Pic, Valence 2

May 30, 2017

La Maison Pic was founded in 1889 by the great-grandmother of the present chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, the only woman to have three stars in the 2017 Michelin Guide for France. Her grandfather received his initial third star in 1934. After an absence of eight years, Linda and I went back to Pic on May 16, 2017.

We were seated at a table with a view out into the patio garden.

We started with glasses of Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Pic” Champagne. Hors d’œuvres arrived.

The sphere had a yuzu flavor. The cube was mushrooms, ginger and hazelnuts; it had a marshmallow texture.

Tartelettes with a beet filling.

 The wafers were three variations of beets.

There were three menus offered. We selected the mid-price Menu Harmonie.

With the help of the sommelier and sticking to the region, we ordered a bottle of 2014 Stephane Ogier Condrieu and a half bottle of 2014 Stéphane Montez “Cuvée de Papy” Saint Joseph.

Very nice and well matched with the cuisine.

Our bread basket arrived. (The dark bread is pain grain de café de l’Ethiopie.)

The menu started with
Carrots of different colors formed a pretty arrangement.

crème glacée à la livèche et la cardamome noire,
betterave en différente textures.

A large oyster from near La Rochelle on the west coast of France was dressed with an ice cream flavored with lovage and black cardamom. A beet gel was enhanced with colorful strips of beet marinated in sherry vinegar cut in various ways to form a pretty garnish. The lovage, oyster and beet flavors went very well together.

Scoulant au crémeux de chèvre de Banon légèrement fumé
consommé au cresson infusé au gingembre et à la bergamote

The pyramidal form of the raviolis formed from parsley-colored dough allows the filling to be somewhat liquid. In this case it is heated goat cheese. The sauce is a watercress consommé flavored with ginger and bergamot orange. This is certainly an unusual pasta course, but it is delicious.

marinée au miel de bruyère blanche,
dashi de langoustines, kororima, angélique
et zestes de yuzu en surmaturité.

The marinade of the langoustines, and its derivative sauce underneath, combine contrasting and complementary flavors of the exotic ingredients. Finally, they do not hide the flavor of the langoustines, but enhance it.

bouillon floral au safran, citron Kabosu et Amaretto.

The delicate, crispy-skin rouget filets were dressed with a subtle butter sauce with saffron, Kabosu citrus and Amaretto.

Linda’s meat course was
pomme de ris de veau de lait au poêlo
café Liberica et gruyère caramel,
asperges blanches à l’ail des ours et citron Meyer.

The sweetbread nugget had been poached in cheese and then roasted with a coffee coating. It was crisp on the outside and soft in texture inside. The white asparagus adds a light contrasting floral bitterness.

My meat course was
rôtie à la lie de saké, sauce crémée au shiso vert et à la verveine odorante
navets pluriels.

The chicken breast had been marinated in sake lees, which added aromatic flavors, before roasting. The slice of chicken thigh was braised and the skin of both parts was crisped on a teppanyaki. The cream sauce was flavored with shiso and lemon verbena. Bits from deglazing the teppanyaki with sake were dotted on it. Turnips in various small formats were the garnish.


Runny brie cheese was topped with a wafer and a dab of vanilla. We were also offered the cheese trolley, but were sufficiently full by this time.

The pre-dessert was a kumquat and ginger faux-egg.

Very good. 

Linda’s dessert was
crème légère à la vanille de Tahiti
fine gelée au jasmin, émulsion au poivre Voatsiperifery.

Inside the block of Tahitian vanilla cream was a crumbly, good feuilleté. Around were little mounds of milk foam flavored with an aromatic Madagascar pepper.

My dessert was
biscuit et meringue au Lapsang Souchong,
compotée et sorbet à la rhubarbe,
crème légère et coulis à la bergamote.

On the bottom is a smoked tea biscuit. Above that is a rhubarb compote and then diced rhubarb and bergamot orange and a sorbet of these two on top. A bergamot Chantilly and smoked tea meringues form the surround. The other ingredients nicely offset the fresh spring acidity of the rhubarb. 


The service, pace and ambiance were excellent.

We were given a bound stack of printed cards with one for each of the main dishes in our menu. In them the chef expounds on her thinking in composing each dish. I have used them for some of the descriptions above. They describe the relationships of various taste components. She writes at length why she has chosen so many exotic ingredients and why they are just right for the composition. I do not think that many of us can distinguish a particular pepper or citrus when they are included in a sauce, but the difference is undoubtedly there. I did not rave about each dish in my descriptions above, but they were all worthy of high praise. Mme Pic’s explantions of her conceptions gives us an idea why this is so. We really appreciate the work and attention she has put into her cuisine.

In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in the lounge downstairs.

We were delighted when the chef stopped by to chat a bit and pose for a photo.



To see our meal at Pic eight years before click here.

One Response to “Pic, Valence 2”

  1. My Linked’in friend Anna-Sophie creates paradise on earth!

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