Sunday Afternoon at
La Maison Troisgros

July 8, 2007

Because our trip to Lyon and the Auvergne would take us near Roanne on July 8, we decided that the ideal way to celebrate our 40th anniversary would be a special Sunday dinner at Troisgros - a restaurant that more than one food writer has called "the best in the world" and that's had three Michelin stars continuously since 1968.

Troisgros clearly is a place that is all about the food. Located in an attractive but unremarkable modern building

across from the railroad station in an unremarkable city, it has little else to offer.  No spectacular views, quaint Old World charm or other things that you might expect in a restaurant of this caliber.  But as we found, it certainly delivers on the food.

Below is a summary of our afternoon adventure there. Sorry there aren't more pictures, but we ran into a problem with that: every dish looked so good that we tended just to start eating before remembering to photograph it!

Troisgros, RoanneTourists at Troisgros

The menu...
with descriptions of the dishes as best we remember them. Each course was small, but all were marked by exceptionally artistic presentation along with delicious and often unexpected flavor combinations.
Note that these weren't alternative choices; the meal included all these things.
 

Soup

Soupe glacée de petits pois a l’orange

A cold purée of sweet green peas, flavored with orange and topped with creme fraiche.

Appetizers

Petit maquereaux « tout rose »

Small silver-skinned pieces of fish fillet, with slices of pickled onion in a tart pink sauce.

 

Noix d’huîtres « Fine de claire » a la nage de Sancerre

Three of the best oysters we've ever eaten, poached in a Sancerre wine sauce, topped with minced shallot.

 

Bain-marie de foie gras laqué, de petites girolles
 Foie Gras & Chanterelles

Incredibly smooth purée of foie gras, topped with a sauce and tiny chanterelle mushrooms, each no bigger than a shirt button. 

Entrée

Fricassée de homard bleu aux épices douces, a l’ananas

Lobster meat and a claw, served in a sweet sauce with pineapple(!).

Main Course

Pigeonneau caramélisé aux amandes fraîches & aubergine
Pigeon with Almonds

Young pigeon roasted with almonds and garlic, and accompanied by very thin slices of vegetable - eggplant, carrot, squash. 

Cheese

Les fromages fermiers, frais & affinés
Cheese Board

An amazing array of about 40 cheeses, fresh and aged. You were encouraged to have as many as you felt you could eat.

Desserts

Mikimoto
'Mikimoto'

'Mikimoto' is a kind of pearl. These were golfball-sized meringue shells studded with almonds and filled with a sweet fennel-apple cream, garnished with rhubarb and a foamy sauce.

 

Tartelette de petit pois et fraises

Sweet peas again - this time garnishing a small tart of delicious wild strawberries, along with a subtle spiral of sauce.

 

Nages de cerises amère, basilic & sorbet mascarpone

Cherries with basil and mascarpone sherbet.

 

Fines bouches

Assorted cookies in exotic shapes, colors and flavors to accompany the cherries.

Wines

Pouilly-Fouissé « Les Cras » 2004, Burrier

Côte Rotie 2001, Bonnefond

We had a half-bottle each of these relatively modest but excellent wines. The list offered many other interesting (and extravagant) choices, including several from California.

Coffee

Café
Coffee

Even the coffee was very elegantly presented.

 

If we had any criticism, it would be that the service, while very correct and efficient, was a little wooden. And while the chef, Michel Troisgros (the restaurant's third generation in the Troisgros family, and a surprisingly small man despite his culinary stature), came by our table early in the meal, his visit seemed a bit perfunctory.

Best restaurant in the world? Well, maybe, but we'll reserve judgment on that until we've tried a few more, which we hope to be doing in the not-too-distant future. Certainly a contender, however.


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