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Les Jardins des Sens (Montpellier)


Winot
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I'm not wrong.

By wrong, I only mean I hope Keller is not the only defining moment of my eating career, and I hope that I can find great joy in the hands of other great chefs who take their own paths...

The dusts are interesting-- I feel like he is inviting me to participate in the food, and handing me some paintbrushes. His crazy platter of salt is a similar invitation to participate

2292747_028c010c81_m.jpg

from http://www.flickr.com/photos/eleganthack/tags/frenchlaundry/

Compared to other chef's refusal to accept palette differences in the diner by not allowing salt... I prefer the more leinient attitdude, though admittedly understand why they care.

I will admit I'm happinest when I don't even see the menu until afterwards, and I put myself completely in the chef's hands.

The price tag is a hard one-- I also don't eat junk food, cook most things myself, and eat organic/local as much as possible. But at the same time I don't ask of my neighborhood tacaria the same things I ask of jardin des sens.

I'm enjoying this conversation as well-- healthy debate always informs one's thinking.

Edited by et alors (log)

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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So, Jardin is back down to two stars, eh? Does this mean I don't have to pay 170 euros for my upcoming dinner? Somehow, I think not. Seriously, though, the most exciting, enjoyable meals I've had have been at 1 and 2 star restaurants, so this doesn't change my plans.

That said, we'll also be eating at vieux puits, and I'm very eager to see how the two compare.

The notion of value at these restaurants is interesting to me. For example, the best value I've ever had at a 2-star place was at Regis Marcon, where a 120 euro meal involves about thirty different items, all good to exquisite. I've paid the same at Clos de la Violettes and got a wonderful meal, but nothing even close to the complexity and ambition at Marcon. Of course, that may be why he just scored his third star.

At any rate, my hat is off to all the dedicated folks working at the back of the house at these restaurants, for their commitment and hard work. But to the chefs too - they all always invariably deserve their success.

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That guy is nameless and faceless to the general public. That guy has quite possible been working under Bocuse for years. And that guy may quite possible never open up his own place or become famous. But there are many more guys like that working than there are celebrity chefs who's egos have become imprinted in the public as being represented of industry professionals. Some of those guys can outcook the guys they work under.

Roger Jaloux, if memory serves. Also a "Meilleur Ouvrier de la France" in his own right.

Charles Milton Ling

Vienna, Austria

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  • 4 months later...
That said, we'll also be eating at vieux puits, and I'm very eager to see how the two compare.

if you can, check out le Pont de l'Ouysse, not so very far away (to an american used to long drives, I suppose)

7838389_5a1060c3fd_m.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eleganthack/t...epontdelouysse/

**, wonderful patio with charming view *and* near the terrifically bizarre musee of automatons.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eleganthack/tags/automaton/

Edited by et alors (log)

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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Well, we were actually cycling from Montpellier to Barcelona, so couldn't go too far out of our way.

At any rate, my friend, who is a fine-dining chef (and has worked at 1, 2, and 3 michelin star restaurants) and I were very disappointed with the Jardin des Sens. We thought it was violently overpriced, the ambiance was a 3 to the Auberge du Vieux Puits' 10, and...well, we just felt ripped off.

We both felt that the food at Vieux Puits was more enjoyable. First of all, it was about a third of the cost. Second, it had a much more definite sense of style and place. There were also multiple choices for some of the courses. The cheese carts (there were two massive ones, one for local cheeses, one for cheeses from farther out) were astounding.

All in all, my impression that truly fantastic restaurants benefit from being in more remote locations remains steadfast: We also ate at a 1-Michelin star restaurant near Banyuls (Oceanus, or something like it) that had the same sense of place and also served wonderful, honest food...and the best cherry sorbet I've ever had. Let us all take a moment to bless the Pacojet.

Amen.

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