Les Terraillers, Biot
October 11, 2016
We used to go often to Biot to admire and shop for its pottery and glass. But we had not been there for a while until Daniel and Nicole invited us for dinner on September 17, 2016.
Les Terraillers is a well-established restaurant on the hill leading between the glassworks area below the town and the old hilltop center. Its name refers to the clay once used by the potters. It has had a Michelin star for many years.
Shortly after we were seated, the Champagne cart was wheeled up to our table, a very civilized custom.
Linda and I chose the Moët et Chandon Brut, Nicole a Bellini and Daniel the rosé
Three plates of hors d’œuvres arrived.
Tartelettes of diced cucumber and mint; little fried sandwiches.
White truffle financières.
The bread basket was passed. We chose the Menu Découverte and ordered our wine. The white was Domaine de la Courtade from the nearby Ile de Porquerolles. It seemed particularly good and appropriate. The red was 2011 Domaine du Gros Noré from Bandol. It was an assertive wine, perhaps too much so.
The Amuse Bouche de Saison was a glass with a purée of cèpes and mascarpone topped with a brioche toast strip topped with a mascarpone roll.
Les Langoustines Royales (en chaud et froid)
rôtie sur dés de pastèques, olives noirs de pays et pignons,
tartare, coriandre et citron.
The warm langoustine was top quality. It was on top of diced watermelon mixed with black olives and pine nuts, a combination that worked well. Its head on ice contained a cold, raw langoustine tartare.
en pavé grillé, parfumé au gyokuro (thé de lumière)
sur sa crème de cresson, jus de tête au thé vert
A piece of damselfish was served under two wafers flavored with shade-grown green tea. Underneath was a cream sauce with fish stock, watercress purée and green tea. More watercress was alongside. Damselfish are a very small, common Mediterranean fish that feed on algae and plankton and so have a mild flavor. This treatment was appropriately subtle.
Le Filet de Bœuf (Angus)
en pavé épais rôti aux cèpes grillés sur purée de cèpes,
faux millefeuille aux copeaux de cèpes,
cecina de bœuf et Parmesan. Jus de bœuf réduit.
Gros raviole de cèpe au bouillon de bœuf (servi à part).
A thick filet mignon of good beef had been seared and cut in half. It was topped with a purée of grilled cèpes. Alongside were whole grilled cèpes and a picturesque thin dried cèpe slice. Alongside was a faux millefeuille of thinly sliced cépes, dried beef and parmesan. There was a large cèpe-filled raviolo in a bowl with a thin beef bouillon. This was fun and the ingredients high quality, adding interest to what could have been simply an excellent small steak.
notre sélection de fromages affinés par Mr Perrin à Nice.
I will never understand why restaurants have such extensive cheese offerings. They can be hard to keep in good condition, although that did not seem to be a problem here. But the curatorial function is missing. There is no suggestion that a particular cheese is really good this evening. Anyway, we struggled to make our selections. I have shown Linda’s and mine, with the slice of raisin-walnut bread.
les fraises en cristal de sucre,
Espuma au fromage blanc, glace marbrée à la fraise
A sugar crystal cylinder was filled with a soft cheese foam. It was garnished with rasperries, a strawberry sauce and strawberry ice cream. It was nice and fortunately not as sweet as it looks
The tisane cart was wheeled up to the table for those who would want herbal tea, rather than coffee to finish.
We were given a little box with a cake for our breakfast.
On the way out we passed through the patio where one foursome was enjoying the still warm evening air.
We could also look back into the dining room through an open window.
This was the view from my seat before the restaurant filled up.
Although a stone-lined room might be expected to have poor acoustics, we were not at all bothered by noise during our meal. It was a good illustration of how much calmer French voices are than American conversation.
The meal was very good, certainly worth the Michelin star. It successfully mixed traditional French cuisine with modern and foreign influences. Thank you, Daniel and Nicole.