Skip navigation

This is part two of the food porn post of my birthday dinner at Anne-Sophie Pic at the Beau-Rivage Palace.  Read part one here.

We had rose champagne to start and a Petite Avrine white wine from Valais (a low production local specialty). The water glass was remarkably beautiful – a Baccarat.

Sue chose the Autumn menu which was a bit more expensive than mine. We tried two different amuse bouche while perusing the menu.

Sue’s commentary starts here:  Doesn’t this look like crème brûlée with burnt sugar crust?  Well, it isn’t.  It’s creamy foie gras underneath and the cream on top had a light citrus flavor.

Mediterranean anchovies, baby leek and caviar, iodized broth flavored with Matcha tea.  Looks like a flower, doesn’t it?  Plus, I found an extra ingredient:  fish scale.  Are you kidding me?  I thought this was fine dining !  Maybe I should just be thankful that I only found one fish scale (even assuming that it did come from the fresh anchovies).  I quietly put the scale away on my napkin.  I didn’t say anything to the staff.  I just said it quietly to Chris: “look what I found!”

Crayfish slowly roasted in crustacean butter, lightly smoked vegetables, consomme perfumed with Tonka bean. The colors on the plate, like the one above, are beautiful !

Line-caught bass with aquitaine caviar – as the menu stated, a dish loved by the chef’s father in 1971.  Apparently, a family classic.

Bresse poulard supreme, melting turnips and chutney of Medjoul dates with Voatsiperifery pepper, poultry juice.

For palate cleansing. The thing inside has a very delicate white shell.

The dessert was pineapple and lapsang souchong tea compote and double cream from Gruyere as a contemporary vacherin cake.

More sweets. The one on the left was really a big drop of sugary liquid held by a membrane.

Ok, you’ve seen the pictures of food above.  Here’s what I have to say about the whole experience.  The decor and ambiance was great.  The wait staff were even better.  Our table was in front of a huge window which would have had a view of the lake and mountain but it was in the evening so you see darkness.  But it’s all good, the hotel was decorated for Christmas and the lights inside and outside made the restaurant and our table very private and romantic.

As Chris said, we started with champagne.  Very nice start.  Right before eating, we were offered bread.  I chose olive bread.  Little did I know I chose wrong.  I didn’t start the bread until the meal started.  Then, as I said, I found the fish scale in the appetizer.  This is when the second Michelin star of this 2-star restaurant started to flicker.  THEN, I ate some of my olive bread with the appetizer and guess what?  I found an olive pit.  I bit down and nearly broke my tooth.  I asked if the bread was made on the premises.  I was going to tell them that if they were buying their baked goods from a bakery, they should go and find another.  However, they proudly told me that all breads are made on the premises.  Sigh.  Oh well, I tried to give them an out.  I showed them the olive pit.  A manager/supervisor came over to apologize and gave me her contact information in case I have to go visit a dentist.  I should have saved that fish scale.  No, I did not have to go to a dentist.  My tooth is fine.  I think.

After the two unexpected extras, my expectation of fine dining at this place dropped.  Really low.  All the food that came after was just ok.  They tasted fine but my enthusiasm and expectation of great food disappeared.  Would I ever go back to this place?  No, would you?   Would I recommend this place?  Yes, if you’re into spending this much money for lovely ambiance and great service.  All in all, I’d give this restaurant a big fat ZERO stars for food and two stars for service.

Back to Chris:  Should they have offered us a free dessert or after dinner drink as compensation ? Not that we needed it but at least it should be offered as a gesture of their acknowledging a mistake.  While the service as Sue mentioned was great, it was only pro forma.  The offering of a business card was an attempt to compensate for physical harm (if it occured) but what happens to the damage of a fine dinning experience which actually did occur ? The service thereafter was business as usual. The reality here is either poor management or arrogance, or both – the kitchen staff was negligent in their execution – no matter how imaginative are Ann-Marie Pic’s dishes – they were ruined by a careless corp of staff or possibly an unhygienic kitchen.  The restaurant was fully booked that night and the staff was arrogant enough not to worry about one customer whose expectation of a fine dining experience was clearly unmet. Michelin ought to revisit this restaurant and revise down its star rating.

Advertisements

One Comment

  1. Was this a missed birthday Sue? Happy birthdays, Christmas and new year. God bless you………xxxVal and fam.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: