«Les Prés d’Eugénie» Michel Guérard 3
October 30, 2012
September 12, 2012, the morning after our arrival and excellent dinner at Les Prés d’Eugénie, we enjoyed a lavish breakfast in our room. There were fresh viennoiseries, homemade confitures, just-picked raspberries, fresh orange juice, yoghurt etc.
We skipped lunch that day.
In the evening we were seated in a corner of the big dining room with a view of people coming and going to the salon, kitchen, front hall etc. To the right there was also a beautiful view through the windows of the majestic trees and garden immediately in front of the building. We started with glasses of the excellent house Champagne.
For our second dinner we ordered the menu “L’École Buissonnière.” Our wine with it was a bottle of 1985 Château Figeac, which was superb and perfect for the meat course and cheese. (Andy Hayler reported in his rave review that Michel Guérard has two daughters, born in 1983 and 1986, and he laid down a wine cellar of top class Bordeaux wines for them. They asked if the wine could be donated to the restaurant customers at “convivial” prices.)
There were several good amuse-gueules served in and around the amusing duck foot dishes.
Linda’s first course was
La Jolie Friture ‘‘Minute’’ de Langoustines en Verveine
Feuilles d’Oseille Craquantes au Citrus Calamandin
Linda wrote: “The shrimp tempura-style were succulent. The sorrel leaves filled with a citrus that tasted like blood orange were beautifully crisp. You can see the verveine on the plate with an example of the citrus and crisp onion slices.”
My starter was
Le Foie Gras Cuit en Cocotte sur Fagot d’Aromates
Gelée de Pomerol aux Epices d’Orient
The foie gras had been smoked over aromatic twigs in a cast iron pot. A thick slice of it was then wrapped in a gel of red wine reduced with spices. The added flavors were superb with the top quality foie gras.
Our next course was
Le Crabe Vapeur au Beurre Frais
Risotto de Légumes aux Ecorces d’Agrumes
This is a relatively new creation of Michel Guérard. Steamed crab was served in a frothy broth flavored lightly with citrus zests with diced seasonal vegetables underneath. Enjoyable.
Linda’s main course was
Le Filet de Boeuf sur le Bois et sous les Feuilles
Jus de Viande, Jus de Raisin
Pommes Crémeuses et Pommes Soufflées
She wrote: “The excellent beef coated with herbs was presented with the leaves with which it was cooked, then sliced in the kitchen and returned with delicate soufléed potatoes and purée. You can see that the beef was beautifully presented. The shallots on the right were good, but hard on the wine.”
My main course was
La Fine Toastée de Pied de Cochon, Foie de Canard et Ecrevisses
Salade Boucanée à l’Anguille et Crème de Persil
Crisp pigs foot, duck foie gras and crayfish were diced and served together between two thin flatbreads. The combination was creative, delicious and rich. The frisée and smoked eel salad was a good offset as were the two dabs of parsley purée.
As our dessert we asked for the cheese trolley,
Les Fromages de Terroir que j’aime.
On the top level were three different Roquefort cheeses on plates with guillotine slicers.
Linda chose a slice of the most refined, along with a tomme de brebis, a hard sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées, and a cabriolet, a strongly flavored, soft goat cheese.
My selection was of three very good rustic cheeses, the names of which I cannot recall.
Once again, our meal was at the top level. It was not as ambitious as the big menu the evening before, but we could not have handled that much two nights in a row. The inn, the staff and all of the ambience were so comfortable that we already felt at home here, even though we had only arrived a little more than a day before. Bravo to Michel Guérard, who has established and maintained this enchanted place for the last forty years. Brava to his wife, Christine, who has been half of his team all this time. Our hopes for the future rest with their two daughters who are actively involved now.
To see our three meals chez Michel Guérard click here.