L'essaim des saints du locavorisme

Restaurant Ruche (Gambais)

© Rosa Poulsard

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In her big Gambais vegetable patch, the California queen Cybèle Idelot (La Table de Cybèle in Boulogne) takes a true locavore approach to cooking by growing all her own food! At Ruche (which means beehive in French), the chef raises a small colony of joyful, all female chefs, with help from her Champagne-born husband in the dining room (decked out with pistachio colored walls, nature-inspired chandeliers and a marble fireplace). All these fine people are hard at work nourishing both guests at their B&B located above the restaurant, and the restaurant’s normal customers. The night we went, after a nap in the garden, we explored the polished, although somewhat scant menu: a flan augmented like a piece of Pointillism with tomato water, black Krim tomatoes, a miso vinaigrette and cubed cucumber (reveal yourself, Pissarro!); a lovely flame-charred mackerel fillet with a homemade green onion yogurt sauce, marinated beets and onions, blackberries, a savory granola and borage blossoms; a slender pollack fillet prepared ikejime-style and swimming in a buttermilk espuma, paired with haricots verts and mung beans; a rare rumpsteak served with smoked potato mousseline, slices of leek and a carrot mirepoix; before an ethereal pavlova with a peach and pistachio compote. // Rosa Poulsard 

FEELING THIRSTY? Organic and natural options: an Anjou Chenin from Nicolas Reau (€55 a bottle), a 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne from Bourgeois-Diaz (€95), a Côte-Rôtie from Jean-Michel Stéphan (€133)…

PRICE: Prix-fixe menus €49 (3 courses, lunch) and €75 (5 courses, dinner). 

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