L’Essentiel – Deauville – France
I've got gut ! That's Essentiel !
- Mi-Ra et Charles Thuillant
Visit that is just prior obtaining the Michelin star. But don’t be fooled, I have not changed a line!
After the exhaustive list of TripAdvisor, friends are my second selection of restaurants. You, dear reader, you also have my blog, and I thank you for following me!
Being the last stop of our stay in Deauville, normal that I take care of the selection. No great originality as L’Essentiel is one of the restaurants very known in Deauville.
Quick resume because the owners are already well known and I’m not there to rehash what is found elsewhere. Charles Thuillant, Mi-Ra Kim his Korean wife, meets at William Ledeuil, worked in other beautiful places separately.
And our couple moved to Deauville, place of holidays of Charles when he was young. But don’t believe some websites that do not update their information because the local no longer has the appearance “bistrot” described.
Classic decor with gray colors (alas), French-Cancan feather chandeliers and skeletal Christmas tree. This one will probably have disappeared at your visit. But overall a beautiful bright space thanks to a large glass roof and a bay window overlooking the large terrace.
Nice begin a little atypical since the calf is more rarely presented in Tartar. But the fashion invades the plates of the good tables. The alternative is to favor a beast of French quality, raised to milk, but which will have a rather weak taste which will have to be balanced by a vigorous seasoning; or take, like Thuillant, a calf of Galicia, almost as tender but more tasty.
This allows them to give free rein to their classic / exotic mix to enhance the plate, between sprouts of herbs, capers with tails and tasty liquids.
Same principle for prawns found in version Carabineros (or Moruno, Spanish nickname) with an accompaniment of passion juice and calamansi, Asian lemon with a tinge of taste of clementine.
It is a more classic lemon found with parsnip mousseline, to break its sweet taste. It accompanies the perfectly cooked scallops. You will notice in close-up the beautiful pearly texture. Only the soubressade is a little too discreet while the Romanesco cabbage and Pak Choi find perfectly their place in the plate.
As we are in winter, it will still be a seasonal vegetable, the Jerusalem artichoke, which will make the emulsion accompanying ravioli of duck and foie gras. This poor Jerusalem artichoke is unfortunate because, in addition to its reputation related to World War II in France (it was not part of the requisitioned vegetables), its different names have nothing to do with its true origins.
The most french common (topinambour) comes from the name of an Indian tribe and the second, artichoke of Jerusalem, is only a phonetic distortion of its Italian name, “girasole”. And it is of the same family as the sunflower! Astonishing no?
Dessert caramel miso and pineapple is also the culmination of a very nice balance of flavors.
Effective service while not stilted.
My conclusion ? House that definitely deserves a reward. But with, as always, a margin of progress. This will probably be done at the technical level of the preparations. Indeed, if the harmony of tastes, the work of cutting and presentation are there, it lacks a complexity in terms of cooking techniques, sauces that will be necessary to validate the next step.
And you have to put hot water in the washbasin of the toilet …
Post Michelin star conclusion? Go on a parallel tour at Bréard in Honfleur. You will understand why one has caught the attention of Michelin and not the other. If it has a touch of technicality more than Essentiel, Bréard lacks this taste harmony, this balance due to a bold alliance, present in Deauville.
Thanks to my friends who made me discover this table just before its public revelation.
P.S. : do not overwhelm our couple, they have just returned from well-deserved vacation in the country of the sweetheart. Let them land!
Of course, there is no machismo will in the absence of Mi-Ra Kim in the picture. But she was still working in the kitchen while her husband chatted with us on the terrace. We did not relax, it was 5 °!
Addition of 183 euros for 2.
Date of the visite: 2018 January
Maître-Restaurateur ,Michelin Stars ,N°1 TA ,Products of the sea ,Terrace ,West-France
Tel: 00 33 2 31 87 22 11
Addrese: 29 Rue Mirabeau, 14800 Deauville