Le Chapon Fin, Bordeaux
October 20, 2015
Le Chapon Fin was founded in 1825. Toulouse-Lautrec and Sarah Bernhardt were regulars. It was one of the first restaurants to be awarded three stars by Michelin (in 1933). Martine, Linda and I went for dinner on September 15, 2015.
We were seated in a corner table with a good view over the dining room with its grotto décor, installed in 1901. The Champagne cart arrived quickly; we chose glasses of the 2007 Delamotte Blanc de Blancs.
The amuse-gueule was Bellota ham wrapped around a girolle butter.
We chose the Menu Dégustation. With the help of the genial sommelier we ordered a bottle of 2014 Sainte-Marie, Vielles Vignes, Entre-Deux-Mers, white wine and a bottle of 2005 Château Chauvin, a Saint-Émilion property owned by the restaurant.
These two wines were very good despite their lack of prestige and their low prices.
The first course was
La superposition d’Aspic au Persil,
Choux Fleur Croquant à la crème et Caviar d’Aquitaine.
There were little bites of cauliflower under the cauliflower cream. They were a good combination with the local caviar and the pretty parsley gel.
Les Ormeaux de Plouguerneau, Beurre demi-sel au Kari Gosse, Courge Spaghetti et Laitue de la Mer
Small abalone from Brittany had been sautéed until golden. In the middle was sea lettuce, which had a scent of the sea. Underneath, there was a very good preparation of spaghetti squash. The mild, elegant flavors were a good combination evoking the sea. Excellent.
Le Pigeon de la ferme de la Font des Loges,
Fleurs de Courgettes Farcies aux Cêpes du Medoc.
The slices of roast pigeon meat had a good, almost gamy, flavor enhanced by the pigeon glaze. The skin was crisp, as it should be. Underneath was a small zucchini with its flower stuffed with diced local porcini mushrooms.
La Blonde d’Aquitaine,
Coeur de Laitue Poché en Croute de Pomme de Terre.
A rectangular piece of beef from the local cattle breed was crusted with crushed nuts. Alongside was a heart of lettuce poached in a mashed potato crust. It was topped with roast garlic cloves. The unusual combination and treatment of this dish worked very well.
Le Fromage élaboré par nos soins
Martine and I chose the inventive cheese dish. It was based on a crème de bleu de brebis des Pyréneés or mountain sheep’s milk cheese, unusual and creamy with only the necessary little bit of sharpness. Nice.
We enjoyed a very good time. The cuisine was creative without straying too far from traditional French techniques. It always kept our interest. All of the combinations worked. None were too complicated. The chef obviously has talent. He will need to show it as two celebrity chefs will be making a splash in Bordeaux. Gordon Ramsey is about to open nearby and Joël Robuchon has recently opened not far away.
The ambiance at Le Chapon Fin was good with the retro funky décor. The tables were well spaced, the noise level low, the service attentive, friendly and efficient.
I recommend Le Chapon Fin.