Thursday, November 12, 2009

Paris, The 3*** Hotel Bristol Restaurant d' Ete.

Haute cuisine at it's finest, created by Chef de Cuisine, Eric Frechon and pastry chef Laurent Jennin.

To begin, a plate of amuse bouche: ceps veloute with parsely emulsion; a pineapple chip dusted with szechuan pepper; a "lollypop" of diced fois gras and smoked eel wrapped with beet root emulsion; in a spoon, a green olive from Luc, wrapped with fennel jelly. The fois gras, eel and beet root were and incredible combination of mutually flattering flavours that just bloomed in the mouth as the elements melted on the tongue.

Artichoke mousseline with a coriander jelly, jellyfish emulsion, shallots and olive oil. Unfortunately, the flavours of this ambitious dish were obscure, particularly the flavours of the coriander and artichoke.

Calves head with the cheek and tongue, between thin slices of potato, topped with a sauce gribiche, anchovies and capers and with a sweet pepper sauce on the side. This well presented dish was a luxuriously flavourful experience on the palate.

Bresse farm hen, poached in a pig's bladder (poulet de bresse en vessie), presented with several pieces of whole crayfish tail meat, stewed foie gras in a sauce supreme, girolle mushrooms in "vin jaune" and green asparagus. What an extraordinary presentation!! The swollen balloon-like bladder containing the hen is paraded around the room on a silver salver and then brought to table, placed on a cutting board, the bladder pricked and cut open to reveal the body of the hen, legs and all.

The dish was presented in two parts, the breast, as described above and later, the leg meat is returned as chicken soup, perhaps the richest and most intense chicken broth that I have ever tasted, made with leaks, foie gras, potatoes and lots and lots of Perigourd black truffles. The heady aroma was detected at the next table, eliciting "ahhh's"!! In the later winter months, I have had this same dish prepared with lots and lots of perigourd black truffles stuffed under the skin and sliced scattered over the meat.

Pre-dessert (above.....sorry for low light photo) was followed by a palate cleanser (really another wonderful dessert in it's presentation) and the dessert. The pre-dessert was an "orient flavoured" sorbet of lemon, orange flower, and vanilla flavoured almond milk presented with mango jelly and mango cubes. An incredibly flattering combination of flavours and aromas. 

The palate cleanser was pink grapefruit and Campari sorbet with almond flavoured meringue cake and hibiscus flower jelly.

Dessert was a fabulous presentation of "priceless" grand cru Nyangbo dark chocolate, liquid cocoa, thin tile-like chocolate wafer and gold gilded chocolate sorbet.

Finally, petit fours, etc: salted caramel macaroons and strawberry soup jelly topped with gold leaf, followed pistachio marshmallows and dark chocolate covered orange rind.

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