Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seabirdskitchen visits Georges Blanc

Madame and I have been on vacation in France. There'll be other posts, but the pride of place goes to our fantastic evening at Georges Blanc's restaurant in Vonnas.

In some ways, Chef Blanc is "phoning it in" - everything is not picture perfect and the wine service was shockingly bad. That didn't detract (much) from the experience - it dis remove a fairly hefty item from the bill, since we didn't get to order another bottle. With the fairly ordinary Chablis (if there is such a thing!) running at $150/bottle we knew we were in for a pricy evening.

When we arrived we were served the house signature summer cocktail - a cremant with fresh raspberry juice instead of cassis. Intense flavor, pretty color, a perfect start sitting outside near the small river. With the drinks there were appetizers - a little smoked salmon on a cracker perfumed with orange and ginger, and foie gras pressed to look like orange segments, again with some dried orange zest. Talk about a mouth explosion.

Inside and an amuse of langoustine on avocado puree (yeah, I am not doing it justice) for Madame and Fred. Some caviar and asparagus for me (crustacean allergy prevents the langouste).

We must have spent almost 30 minutes with the menu.

I had the fondant de blanc de poulard de Bresse marbre de foie gras... strips of foie gras with local Bresse chicken meat in a gelee between. Quite spectacular. Madame had the crab and oysters - the oyster brine was turned into a gelee and perfumed with some lavendar. The crab tower was wonderful. Fred had the minute de bar napee... Wow, a beatiful piece of fish on a rich vegetable reduction finished with olive oil.

For the plats Both Fred and Madame chose the signature poulet de Bresse. Geroges Blanc is known for this - and in Heston Blumenthal's book, "In search of perfection" there is a whole treatise on this. Madame had the leg portions, Fred, the brreast. The vegetables were perfection. I had the carre de veau with sweetbreads and again some of the same vegetables. Also divine.

We ordered the cheese tray - very impressive array of cheeses. A delicious Fourme D'Ambert, Lovely Morbier, a nice Livarot and a Brie (from Meaux) that was the perfect gooey consistency with a hint of that funk so important in a well kept Brie. Madame had an aged goat cheese (crottin) and some camembert. Fred kept his selection well hidden, so I don't know exactly what he had.

We did order dessert too, but first they brought a selection of petits fours, and a trio of little sweet things to try, followed by the real desserts. Fred's was the pick of the litter here. A poached pear stuffed with ice cream.... 

There I think that's the 8 courses! 


Leigh said...

Oooh!! Sounds amazing. :)

Claudia said...

I love sweetbreads. Great vacation