April 2nd. Today is THE day.
The day awaited since weeks.
The day where my first food blogger meeting will take place as i’ll meet Trine from very good food.
The day where Trine will eat for the first time at Pierre Gagnaire, something she’s waiting since months now, her third 3* experience.
It’s funny to going back a few months in the past.
July 07. I’m planning my autumn trip to Copenhagen. And by a sunny sunday afternoon, i’m surfing on the web looking for some reviews, comments or pictures on Noma – where I had book a table 2 months earlier.
Thanks to Google, i fall on Trine’s blog. I find what i’m looking for on Noma and leave a short message complimenting Trine for the blog itself and asking some questions on other CPH restaurants. I had just sent my message that i got almost immediatly an answer from Trine.
Was thinking to myself “Wow, someone like me”… Since this day, we exchanged quite a lot about food, restaurants, and it seems that we have the same addiction for our passion : food, wines and restaurants.
Having said that, the pressure today at Pierre Gagnaire was huge… :o). Trine absolutely wanted to go there… (which was fine to me but there are more smoother entrances in the french 3 stars world). I suggested an alternated choice with L’Astrance but no, Trine knows what she wants : definitely Pierre Gagnaire.
And those amongst you having visited the place knows that it can be a risky sometimes : you can live one of the best meal of your life but you can also experience something more unusual as you need to be a little bit prepared to this genius chef.
Doesn’t matter, confidence is there, i checked the new menu on their website : let’s go there hands in the pocket.
12:15 : I’m in the lovely entrance room : each time i open the door and check in, i like breathing this smooth atmosphere, it’s cosy, classy, I like feeling they were waiting for me… (naive i know :o).
I take a seat in the small lounge waiting for Trine. She’ll appear 5 minutes later.
12:20 : when very good food meets gastros on tour.
Always a special moment : you don’t know what to say, what to do… i simply welcome her and suggest to take the aperitive in the lounge or at our table.
We’ll decide to take it at table and we are seated in the middle of the room, not very close from the wide windows (i should have ask for it, my fault), wich will make the pictures shooting more complicated.
Immediately, we start chatting about everything and nothing : flight, business, Paris etc…
But quickly, the discussion deviates on food, wines and obviously Noma : Trine loves food, loves wines and can talk about it. Both of us start relaxing and appreciating the lunch.. I knew i would enjoy it .
We go for the tasting menu and are starting our lunch with a glass of champagne from Henry Giraud, named “Esprit”. Lovely wine, i’m impressed by the ability of Trine to describe and analyse it. Much more detailed and accurate than me… hehe… what a technique !
Time now to select our wine. As there is no wine pairing menu, we’ll secure our choice with a Puligny Montrachet from Louis Carillon, 2001.
Again, when this wine is offered to us for tasting, Trine can comment it with a great accuracy – you see she likes white Burgundy wines… :o)
We can now start this tasting menu and enter in PG’s world. I’ll voluntary not describe each course (i wonder if Trine will do it… if so, she’ll do it better then me :o) but just go through the menu :
Pressé de tourteau, gelée d’agrumes à l’aneth.
Aiguilles de raie, chaud-froid d’huile d’olive foisonnée au miel du désert des Agriates.
Abricots secs et navets croquants déglacés de cidre fermier.
Blanc de Saint-Pierre raidi dans un beurre mousseux estragon et piment d’Espelette ; coeur de tomate, rouelles croustillantes d’oignon doux. Salade d’encornets en fond d’assiette ; sirop de rhubarbe acidulé.
Mousseline de sandre : fèves, petits pois et lard fumé.
Blette en paquet, choux coeur de boeuf, sauce Poulette.
Grenouilles meunière enrobées d’une fine polenta au colombo, ail des ours.
Homard bleu au gingembre frais ; crème de grenailles de Noirmoutier au Pineau des Charentes, cassée du jus de carcasse.
Glace d’asperge blanche à la cardamome ; velouté clair de concombre, olives vertes de Lucques, mangue du Vietnam. Ventrèche crémeuse de thon blanc.
In the middle of the menu, we are invited to visit the kitchen. Pierre Gagnaire is not there today, we are meeting the second chef in place, Michel Nave – i met him during my Xmas lunch last december. He recognized me and we have a short discussion, while Trine is shooting behind me every part of the scene…
Back at our table, i feel we are enjoying more and more this menu. The first starters were from good to excellent, while the main courses, cheese and desserts were absolutely fantastic to me.
Poêlée de rouget de roche au vadouvan, huître Gillardeau et coquillages du moment. Artichauts poivrades croquants, dés de lisette et jus de bouillabaisse en assaisonnement.
Côte de veau de lait rôtie entière au plat.
On vous sert une tranche, badigeonnée de paprika et de curry doux de Madras, puis posée sur un coulis de poivron rouge à l’amarante.
Mascarpone et chlorophylle de roquette.
Brioche de camembert fermier, feuilles de pomme.
Parfait brebis, bûche du Gers ; mélasse de carou
Bourse de Stilton, velouté de laitue.
It was the first time that Trine could taste cooked cheeses, she loved it.
For the desserts (« only » four of them are shown here below), we’ll ask for a sweet wine, no risk again : a nice but classic Jurancon “Ballet d’Octobre” from Cauhape will join our table.
17:20 : time to say goodbye (but « ce n’est qu’un au revoir… » :o).
5 hours lunch. We haven’t seen the time passing, it went so fast.
It would have been interesting to have Trine’s feedback but i didn’t ask as it seemed to early, this meal needs some time for reflexion as it can’t be compared to anything else. The dishes are so complex, surprising and even sometimes hard to understand. Today, the menu was very new, i felt it has to be worked a little bit more, certainly on the very first courses served. But the experience remains awesome. Incredible food served with a perfect service, in an elegant, smooth and lovely place in an overall very nice atmosphere.
Sharing it with Trine was really enjoyable : Trine likes to talk, she’s deliciously curious and has a great sense of humor. I guess it’s also the reason why we spend a great lunch. Thanks to you Trine for sharing this with me (including the pictures :o) !!!
Ps) since this first lunch, we’ve already booked our next food meeting : a dinner at noma on May 21. Life is short, play hard.