Le Fooding Guide’s Best Restaurant of 2007
Returning to dine at Le Chateaubriand is to accept the aging process. Twelve years after his initial ascent, what has become of Iñaki? Don’t worry, at 46 years old, the great beanpole is still more of an Iggy Pop than a Michel Drucker, even if his faubourgeois spot (a big zinc bar, old-fashioned tiling, dark woodwork with patina) has traded its tables of avant-garde Parisians for (authentic) bourgeois diners from here or elsewhere. Some fresh proof the night we went in June, after four incredible amuse-bouches (an amazing gougère, a rich shot of raspberry ceviche, a sea bean risotto and a chilled cucumber soup with fresh almonds) the €75 menu began on a Galician rock, facing the ocean: an uppercut punch via tuna mi-cuit with Atlantic herbs; tasty steamed turbot illuminated by rhubarb (jus and pieces of the fruit) and elderflowers; incredible lamb – fillet, panouche, kidney – and seasonal vegetables; before the sweet death blow of cherry ice cream with dried capers, then a famous and cult-favorite dessert of flame-charred egg yolk presented on a pedestal of almond paste. To drink, lovers of natural wine can drink to their hearts’ content: a white produced using pellicular maceration techniques by Konkret (€6 a glass), a Lot Malbec from Parlange et Illouz (€8), a white Bourgogne from Fred Cossard (€46 a bottle), or Akoibon, a Roussillon from Laurence Manya Krief (€50), etc. Menu €75. // V.V.