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Okay, I admit it, we pushed the boat out a bit with this one!
'La Maison Troisgros' – One of the best restaurants we have ever been to! (and we've been to a few top ones in our time!)
This establishment is probably the most important claim to fame by this entire region of 'Le Roannais', and certainly by the actual township of Roanne itself.
Over 40 years of exceptional Michelin-starred cooking, quality of service, and presentation.
Lucy and I discovered this superb restaurant over 10 years ago now.
We ate there for lunch a couple of times in the last eight years or so, and have visited it only on very rare occasions since, usually for evening 'aperitifs' before eating at 'Le Central', it's baby brother of a restaurant next door (also part of the 'Troisgros' empire).
We went again this time for a very special treat! And what a treat it was! Outstanding!
La Maison Troisgros looks the part, even before you pass through its front doors.
The road island outside announces its presence by virtue of the celebratory sculpture at its centre, dedicated to the Troisgro's marvellous cuisine, and made entirely of oversized metal forks!
For three generations the Troisgros family name has carved out its own very special place in the history of French gastronomy.
Founded in 1930 by Jean-Baptiste and Marie, it is now their two sons, Jean and Pierre, and Michel and Marie who have now, today, taken on the mantle and the continuation of such an incredible and successful family tradition.
In 1998, Troisgros celebrated its 30 consecutive years with three Michelin stars, the most prestigious rating in France.
They have not dropped any of their 3 star rating since they were awarded them in 1968, so, basically, they have had this incredible accolade to the finest cuisine, service, and establishment presentation for 40 years!!
The place oozes quality, comfort, style, and, of course, expense!
We arrived, starry-eyed, at 8.00pm exactly, dropped off in chauffered-limousined style by our friend, Jean-Francois.
Yes, once again, Adeline and JF were boy-sitting our son Ellis for the night.
We didn't feel guilty!
We anticipated the forthcoming pleasures eagerly!
The welcome at reception was perfect, and the maitre-d'hotel showed us gently to a small table in the salon-bar.
We were served delightful pre-dinner aperitifs along with chilled dry white wine.
Already relaxed and enjoying the expensive atmosphere of the place, we ordered.
And, of course, we did not hesitate – we went straight for the special tasting menu aptly named: 'Impresssions d'Eté' (Impressions of Summer), consisting of about 12 different mini courses).
We thought, well, we're here now, might as well check out Michel's full range!
Jaune mais au citron vert
Couteaux aux câpres croquantes
Lait caillé aux mousserons de la cueillette et à la truffe
Bain-marie de foie gras, à la figue & noisettes fraîches
Cabillaud poché à l'eau de tomate & à la verveine
Queues d'ecrivisses voilées d'un lard de Parme, à l'olive violette
Canette de Challans en dolce-forte, aux pomme & pamplemousse
Les fromages fermiers, frais & affinés
Mikimoto à la crème persillée
Tartlette de mirabelles & café
Blanc-manger à la menthe, pêche blanche
And, it goes without saying, the food was almost indescribable – lets just say ' C'est Magnifique! '
We also didn't over drink, which is very easy to do (particularly for me!).
When the sommelier came over to our table we ordered a couple of glasses of white wine to start (Chassagne Montrachet 2005), then followed by a bottle of red (Cote Rotie 1999 Burgaud) which lasted right through the meal.
At the end of our meal I also avoided any 'Eau de Vie' this time!
The whole experience was magical from beginning to end!
The originality and mix of subtle flavours was incredible, and Lucy and I were simply stunned by the exquisite dishes which were so sensitively and artistically created, and also served with such panache and minimum of intrusion by the waiters.
The total environment, decor, and lighting, the whole atmosphere of the place, was wondrous! There are hardly enough appropriate adjectives to give substance to the description and sensation of being part of this fascinating restaurant, even just for a short time.
Our evening's enjoyment, however, lasted almost 4 hours!!
A remarkable experience which we will never forget.
Lucy fell in love again (with Michel, who came round for a short chat), and one or two of the waiters who served us impeccably throughout the evenings, degustation.
We both went for a wander.
The whole décor was superb. Very contemporary, carefully lit, and stylishly furnished.( Marie- Pierre does a very good job on the interior design!)
Even the toilets were good enough to eat in!!
Lucy found the gardens in a courtyard at the back, and beckoned me to visit.
Just beautifully laid out, and romantically lit for the evening.
We were quite sad when it was time to depart, but we were also happy to have had such a fantastic time.
We'll be going back. (After we've saved up over the next year or so!)
Yes, it isn't a cheap do!
But, you generally get what you pay for in this world, and for the all-round quality at La Maison Troisgros its 'bloody' worth it !!
So, our advice is – just GO !!!!
La Maison Troisgros
Place Jean Troisgros
Telephone: 0033 (0) 477 71 66 97