Le Jarrier

January 24, 2006

 30, passage de la Bourgade, Biot;   04 93 65 11 68 Mark this name—Stephane Broda. We will be hearing a lot more from him. He is the chef part of the new triumvirate at Le Jarrier.  At the end of last year, he and a colleague left Lou Cigalon d’Alain Parodi, in what seems a friendly parting,  and were joined by Pascal Pigasse, the pastry chef from the Belles Rives in Juan. They started by giving a fresh look to the dining room, polished parquet floors, reddish walls and chair covers, soft lighting and local art. Then Broda took on the menu.  One detects a nod to Ferran Adria, with a deft touch with fruits and vegetables in sauces, garnishes and dressings that is Broda’s alone.   

There is a menu Gourmet at €59 and a smaller one at €39, 30, if you chose only two courses and dessert.  We chose the Menu Gourmet and started with what he called a tourteau, a cocktail of crab mean with a citrus foam, served in a glass. It comes at you like a large snowball, but it is so light – thanks to Adria? – it melts in your month and, poof, it is gone. Lobster stuffed ravioli followed, sauced with a pumpkin puree with crystallized ginger. Wow! The fried rouget, garnished with a small mound of avocados dressed with a grapefruit flavored sauce were cooked perfectly.  Then the roasted roe-deer, served with roasted pears and a very small filo cone filled with dried fruit and sautéed vegetables.  Perfect. Cheese course was a Vacherin Mont d’Or, drizzled with oil and possibly dried fruit (or mushroom?). Then the dessert, “chocolate trilogie:” tart, sherbet and a light mousse. The wine list is small, and fairly young, leading us to hypothesize that none came with the restaurant when they bought it. It was probably left to the third member of the triumvirate, Fabien Ageloux, who also runs the dining room, to make one from scratch. Only a half dozen “local’ wines are offered, but with a nice range of quality and price. We enjoyed a 2002 Puligny Montrachet, Domaine Matrot, and a very nice 2000 Bandol, Chateau St. Anne from their Cuvee Collection. 

The tables were generously spaced and the music was soft jazz. The service was professional but not rushed and the whole experience was so delightful that we want to return soon before the rest of the world hears about it and the stars start accumulating. 

NOTE:  The good news is that the menu changes every 15 days.  The bad news is that you are not entirely assured of dining on the same great dishes we enjoyed. 

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