Restaurant David Toutain
David Toutain, Le Fooding Guide’s 2015 Best gastronaut
In order to take on the role of Goliath, the talented David Toutain used raw concrete, wood, leather and metal to decorate the restaurant/atelier that bears his name. After spending time with the giants (Passard, Veyrat, Aduriz at Mugaritz), the chef tirelessly forges and texturizes his identity with meticulous creative strokes. The day we went for lunch, his €80 “Pensée” menu oscillated between elegant spontaneity and buttoned-up perfection: an amuse-bouche of steak tartare with hazelnuts and oxalis; a burst of the sea in the form of an oyster with raspberries and shallots; a reptilian boiled egg with a corn mousse and a caraway caramel; a tender circle of marinated salmon titillated by salted lemon and an earthy lovage cream; sublime poached cod with grilled lemon, barbecued green asparagus and a grapefruit-thyme espuma; roasted lamb chops with broad beans and crispy amaranth, wild garlic and a meaty jus; before a white tornado of cauliflower, coconut and white chocolate, and then a dessert of country strawberries, hibiscus, yuzu cream, parsley ice cream and a dehydrated sponge cake. To drink, chosen from a wine collection of 800 bottles: a Chénas, Quartz, from the Domaine Piron-Lameloise, or a Moroccan Syrah, Tandem, from Alain Graillot (€14 a glass), an Alsace Pinot gris from the Domaine Zind-Humbrecht (€55 a bottle) and a Terrasses-du-Larzac from the Domaine Saint-Sylvestre (€80). Menus €6-80 (lunch), €120-160. // M.J.-D.