Château La Coste
Owner Patrick McKillen decided to give himself an XXLuxury treat to bring to life the countryside where the Château La Coste’s grapevines grow: he gathered together all of his idols (Jean Nouvel, Franck Gehry, Ai Weiwei, Louse Bourgeois) to create a passionate estate of the first order – without neglecting the cuisine! Two years after Gérald Passedat (still at Le Louison), now it’s Francis Mallmann’s turn to come pamper guests (for a pretty penny). So, the Argentine druid camped out all the gear a pitmaster needs (an immense dome-shaped oven and a plancha grill) in the gardens of the Château, where he delights crowds year round in a rustic-chic space with an air of a South American farmhouse about it – black and white checkerboard tile floors, heavy black tables, Astier de Villatte plates. At the table, it’s the fire of God! After a perfect “amuse bouche” cocktail (gin, lemon juice, olive oil and herbes de Provence, €15), make way for gigantic prawns carabineros a la parrilla (€33), with pico de gallo and charred limes, smoked lamb with flame-charred eggplant and peppers (€43) or charred pineapple with a crumble topping and passion fruit ice cream (€17). To drink, there are the vintages from the estate (Pentes Douces, a white for €7.50 a glass, or Grand Vin, a red for €9.50) and elsewhere – a Condrieu from Yves Cuilleron at €80 a bottle, a Savoie from the Domaine Belluard for €60 or an Andillian from Argentina for €40. À la carte €69-106. There’s also lighter (and less expensive!) fare in the summer café located in the courtyard: salads, tarts, soups, cheeses, etc. (à la carte €78-138). // J.G.