Pierre Reboul, Aix-en-Provence
June 30, 2015
Pierre Reboul learned his culinary skills in well-known, traditional French kitchens: Michel Chabran; two years with Jacques Pic; Taillevent; Michel Rostang. In 2007 he opened his own restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, attracted by the modern, youthful dynamism of this university city which fit in with his vision of an original cuisine. Linda and I went for dinner on June 2, 2015.
The restaurant is in a narrow street north of the east end of the Cours Mirabeau.
On the right of the main entrance is the Bistro Petit Pierre, offering less expensive bistro cuisine.
We started with glasses of a regional white wine made with the rolle grape, but I did not record the name.
The hors d’œuvres (or En K for those who can work out French puns) were “beet cocaine,” which one sniffed through the blue straw; a ham sandwich (the concoction in the test tube tasted just like one;) a ball of melon sorbet with a bacon bit.
They were followed by an olive oil sphere, one of signature creations of Ferran Adrià at El Bulli.
It had the hoped for intense olive flavor. The wafer added some nice crunch to the oiliness.
The first course was
Grosses asperges vertes de Pertuis de M.Sauvecanne,
charbon de pain à l’encre de seiche, lard de Colonnata
et crémeux de petits pois
The sculpted asparagus spears were served on a pea cream sauce. Alongside was a trail of “olive oil caviar” granules. The “burnt loaf” was made of squid ink pastry and a well-known Italian cured and seasoned fatback.
rouille à Mémé et croustillant de panisse
Unlike the fish in most bouillabaisses, these pieces had crispy skin on top, making a nice textural contrast. The chick pea wafer on top was also crisp. The broth had a good bouillabaisse flavor, but did not need to be so spicy.
Agneau du Mont Ventoux,
raviole de riz de Camargue, parfum d’Orient
A cylinder of pink lamb filet and a braised triangle of lamb shoulder were served with seasoned rice in a transparent film raviolo. The sauce was a flavorful, very mild harissa. The effect was nicely North African.
Foie gras ultra frais landais poêlé, pomme-passion
This is an unusual spot to serve foie gras in a menu, but it makes sense in that it is fatty rich and has a semi-sweet garnish. The freshly seared foie gras was served with apple sticks on a passion fruit sauce.
The cheese course had two little “corks” of a mousse of Brillat-Savarin cheese with pink peppercorns on top of a Roquefort disk. On top was a mousse of salad. There was also a light pear meringue in the array.
Éponge hibiscus, fruits rouges et sorbet fromage blanc
This is the season for raspberries, strawberries and cherries. They were served with a hibiscus-flavored and colored sponge cake and a scoop of fromage blanc sorbet.
Bonbon cacao, poivre et tapioca de mangue,
sorbet banane et passion
A dark chocolate candy was served with a square of banana, a rectangle of banana sorbet, mango “tapioca” balls and a passion fruit sauce.
A mint-flavored meringue was made by squirting the egg-white mixture into a bowl of liquid nitrogen. This technique, aside from the special effects, quickly creates a meringue with a fine texture.
We really enjoyed ourselves. While the cuisine was experimental and sometimes high-tech, it did not stray far from traditional French cuisine, bringing out its essence. Well, there was one good course of Japanese inspiration. The ingredients were always top quality, usually seasonal and regional. The service was always excellent. The pace and ambiance were very good. Bravo.
11 Petite rue Saint-Jean