Best delirium Guide 2012
Le Guide Fooding’s 2016 Man of the Year
Crafted out of steel and glass by architect Patrick Bouchain in 2010, the late Roland Gauthier’s family inn is run by his son Alexandre, a youthful 39-year-old chef who takes haute gastronomy down a notch, nibbling at its calves! The joyful experience begins in the gardens while seated on a tree trunk, with a crisp white asparagus dipped into a mustard-corn cream and an oxalis leaf sprinkled with crunchy capers. Then head inside the bay-windowed Mad Max-like dining room, and let yourself get whisked away by the beautiful madness of the Côte d’Opale region via the nine-course menu (€95): raw mackerel, apple, peas and fish milt, sea bream frosting, “pebbles” of soy sauce in a sea urchin like presentation; a whole milk blini with tourteau crab, as gentle as a caress; charred asparagus seasoned with salty oyster notes and the pure freshness of spinach; an incredible roasted chicken meatball with fresh peas and parsley stems; cabbage that you open up to find an incredible purée of broccoli, turnips and hazelnuts; before a beautiful and tender braised lettuce heart with fermented wheat and buckwheat; then rhubarb with birch syrup and tangy garden burnet… Not to mention a network of chocolate threads placed atop an almond cream and dotted with a few drops of crystal vinegar for the explosive finale. To maintain the rhythm, the staff delicately buzz around, and the wines (500 labels) range from a sparkling Triple Zéro from La Taille aux Loups (€50 a bottle) to a Pourquoi Faire Sans Blanc from the Domaine Sérol in the Loire (€12 a glass) or a Fitou Cadette from the Domaine Les Milles Vignes (€15), and of course the ceremonial mead poured straight from a demijohn… Menus €95 (lunch), €110-145 (dinner), food and wine pairings €58-75, à la carte €111-155. // V.B.