The amuse-gueule was a mousseline of sweet red
piment d’espelette on top of diced vegetables in
a vegetable gelée.
This was very good, refreshing with cool flavors and
textures being sparked up just enough by the hotter
espellete red pepper.
The first course on the menu was
Asperges vertes de Pertuis
en fin velouté, sabayon léger,
glace à l’essence de truffe noire
At the bottom were fresh, firm, flavorful asparagus
pieces in a light cream sauce. This was topped by a
sabayon, a warm whipped light custard with its
flavor enhanced by truffle jus. On top was a scoop
of black truffle ice cream. This dish was a mix of
complementary elegant flavors with a temperature
contrast that added an unusual point of interest
without distracting. Bravo.
Foie gras de canard
cuit en papillote, huîtres fumées,
bouillon de canard au thé vert
This dish was presented in a cellophane wrapping. We
were asked to appreciate the aroma as it was cut
open in front of us: nice, mostly tea. The contents
were then put into a plate for us. The technique of
adding smoked fish to foie gras as an indirect way
of getting the smoky flavor to the foie gras is not
new, but it is more often done with eel. The oysters
worked well and were more assertive. The duck broth
with green tea reinforced the other flavors.
Filets de sole
farcis champignons et épinards,
cuits au jus de moules, sucs d’écrevisses
The filet of sole was wrapped around a filling
of mushrooms and spinach cooked in mussel juice. The
sauce was on a crayfish reduction. This course was
good, but wasn’t at the extraordinary level of the
Ris de veau
braisé au fenouil sec, carottes au
pain d’épices et citron, jus de cuisson
The big lobe of sweetbread had a stick of lemongrass
through it, which adds a gentle flavor, but is not
unique to Le Bristol. The carrots and
fennel quarters had been individually spiced, but
everything had the same texture and the flavors
Les fromages affinés de saison
The cheese tray was the right size to offer enough
variety without excess which would make it hard to
have them all in good serving condition. Note the
two big blocks of
Salers, which seem to be very trendy now. My
Coulommiers, a dry goat cheese and a preserved
apricot. Everything was in perfect condition.
A predessert of coconut sorbet on a tropical fruit
pochée à l’hibiscus, fromage blanc
allégé, sorbet fraise
Rhubarb and strawberries are a classic combination,
but the hibiscus added an exotic note.
La noix du Brésil
caramélisée, feuilletine praline,
légère mousse de lait, crème glacée Jivara
Jivara is a milk chocolate, which is unusual in
upscale desserts, but it lends itself to ice cream.
Chocolate macaroons and dark tea bubbles.
The service was excellent and the pace just right.
We were surprised that six of the nineteen tables
were empty. The meal lived up to its three-star
rating and price. It did not have the panache of
Pierre Gagnaire, but had some imaginative touches to
liven up the basically classic French foundation of
the cuisine. We are happy we went.