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Image 1: Over the years, I’d heard a lot about the Troisgros family. Since 1957, they have played a significant role in the history of French cuisine. Since I’d never yet experienced their style, I decided to put that right by visiting La Maison Troisgros, a 3-star restaurant in Roanne now run by Michel, who is the son of Pierre, one of the two brothers who established the name in the 50s and 60s. This is the entrance, with two staff on duty to welcome guests.
Image 2: Inside, the waiting area was pleasant with a long shelf full of cookbooks.
Image 3: I couldn’t fault the personal service, though – the chef even took time out to come and chat, then take us on a guided tour of his kitchen.
Image 4: We ordered the full tasting menu. As this restaurant is very well documented, I’ll keep my own comments brief.
Image 5: An Amuse Bouche - caramelised cherry tomato with sesame, and Watermelon and parmesan with mint semolina.
Image 6: An unusual Iced green pea soup to start. Under a thin disk of orange meringue was a chilled and creamy pea soup. Refreshing – perfect for summer.
Image 7: On a layer of rose jelly were two pieces of Mackerel with a touch of mustard and pickled onion. A well-judged balance of intense mackerel and oniony acidity.
Image 8: Thin slices of cod and asparagus, with capers. The design of the serveware was decidedly on the minimalist side. So far, all dishes had been cold.
Image 9: The highlight of the meal so far - warm Foie gras mousse, paired with mushroom and onion! It’s an odd-sounding combination, for sure, but it worked well. It was proof, if proof were needed, that onion is a truly a versatile ingredient. The mushroom gave texture to the dish.
Image 10: Poached fillet of sole with tomato. Bland. Boring. We were hoping the next dish would be more interesting!
Image 11: It was! In fact, it was outstanding - Crayfish. At first, I thought it might be too dry, but no – the pork fat did a great job. There was also a nice leek flavour to the sauce.
Image 12: Now a more traditional course - Pigeon with blackberry and shaved almond. Nicely cooked to be delicately pink inside, and accompanied by fruity-tasting sauce. It was odd, though. After all, every course so far had been very modern, so why suddenly get all traditional? A bit of a jar, frankly.
Image 13: Mashed potato on the side.
Image 14: The other choice of main was, again traditional, Salmon with cream sauce!
Image 15: It arrived with a colourful arrangement of vegetables on the side.
Image 16: The dessert took us back on the the path of trendiness - Strawberry ravioli dusted with pistachio and sprinkled with…
Image 17: ...strawberry juice. Fruit and pasta? Now that’s what I call a brave chef! A nice try, but it didn’t work for me at all!
Image 18: Coffee sandwich with raspberry. Another combo not quite in tune with my palate, I’m afraid.
(meaning pearl)- consisting of funnel cream meringue, almond, rhubarb and rhubarb jelly.
Image 20: This was interesting – the meal began with a green pea motif, and it ended in the same way, with Green pea and wild strawberry tart. Nice colour mix, but there’s been too many berries in the last few courses, for my taste.
Image 21: Final plate: a refreshing Celery sorbet with green apple, cantaloupe and mint raspberry. More berries. Sigh.
Image 22: Petits-fours. Freezing cold raspberry biscuits…
Image 23: …and a mix of shortbread and cookies.
Image 24: Well, it was certainly a very modern meal - lots of innovative and modern flavour combinations and fun textures. But many of these combinations didn’t work for me – just not my type of food. I very much enjoyed the foie gras mousse, though - by far the best course of the meal. In summary, then, it wasn’t a disaster, but it’s unlikely that I’ll be rushing back.