Thanks to friends of mine, I was able to construct a sensational meal at Ledoyen. I decided not to have the turbot, but knew that the langoustines, sea urchin and sweetbreads were absolute musts.
My notes are not great and really do a disservice to this excellent meal. I blame it on jet lag. We again constructed our own tasting menu of shared plates – one for two.
1. Some sort of fish lollipop—it looked exactly like a lollipop with the stick in a square glass holder. Good.
2. A beetroot macaroon filled with liquid smoked eel… also good
3. Mozzarella cheese formed to look like an egg.
Captain Frederick and server Patrick were very nice with pretty good English and an attitude that took great pleasure in our love of cuisine and appreciation for what they were doing.
Potato soufflé gnocchi served cold. There is no way to describe how good this was. The Gnocchi were as light as air. The dish was served with olive oil, basil and tomatoes. In December, Patrick told us, the chef served them with white truffles. Patrick also said they only got good white truffles for 3 weeks. We told him that we got good white truffles for 0 weeks in the USA.
Saveurs “terre et riviere” land and river—Pressed eel. When they listed it on the menu as Pressed Eel no one ordered it. When they changed the name, it became a big seller. You can tell that Patrick was doing a good job adding local color to our meal.
On the left side—beetroot gelee covered the pressed eel and on the right side eel tartare with a small line of crème fraiche. We enjoyed the beetroot version more than the straight tartare. The beet root cut the saltiness of the eel.
Grosses langoustines Bretonnes, croustillantes, emulsion d’agrumes a l’ huile d’olive—Brittany langoustines, one fried in a light batter [looked almost like a baseball and the other cooked a la plancha with an emulsion of citrus and olive oil. Excellent!
Oursins de roche au gout, iode/vegetal—sea urchin served in the shell, one cold the other hot. The cold preparation was a sea urchin mousse on top of an avocado puree. The hot preparation included tongues of the urchin with an urchin sabayon and some urchin foam. Absolutely wonderful!!
Feuillete brioche de truffes noires en gros morceaux. Encased in brioche “flaky pastry” were huge pieces of black truffles. This was seriously dangerous dining—exquisite. I was so taken with this dish I totally forgot to write down the sauce—but it was fabulous!!
Ris de veau en brochette de bois de citronelle, jus d’herbes—a beautiful piece of sweetbread served en brochette, sitting on batons of salsify with a sauce of herbs and citronelle. Another absolute winner.
1996 Champagne Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne—never had this one before…very nice, should be for 31 Euro [1.6x remember] per glass
2004 Saint-Joseph Blanc”Les Olivers” Domaine Gonon—excellent choice by the sommelier. Perfect with the early dishes…straight forward Rhone flavors, big enough to match up well.
2005 Savigny-les-Beaune “Serpentieres” Domaine Boisset—excellent, full bodied, bright and very flavorful some raspberry flavor and a nice long finish.
At this point we were really appreciating the quality and “personality” of Michelin 3 Star restaurants. There really is nothing to compare these restaurants with. They have a very small number of seats. The staff are all career people with long and deep knowledge.
At both Guy Savoy and Ledoyen there was a clear demonstration of appreciation for the sophisticated diner who wants to see what the restaurant does and why it does it. As already mentioned, Frederick and Patrick went out of their way to orchestrate a superb meal doing the 1 for 2 dishes to keep us from being overwhelmed by quantity and give us the pleasure of quality.