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Last week, to spoil ourselves a little bit, Sue booked us a table at Anne-Sophie Pic at the Beau-Rivage Palace for dinner.  The restaurant (ASP|BRP) which earned two Michelin stars in 2009, is named after the chef who was voted by the Michelin guide as the chef of the year in 2007.  She “imagined” the menu but it was executed by someone else. She runs her 3-starred family restaurant – La Maison Pic – near Lyon in France and hailed from a family of accomplished chefs (her grandfather earned 3* in 1934 and 3* by her father in 1973). There is quite a story behind her rise to be the only woman 3* chef (see Wikipedia).

Amuse bouche before choosing a menu: yellow blob on left is intensely cheesey, the middle is a savory macaron, the brown blob on the right is made with foie gras and possibly some dark chocolate.

I chose her Emotion tasting menu and opted to have both the scallops and beetroot dishes.  The taste is very inventive and the seafood flavors are very subtle. We were each given a printed menu to keep, hence the detailed descriptions below.

I started with Purple sea urchins, sea urchin cream and tongues in thin sorrel jelly, runny egg yolk with Cubebe pepper.  It looked great and the combination of flavors is unique except I would like to have a bit more saltiness from the sea urchin.

Beetroot varieties, blue mountain coffee acidulated with barberry.  The colors are great but the piping looked a bit messy – tasted well.  Concept well conceived but imperfectly executed.

Scallops from Normandy cooked in slightly bitter liquorice, smoked (?) eel foam, mixed salad. Yes, the flavors worked well – scallops hidden behind ugly leaf.

Venison saddle smoked with juniper, wild cabbage and fresh mint, strong gravy. Never had venison so tender before.

The selection of cheeses was phenomenal, including marmalade, caramel, walnut.

Sue had her selection of cheeses and I had different ones. Unanimously, the best was the Bleu de Bonneval – on the far right – it’s from the nearby Savoie region, I am going to get a chunk to go with some reds.

My dessert was Quince and “Grand cru bora bora” vanilla from Taihiti (creamy and acidulous yoghurt flavoured with vanilla and quince marmalade chantilly powdered with Tahiti vanilla). It looked rather unusual but it was tasty.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Sue chose a different menu and had a different experience, read the next post to find out. For the occasion, I got a cake too – we did not eat it there but brought it home.

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