I have no idea why I picked this restaurant – no Michelin stars, but 3 forks Michelin.
It turns out that the chef, co-owner, Pierre Boussereau and the manager/co-owner, Olivier Laplaine are passionate about seasonal ingredients and organic gardening. In fact they will be one of only 14 restaurants featured in a new book that Chef Passard is writing on those chefs in France with extensive gardens.
Le Jardin Gourmand is situated in a small house in Auxerre. Conveniently, the restaurant is on the first floor and Pierre and Olivier live on the second floor. This gives new meaning to the phrase “walking to work”.
1. spicy tomato soup with a special oregano that the chef found in Cyprus
2. pea mousse with Bavarian cream, a slice of radish, a pea and a carrot slice.
3. pigeon pate with beetroot gelee
4. scallop mousse
A lovely start.
John—risotto with “cooked” sliced apple and grilled squid, cockles and a sauce of squid ink. This was not a standard risotto. The rice was served in a small mound. The squid—full bodies and tentacles were on the left surrounded with the cockles and squid ink sauce. This was an unusual take on risotto. John said, “delicious”.
me—foie gras millefeuille with a grilled large gamba and a salad of lettuce, herbs, edible flowers from the garden The foie gras were slices of cold foie gras pate interspersed with thin slices of celeriac with a touch of saffron. The quality of the ingredients was perfection – absolutely highlighting the garden.
John—blanquette de veau with mushrooms—a very traditional preparation of stewed veal with a white roux sauce and small whole mushrooms. John’s verdict— classical preparation, well-executed.
me —farm leg filet of lamb from the Morvan with eggplant jus emulsion, pistachio oil, pumpkin tempura, and a touch of curry spice. The tempura seemed to be more of a fritter batter. The lamb was excellent. I was instructed to definitely eat the fat.
We finished up with mignardises.
2000 Volnay La Farge—young, strawberry, truffle, drank very well.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience and what a find. Olivier was charming and certainly made this a wonderful lunch.