restaurant

La Marine

La Marine (Noirmoutier-en-l'Île)

©Gregory Voivenel

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In his rather chilly maritime lair docked along the Port de l’Herbaudière, Alexandre Couillon proudly sports the colors of Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile: locally grown herbs, fish caught by friends, vegetables from the kitchen garden… The night we went, the chef took us out to sea with a fabulous Odyssean nine-course menu (€190), placed atop the white tablecloths by his wife Céline’s crew: a garden tomato tartlet, a mackerel and coffee truffle, a watermelon/oyster cream combo and a shot of tomato-marigold water with grapes marinated in verjus, all tickled by a subtle lovage yogurt; the emblematic Erika Oyster dish – a plump oyster enveloped in a squid ink sauce and seasoned with powdered lardo di Colonnata; a delightful BBQed mackerel with a honey glaze, paired with long turnip spaghetti; pieces of lobster cooked over a wood fire with a stunning shellfish jus infused with meadowsweet – as a bonus, wipe the plate clean with the excellent homemade natural sourdough bread; a superb take on zucchini (grilled, tempura…), with salted blackcurrants and other treasures from the garden – sorrel, mustard greens, arugula; a trio of fish from independent fishermen (scorpionfish, John Dory, red mullet), all perfectly cooked and served with slow-roasted eggplant and a translucent jus; line-caught pollack fillet in a rich pine vinegar infused butter, with puréed carrots and a black garlic condiment; before whole strawberries and cherry tomatoes brightened up by some delicious rose ice cream, then a divine carrot mousse intensified by melon sorbet, roasted apricot and a bay leaf infused oil. // G.LeP.

FEELING THIRSTY? A plethoric selection of wines, put together by the talented Emmanuel Coeur, with a focus on Loire winemakers: a Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine from Vincent Caillé (€12 a glass), a Savennières from the Domaine Pithon-Paillé (€48 a bottle), Pierre Précieuse, a Loire white from Alexandre Bain (€53), a Vendée red from Thierry Michon (€84).

PRICE: Chef’s menus €130 and €190.

Le Fooding’s 2022 Guide is fresh out of the oven!

What’s on the menu this year? A brand-new selection of 200 restaurants, bars and bedrooms across France, articles sprinkled throughout the magazine, the taste of the times distilled down to its purest form in our highly anticipated award’s list and, for the very first time, two new guides to the country’s best stand-out shops and spirited cellars!

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