Le Gabriel La Réserve (i) – Paris – France
Limestone, show and artichoke!
- Jérôme Banctel
Why this strange title about a restaurant? Because both chef Jérôme Banctel and director Marco Tognon make us a superb show of what modern French cuisine is but not losing its roots.
But let’s begin at the beginning. (Epanadiplose and pleonasm I must calm down!)
The appetizers are far from basic with a tart of foie gras and Shitake mashed potatoes, then a thin compote of onion and red pepper mousse and finally a yuzu meringue with crabmeat and Granny Smith apple. Some plum-flavored rice chips. Here we recognize the Korean influence where dry plum is commonly used.
The three pieces are really worked while being in a taste approach fairly neutral so as not to disturb the mouth at the beginning of the meal.
With the artichoke, Jerome Banctel reminds us of his native Brittany.
The flower (yes, this big green ball is a flower!) is cooked in limestone. This operation has no real taste effect but causes a molecular reaction that will prevent the artichoke heart from breaking up during cooking. It will maintain a beautiful appearance while being perfectly cooked.
After a tour in Gironde (since the artichoke is from Macau), we travel to Japan with Japanese cherry vinegar deglazing. Some artichoke chips and fresh coriander, artichoke puree, cherry vinegar gel. And back in France with an emulsion of barigoule, Provencal accompaniment.
This starer is powerful, toned. No misguidance in vaporous tastes. The taste balance is really perfect.
The student of Alain Senderens is perfectly recognizable with an absolutely fantastic food and wine pairing with La Goulée of Cos d’Estournel. With touches that can almost be described as salty.
We come back to much more appeasement with salmon marinated in yuzu, daikon, aubergine mousse. Even if the final pollen emulsion brings a disconcerting but understandable bitterness. It is true that I am very sensitive to bitter. The nasturtium leaves bring the peppery tip.
The piece of salmon is barely grasped unilaterally, without coloration of heat.
You can still see on the video below the iridescence of the flesh under the light. A hologram of salmon!
Then comes the ultra-classic piece, the veal chop. No particular work on the baking itself but a cut in the dining room by the director Marco Tognon who magnifies so much this calf which is not dead for nothing, with the superb carving trolley, unique piece made for the restaurant by the House Ercuis, with Cos’s elephant engraved on the cover.
But we would not be in a 2 star if it was not accompanied by a “simple” but subtle ravioli cress and watercress. A small veal stock will moisten the whole.
Obviously, I will raid on the bone… One more that the cooks will not have!
The only (small) disappointment will come from the wine served with the veal chop, a Pagodes de Cos 2012. Good but which did not have its coherence with the dish, contrary to the white one.
The dessert is symptomatic of the state of mind that I wish to give to this blog. Indeed, it is not because I do not like coffee that I have to refrain from objectively enjoying a dessert that contains it. My readers have different tastes from mine.
If I had to sum up the effect this dessert makes, it would be in the squeaking of the knife on the meringue. This plunges back into the (almost!) inimitable crunch of the Ovaltine bar of the snacks of our childhood.
And of course it’s excellent. There is very little bitterness in coffee that is weighted by plain ice cream and cherry syrup.
The other dessert is comparatively a little absent even if the multiplicity of vanilla seeds augur the fragrance of the islands. But I will not give up because it allowed me to leave the coffee so much hated!
To sum up, apart from the obvious taste interest of this table emeritus, the menu offers a nice balance between a very good technique and a simplicity of products. The artichoke is really the masterpiece with a strong but subtly muted taste.
No bill as I was invited.
Date of the visite: 2018 June
Exceptional setting ,Exceptional wines ,Michelin Stars ,Terrace
Tel: 00 33 1 58 36 60 50
Addrese: 42 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris