Le Garde Champêtre
Watch out, changes in the kitchen! Robertson left to pursue new adventures. His second in command Jack Winfield (ex-Auberge de Chassignolles) has taken over in his stead. The spirit remains the same but the review below is in need of a fresh eye. We will be back as soon as possible!
Biggest crush of 2019
Far from taking a breather in the Champagne region, the delightful country chef Matthew Robertson (ex-Auberge de Chassignolles in Auvergne) has teamed up with Juan Sanchez (Semilla, Freddy’s) and the winemaker Cédric Bouchard. Together, they’re toiling away in the Aube, and tending to a garden that, when at its zenith, winds up on the plates once night falls. The scintillating décor done by the group’s fourth musketeer, photographer Petter Lippmann, transforms the high limestone walls of this small former freight yard into something magical. Think an oak wood bar, black granite tables and terrazzo floors… The night we went, the American chef stewed up an incredible menu for €32: blinis with raw cream and delicious salmon roe; an intensely flavorful chilled beetroot velouté with coriander and pepper; lamb saddle from the neighboring Clavisy farm that had us weak in the knees, which was sublimely cooked in the Duché fireplace, and served with spelt with lamb jus, sweet chilies and salsa verde; a mouse-grey Saint-Nectaire cheese; then a sinfully good blood peach tart with hazelnuts and a holy goat cheese ice cream. The wine collection follows the same wildly locavore principles as the cuisine: Muscadet from the Domaine La Pépière (€2.50 a glass); Cuvée des Jean champagne (100% Pinot noir) from the Domaine Josselin (€28 a bottle); or Les Varrons, a red Côtes-du-Jura from the Domaine Labet (€38). Menu €18 at lunch, €32 at dinner. // M.J.-D.