for June, 2009

June 15, 2009 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

Le Grenier à Sel, One Michelin Star in Nancy, France


Indeed you are correct faithful reader, this is not a food blog, and yet below you will find a menu and above you dost see photographs of nothing but food, save for one pitcher of darkened, and tasty, decanting Chateau Corbin 2003 St. Emilion. Blame not the cruel world, but allow this, and perchance other departures, as I round my way through France and her haute cuisine.

I am in Nancy, France, a small city between Alsace and Champagne bordering the River Meurhe. Very small. I am able to run across it in 30 minutes. Run to where, you wonder? Run to and from the Beaucoup de Caves à Vins, Madames et Monsieurs.

On Thursday eve in this merry month of June the 9th, of a year in which there are two thousands and one nine, myself and a woman of fine upbringing did dine at the One Michelin Star gourmet extravaganza that goes by the name Le Grenier à Sel.

To accompany our wildly delectable meal we chose the Chateau Corbin 2003 St. Emilion, Grand Cru Classé. Chef de Cuisine Patrick Frechin simply shattered our notions of what it means to “cook” by throwing, rather Frenchly, in our faces, Food Nouveau! Rather what I mean is: the presentation, care, and genius behind this last eve of dining, traveled in excess, far beyond my expectations and culinary comprehension. The menu is below for your perusing pleasure. See if you can match the pictures with the descriptions.

The Corbin was great. At first, it was tight, not exhibiting much of anything, but after an hour we were trying hard not to guzzle it or dab it about our face and neck, it, with its delicious Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend.

At the end of the evening, we were the last remaining diners, and Monsieur Frechin and his wife spent twenty minutes chatting with us as we waited for our cab – incredibly humble and sincere people (never been to New York, but think they will eventually). Such an interesting conclusion to an evening where looming monuments of cuisine seemed to be towering over us as we wished each other bonne soirée.

Menu Dégustation
Mises en bouche

Duo de foie gras de canard et melon confit aux épices
Huile vanille et poivre noir

Tronçon de lotte cuit à basse température
A l’huile de noisette et sucs de carottes

Fraîcheur persil plat et poivre vert,
Tuile au sel de Guérande

Médaillon de mignon de veau « retour des bois »
Asperges de bûcheron, ail des ours

Sablé à la rhubarbe pochée
Sorbet fraises