This was a great lunch. Amazing food, great service. And what a view! Very modern food, but not too molecular, just the right amount of twists and technique. And very tasty, which is what matters most. It wasn’t as mind blowing as Mugaritz, which has really become a benchmark for me, but the whole package was great and it’s definitely a place to check out if you want superb food AND the rest to be close to perfect. Get ready for the longest dish descriptions ever!
This was my most anticipated meal of the trip. And I was maybe expecting too much. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but after being moved the night before at Mugaritz, I was looking forward to get the same feeling and I simply did not. It’s amazing, the produce is obviously as good as it gets, but this kind of simple just did not get to me. I had in mind for this lunch to be amazed by the purity of each produce, a bit like at the best sushi places in Tokyo. That prawn for example, which has become one of Victor’s signature dish, is beautiful but I can’t say it’s a great dish. Even if it’s the most amazing prawn cooked to perfection. I will definitely go back though, as I know the fabulous meal I had the night before clouded my judgement and made me way more demanding, when it truly was a superb lunch.
Perfection. It truly was. From the atmosphere to the service to the food, it was absolutely amazing. A life changing meal. It makes you rethink what a Michelin starred restaurant should be in 2011. It was my first dinner in one of the top 8 restaurants in the world, and there will really a before and an after Mugaritz for me. No stiffness, just the perfect amount of casual and at the same time not one single mistake, spotless from the wine service to the space between tables. And the food, well a lot of people say it’s sometimes too out there and complex, but we enjoyed every course, and there were a few that were out of this world. All I want to do now is go back, as soon as possible, and be mesmerized by Andoni’s cooking once again.
I’ve been wanting to go there for a couple of years and finally have. Mauro Colagreco, the Argentinean chef of this restaurant, cooks beautiful food in an amazing setting, meters away from the Italian border. It is number 76 in the world, as per the controversial San Pellegrino ranking, and was one of the eleven tables worth flying to in the New-York Times earlier this year. This guy definitely has a lot of talent, and he is on the path to become one of the most important chef in France within a few years. In Menton or somewhere else though? We’ll see…
The ultimate meal. I have been there before, it was actually my first ever full on gastronomic dinner. I was maybe 12 years old and already loved food, so my dad took me there, just us two. It had a huge impact on me, even though the main thing I remember from that meal was that… I fell asleep! I can’t tell you how happy I was to be back in that room, which is more grand than any of the other I’ve been to. Even the famous Paris ones like Crillon or Meurice can’t compare. And it was a truly unforgettable meal, what a 3 Michelin star restaurant should be, with amazing food, perfect service and in the end a whole experience that was what we were looking for.
Christophe Dufau is a very talented young chef who is now the chef/owner of this tiny place in Vence, above Nice. He has worked in Denmark quite a lot, and cooks some of the most beautiful food I’ve seen. He uses the best produce this great region has to offer, and his restaurant is extremely good value for the region, where it’s easy to eat very badly for way more that what you pay for the degustation menu at Les Bacchanales.
Davide Bisetto has talent. A lot of talent. He cooks an uncompromised Italian cuisine. It’s not meant to please the crowds, it just reflects his inspirations, it’s real Italian food. He uses the best the region has to offer, amazing seafood, charcuterie, cheeses… I think the best is for you to look at the pictures, they speak for themselves. And the setting, within the stunning (but insanely expensive) hotel Casa del Mar, was as stunning as the meal. Thank you to my friend Jean-Philippe (@ici_maintenant) to have introduced me to Davide’s cooking.
Passage 53’s chef is Japanese and has worked a few years under Pascal Barbot, just like the guy who opened Quintessence in Tokyo. Hence the very Astrance looking dishes and even an hommage to Pascal with the madeleines at the end of the meal. Extremely precise cooking with the best produce Paris has to offer (Joel Thiebault’s vegetables, Hugo Desnoyer the superstar butcher’s meats), it now has 2 Michelin Stars and is one of the most coveted tables in town. It’s a very small room so call ahead to secure a seat, it is well worth it.