IMA (Rennes)

© Olivier Marie

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In his den with waxed concrete floors, a ceramic bar and Pols Potten furniture, chef Julien Lemarié (ex-Gordon Ramsay in London and Troisgros in Tokyo) casts a spell over gourmet dinners with his unfussy surf ’n’ turf cuisine. The day we went for lunch, we succumbed to the magic of his striking, Japanese-influenced, prix-fixe menu (€30): a stunning tuna and veal tartare with spicy sesame oil, redcurrants and a carrot espuma; tonic Albacore tuna marinated in a miso/chickpea sauce and then flash-seared, paired with romanesco broccoli, cauliflower and a sprinkling of nori – or skate with bok choy, patty pan squash, corn, amaranth and a spicy oil; before fresh figs served with a matcha/black sesame cream and Corsican citron peel preserved in white vinegar. It’s worth noting that the chef offers up a six- or eight-course tasting menu – eg.: a kabocha squash, crookneck pumpkin and sudachi appetizer; egg with a hay and nori infusion; John Dory with boldo herb and turnip; duck with smoked eggplant and ginger…. // S.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? Naturalist wines: a natural Franc-Comté melon from La Soeur Cadette (€6 a glass), an organic Côtes-de-Nuits-villages from the Domaine René Bouvier (€60 a bottle), an Arbois Pupillin from the Domaine La Pinte (€60).

PRICE: Menus €30 (weekday lunch), €75 (lunch, Wednesday and Thursday evenings) and €95 (dinner).

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