Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit
January 20, 2008
14, rue Saint-Esprit
(closed Tuesday, Wednesday lunch)
04 93 34 50 12
(January 19, 2008) Christian Morisset left the two-star restaurant, Juana, in Juan-les-Pins and wound up buying Frédéric Ramos’s La Jarre which Ramos had left to take over the new Novotel in Monte-Carlo.
Morisset brought with him his number two from Juana, Christophe Gris, and they are assisted in the kitchen by Jordan Morisset as the menu states very clearly. Madam Morisset serves in front. With a fresh coat of paint, new tables and settings, and contemporary art on the walls, it looks more inviting than ever. The fig tree still grows inside the glass-roofed patio, crossed by some pretty large grape vines.
The menu is all new. We chose the L’Humeur de Saint-Esprit at 70€ rather than the Menu le Figuier at 49€ because the dishes were more appealing to us. We also added the wine pairings at 29€ each which were billed as a “blind tasting,” so we weren’t told until we had finished the glass what we were drinking.
The amuse bouche was a warm bit of rouget on top of small, diced ratatouille. The first course was Noix de coquille St. Jacques and foie gras frais with lentils, an usual pairing that we found worked beautifully.
The white wine was Domaine le Valetta, a very nice Côte de Provence.
After these we had cannelloni de supions et palourdes à l’encre de seiche. On the plate, it looked like sushi, with the very fine squid ink pasta wrapped into a tube around chopped fish, garnished with a delightful clam and a slice of cuttlefish. With this we drank a dry white, rich in minerals, Touraine Sauvignon.
Next, the filet de biche rôti. It was perfectly cooked and presented with a mousseline de céleri, a roasted pear and a brown poivrade sauce. The red wine was 2006 Madiran le Branche Lafont.
Our cheese course consisted of two slices of a hard cheese with a “black crust,” walnuts and a small salad with walnut oil dressing. The white wine with this was Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel, Domaine des Schistes.
The accompaning wine was a Jurançon.Everything was quite good, and the service was friendly and professional. It was fun to not know what wines we were drinking until after, but they didn’t make a guessing game of it the way they do at Astrance in Paris.