Charles-Barrier – Tours – France
Barriers to star
- Laurent Reversé
If the house undoubtedly seeks to win back a star, some details seem unacceptable to these claims.
We will start with the frame that, if it is old, no one can challenge it, still has a certain charm. But the halogen light on the terrace is an ecological and visual aberration. The spots crush the table, create monstrous shadows of glasses on the tables and plates, do not enhance those ones. The metal structures of the veranda could (should) be new designed. Without changing everything, without going to these modern decorations “fashionable” that are outdated after three to five years, it would change ceiling curtain, keep the beautiful chandeliers and balance the wall decorations.
Let’s have a seat?
Two flutes of Deutz rosé. I know perfectly well that it is a common heresy to drink champagne too cold, but here we were really on the high end of the thermometer! Closer to 12/15 degrees than desirable 8/12. Two flutes are re-served without barguigner. Thank you.
Small appetizers. The fried chicken is commonplace, a little fat taste, the slice of carrot that surrounds the avocado is twice too thick, the crustacean cream is sandy for one of the verrines, not both. Astonishing.
Excellent small appetizer in declination on the red beet cubes and mousse and accompanied by a quenelle of haddock.
The entry of potato crumble, crispy mussels and sea spaghetti is quite strange. The crumble is a little farinaceous. The mussels are in two versions, one in shell and some in donuts. We find a little taste of fat from the fried chicken of beginning of the meal. The cloud of matcha tea powder may seem like a good taste idea but the texture is very dry and unpleasant in the mouth. There is no physical connection with the other elements. The whole lack of power. A concentrated aroma of fish or shellfish, a spice would be more interesting.
The pumpkin ravioles are a nice job both physical and taste. The raviole is not made of dough but of pumpkin mousse that encloses chanterelles, chestnuts and sweet onions of the Cevennes. As seen in the photo, it is quite fragile and it is difficult to keep the layers intact. Perhaps a surplus of gelatin (vegetable) during the design would allow a perfect appearance.
The star dish is the boneless pork leg served with sweetbreads and truffles. We are on a real big pleasure scoundrel while being very well done on the meat product. It is a pity that the vegetables, well cut, are served lukewarm. The same for quenelle mashed potatoes.
The disaster comes from the beef’s cheek. Meat poorly dressed, not enough simmered, firm, even if with a good sauce. It’s bad in texture. Almost inedible. In addition, the presentation of vegetable foam spikes around the plate is quite strange. It is rather conventional to leave the edges empty. But the huge ambulatory leaves place for imagination. The problem is that the plate is fluted which makes small mounds difficult to eat and ultimately leaves a little elegant plate.
The cheese plate is well stocked with a nice variety. It is a pity to put a jam of black cherries on a slate itself black. So not great at the visual level.
For reasons of stewardship, the House abandoned the cheese cart. Understandable but incompatible with a certain standard.
Very good house raspberry ice cream. Great power in the mouth and perfect texture. Well served at -13 degrees which allows to be melting while remaining cold.
The dessert is epic …
Initially, I had to take the Signature dessert, a mousse of Sainte-Maure de Touraine (a cheese), with a Granny Smith coulis and a chocolate crumble. At the end of the dish, I am told that the mixture collapsed during the service. I try the soufflé lemon and combawa. But mounted too quickly to catch up, they arrive grained. So bad. Our room director acknowledged the problem and apologized.
But in the room, we had Mrs Natacha Polony and Mr Perico Légasse (two french celebrities) accompanied by a friend. And that these are kindly proposed the dessert Signature which was unavailable for me …
Pigheaded as I am I inform the director of the restaurant, which seems completely surprised. Run in the kitchen and return by graciously offering me the dessert. Very good idea because it really saves the meal. So we have a beautiful combination of goat cheese with the acidity of Granny Smith and the slight bitterness of a crumble of dark chocolate. The plate also has a very good texture in the mouth.
Excellent Côt Vieilles Vignes 2011, wine from Touraine de la Grange Tiphaine, Domaine de Coralie and Damien Delecheneau.
There are far too many errors of “little hands” in the kitchen to blame “bad luck”. If there are good basic ideas (except matcha tea) and good background work, the rest requires either a good tightening of bolts or a thorough overhaul by the apprentices and clerks of their cooking guide. This does not exculpate the chef to better check what go out of the kitchen.
Very good service, extremely competent, very responsive.
Charles Barrier was a table that I tested almost thirty years ago and this return leaves me unsatisfied. One feels an establishment in search of progress but which did not find its marks. Laurent Reversé undoubtedly has abilities but the few imperfections that dot the meal are crippling to a starry progression.
Moreover when there are only three tables that fill you up on a Thursday, November 1st, it is not a too hard job of Sisyphus to greet customers “not famous”. Do not see in my commentary any mark of jealousy. I have no claim to the notoriety or competence (fully deserved) of the above-mentioned personalities. Simply, a customer is a customer, whatever his name.
Dessert and service save the grade.
Bill of 227 euros for 2.
Date of the visite: 2019 January
Les Collectionneurs ,Loire-Sologne ,Terrasse ,Traditional
Tel: 00 33 2 47 54 20 39
Addrese: 101 Avenue de la Tranchée, 37100 Tours