

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You may like to see some good photos of Annecy and Talloires

http://www.smartco.clara.co.uk/rhone.htm

You will find a review of Veyrat there and a better version here

http://www.alynes.freeserve.co.uk/contents.html

Pere Bise looked very enticing.

Bourget de Lac is a fair way away, but I can recommend Le Grange au Sel (sp) there.

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Thank you everyone. That's why I find e-gullet so wonderful - a lunch suggestion, then becomes a picnic suggestion and then becomes a review of Veyrat. What a wonderful group of people!

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Antoine Veyrat

Could be, but I'd have expected that name to stick in my mind. Is he any relation to Marc?

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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  • 3 months later...

Not knowing your prejudices and interests, it's a broad question. Of course you know Marc Veyrat has his three star restaurant on the shores of Lake Annecy just a few kilometers outisde of the town of Annecy in Veyrier-du-Lac. Annecy is a rather charming town, albeit a bit over run by tourists in season. The old part of town with its canals and adjacent parks is picturesque.

Veyrat's Auberge de l'Eridan offers rooms for 400-600 euros, but the restaurant is so close to Annecy that it's easy enough to stay in Annecy and enjoy Veyrat's spectacular cuisine. The Imperial Palace in Annecy is about half that price and rooms on the better side of the hotel offer a great view of a park and the lake. The walk from there to the old town center is not long and goes through a park along the lake. There are any number of other hotels closer to the center with rooms from 50 to 150 euros. Most are under 100 euros.

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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Bux

I've had mixed times at the 3 stars i've visited (ramsay, boyer, bocuse and comme chez soi) so i thought this time i'd stick to 2-3 knife and forks 1 poss 2 stars, unless veyrat is really different form the aforementioned?

i'm into classic french cusine, regional produce, local wines would be what i'd try to eat whilst in france. Places i really like include jardin des ramparts beaune, Jacky michel in chalons to name a couple.

thanks

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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I've had mixed times at the 3 stars i've visited (ramsay, boyer, bocuse and comme chez soi) so i thought this time i'd stick to 2-3 knife and forks 1 poss 2 stars, unless veyrat is really different form the aforementioned?

i'm into classic french cusine,  regional produce, local wines would be what i'd try to eat whilst in france. Places i really like include jardin des ramparts beaune, Jacky michel in chalons to name a couple.

I too have had mixed results at the 3 stars and generally fared better at two stars, but I suspect part of the problem has always been the expectation--and maybe the expense. Veyrat's was a place I was prepared to find pretentious because of all the notoriety, but I was blown away by the meal. It's not classic cuisine however. He's creative, inventive and known for using the wild plants and weeds from the Alpine region for flavoring. In that sense he uses regional produce, but his food is unlike that served in the region. I'm also not a great fan of the local wines although I tend to order then when I travel and did there. Nevertheless it's an expensive meal and one I wouldn't recommend to anyone who wasn't familiar with what's been said about Veyrat. It was also a long meal--we took the tasting menu, and then he introduced several courses as we were about toave cheese--and possibly not best enjoyed alone. I've not eaten in Jardin des Ramparts or Jacky Michel, but on the basis of your post, Veyrat might not be your best bet.

Our other meal in Annecy was at a disappointing place that looked inviting, but there are regional dishes that can probably be had at the better and less touristy local restaurants. There are two one star Michelin places in Annecy. I have no personal experience with either, but the specialties listed in Michelin make them both sound inviting. With the exception of a salt water seafood dish, all of the other specialties make use of river or lake fish and local cheeses. The listed wines are local as well. So I still recommend Annecy. We also had some wonderful dried sausages, ham and other pork cuts. There's a wonderful charcuterie in town and if you can hit Annecy on a market day, so much the better if only for window shopping. The market winds around the canals and the little streets abutting them.

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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thanks all for the comments so far...

bux,

i may well check veyrat out as, name dropper that i am, i remembered that when i was at ramsay the head chef mark said Gordon Ramsay was sending them all to veyrat that weekend to sample the food, i'll have a look for the website....

cheers

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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i may well check veyrat out as, name dropper that i am, i remembered that when i was at ramsay the head chef mark said Gordon Ramsay was sending them all to veyrat that weekend to sample the food, i'll have a look for the website....

Check out Veyrat's site. It's quite interesting and even if you neither stay at the inn or eat there, his list of addresses in the area is worthwhile if you care to buy cheese or wine.

As for dropping names, I don't find that as useful as just gaining some first hand information about a place that so many others are talking about. It's kind of nice to have your own views and a reason to have them as well as the experience to defend them, if you think you're going to find yourself in the company of those who are likely to speak about Veyrat.

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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  • 1 month later...

Le Bateau Ivre is a Michelin 2 star not far from Annecy at Bourget-du-Lac. The chef, Jean-Pierre Jacob, belongs to the group of young restaurateurs of Europe.

The restaurant is beautiful. Rich carpet, yellow table cloths, and a canopy ceiling of white canvas. The restaurant has no windows; the feel is dining outside, yet in elegant surroundings with an expansive view of the lake and mountains.

For the first hour we were the only people in the restaurant. Later another group of 5 were seated--that was all for lunch.

With the aperitif, there were 3 amuse:

1. a beignet of risotto with tomato sauce

2. a warm cauliflower soup with an asparagus spear and a breadstick wrapped with a small slice of ham

3 in a shot glass a multi-colored and layered dish of avocado mousse (bottom) tomato gelee, potato/leek soup, and fennel glacé

All good.

The bread is made in house and it was fabulous - bread with bacon, sesame, classic, and whole wheat.

1st course

My husband - l'oeuf de ferme casse, pomme de terre, et oignons fondats, langoustines rotie au lard, un jus vinaigre aux truffles. This was 3 soft boiled eggs with black truffles, cepes, thin slices of ham, spinach and a langoustine wrapped in bacon. There were just too many ingredients on the plate "fighting" each other.

Me - roasted frogs leg meat was enrobed in a garlic cream sauce in a pasta ravioli with mushrooms and almonds . On the side was a mound of vermicelli which had black truffles and a poached egg. Again too many ingredients. I ended up deconstructing the dish and eating the best of the ingredients - the frog legs and the poached egg mixing in the truffles from the vermicelli. I left about half of the ingredients on the plate.

Second course

My husband--a mignon of veal roasted with a caramel Sichuan pepper sauce served with glazed cumin carrots, mango sorbet and tomato concasse. The sauce was too sweet and there was, again, too much going on.

Me--a fish from the lake similar to a salmon. It is called Lavaret, roasted and served on pasta (paparadelles)that had been tossed with ham, tomato confites, flakes of Lavaret and truffles. Also on the plate was a mixture of sautéed mushrooms and lightly smoked artichoke. The pasta was a gluey, too many ingredient mess and again I ended up eating the best on the plate - the fish, jambon and truffles.

Cheese cart - best cheeses were representative of the Savoie region.

With coffee there was an interesting presentation of chocolate truffles on a large rectangular piece of bark - it looked and tasted great.

Le Bateau Ivre closes down for the winter and the entire staff goes to their other restaurant in Courcheval up in the mountains. According to Christophe, the sommelier, the clientele is very different --the winter group is largely Russian, Asian, and from the South of France--very difficult according to Christophe - "they buy the label" when it comes to wine.

Wines:

A nice Savoie white--dry and pleasant--

99 Saint Joseph, Les Serines, Yves Cuilleron, Chavanay - nice and fairly reasonable.

Le Bateau Ivre would be a wonderful restaurant if the chef would exercise more restraint - less is more. The setting is beautiful and the staff friendly, yet professional.

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I had an at best average dinner at Le Bateau Ivre last night.

The small restaurant is dominated by a busy bar area to the left-hand-side of the entryway. When I arrived, fatigued from work, a thin young French woman gestured to the dining room team member to place me at the small tables adjacent to the bar. I asked for a table in the "restaurant"-driven area, and received a mediocre one in the middle of the room. Unfazed, I ordered half a dozen Blue Points. They were nice; the glass of Pouilly Fume, Pascal Jolivet 1997ordered was average.

I proceeded to an Assiette (plate) of Foie Gras Terrine Maison (House), which was poor. The foie gras might have been on the verge of going bad, and I did not finish it. I had a glass of Montbazillac with this.

Then, a steak tartare, which was unduly sweet -- in a way that affected the sampling of the quite good meat and textures. There was no egg component that was separate; the dining room team member indicated egg had already been incorporated. I had a glass of Saint-Emilion. Overall, an average meal (around $85 before tips). :hmmm:

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  • 6 months later...

Suzanne, was it in the town or on the lake? It rings a bell, but a faint one. I have spent a fair amount of time in the area, but I cn't quite place it. If it is/were a small one in town, I would have been less likely to have clearly remembered it.

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It was up from the town. The view from my room was of the laundry line, so I can't be sure what else could be seen. It may have had a terrace, but this was 30+ years ago. ??? :sad:

The reason I went there in the first place was that I had recently seen Eric Rohmer's film, "Claire's Knee," and I thought it was one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even though much of the "action," such as it was, took place in Talloires.

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It's a beautiful lake. I recall reading that it was the cleanest lake in Europe, although I am always suspect of such claims. It is nonetheless, a beautiful lake and seemed very clean.

Suzanne's hotel may be the Hotel listed in Michelin as Les Trésoms which is up the hill south of the old part of town. Michelin says that half the rooms have a view of the lake. There is a very nice hotel on the lake--l'Impérial Palace--and a ways from the old part of town, but it's a pleasant walk on flat ground through a lakeside park. We were there in early spring on a fine weekend and the park was well used by locals and pre-season tourists alike. I enjoyed the walk as much as anything in Annecy, though not as much as lunch outside Annecy. :biggrin:

That lunch was as wonderful a meal as we've ever had, but it was before Veyrat started to inject a newer form of cuisine into his menu. At l'Impérial Palace half the rooms face the lake and the park in a generally SSE direction. The other half face northwards where the view is mixed, less park and more parking lot. Annecy is a lovely town, but in the height of season may be overrun with tourists. There is certainly a plethora of restaurants offering medicore renditions of local specialties to meet the needs of tourists. There is also a shop offering excellent Alpine air dried meats and sausages.

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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  • 8 months later...

Annecy - Families Welcome!

I recently took my family (incl. a 14-month old kid) on a day-trip to Annecy, the place we have visited many times before. Having arrived there at 2 p.m. we were slightly concerned about missing our lunch (frequent visitors to France know that most restaurants will chuck you out at 3 p.m.). So, we went for the first place we stumbled upon, right in the resort centre and near the church. "Grenier du Pere Jules" was an uninspiring building on the outside, but decorated indoors as a traditional, rustic Savoyard chalet.

Two waitresses greeted us with friendly and warm "Bonjour" and started moving tables to accommodate our pushchair. Then they brought the high-chair for the kid and the menu. We only went for a simple table d'hote at an impressive Euro 13,50 (yes 13,50) which included 3 courses:

1) Starter - selection of local cheeses, cured ham and sausages on a mountain of lettuce, carrot and beans.

2) Main - 3 pieces of prime beef entrecote grilled to perfection, garnished with gratin potatoes, local dumplings and vegetables.

3) Desert - 'tarte tatin', delicious apple tart with cream (or ice-cream)

Start-to-finish it was all delicious!!! I have to also mention that one of the waitress (a mother of two grown kids) showed great enthusiasm in playing with our daughter, so we almost had our lunch in an absolute peace!? My daughter loved the food, too.

Great day out and fantastic meal without breaking the bank.

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