Les Gourmandises - 1er classe
It wasn’t a full house but the chef played a blinder at Les Gourmandises on Friday night. In terms of execution, presentation, taste, creativity and innovation, this was a masterclass, a feast for the eye as much as for the mouth. Exquisite.
CL is not really a Risotto person but her starter (Tomato and Basil Risotto, goat cheese beignet, olive oil and parmesan) captured and captivated her: “one of the best starters ever”. Tomato and Basil are a terrific combination and that came through here. Looked well and tasted really well.
I picked one of the specials: Prawns (shelled) in Filo Pastry with Mango Crème Fraiche and Mango jus. I’ve often had prawns in pastry before but this was in a class of its own. Five or six juicy prawns, all perfectly cooked, stood in the “pond” of gorgeous mango, one of my favourite exotic fruits. Used my hands all through the delicious demolition.
Monkfish Beignets with aubergine puree, tomato chutney and parsnip crisp was the main course that we both ordered. Served on a slate, it looked great. And rather substantial too as you can see from the picture, with three small bowls of beignets and puree and a dish of sautéed potatoes (each not much bigger than a marble) on the side.
Substantial or not, the slate was cleaned. Again, the fish was cooked to perfection and matched so well by the aubergine. By the way, those parsnip crisps weren't just for decoration! A lovely dish.
Now on to the dessert, where we took the sharing plate (sharing slate, really): Coconut panna cotta, Mango posset, chocolate gateau and chocolate crème brûlée. Perhaps a little too much chocolate for us at the end of a gorgeous meal but all perfectly done and very enjoyable indeed.
We picked from the €45.00 menu: three courses and also tea or coffee. We could have had two courses (without tea or coffee) for €38.50. There is an excellent wine list here, dominated by French producers. Just had one glass (7.00) of an un-oaked Beaujolais Chardonnay, Domaine des Nugues. Don’t think I’ve come across it before and it went very well indeed with my monkish.
Though I wouldn’t particularly like to be seated in the middle row, Les Gourmandises is generally quite a comfortable restaurant, with decent seating and well set tables. Service is pleasant, with a smile, and also with information freely volunteered to help you make a decision with your order.
Local suppliers include: Meat - John O'Flynn's & Sons, Marlboro Street
Fish - O’Connell’s, English Market
Shellfish de la Mer - Castletownbere, West Cork
Love Fish - Ballycotton, Co Cork
Springfield Organic Vegetables - Tipperary
Cheesemongers - Iago, English Market