La Grenouillere

Sugar sphere with sorrel ice cream, mint and cicely
Sugar sphere with sorrel ice cream, mint and cicely

I first came across Alexandre Gauthier last spring, at Opinionated About Dining 100 best European restaurants launch event, where together with some other new generation European chefs he cooked an “8 hands” meal at Saturne restaurant in Paris.  The dish Alexander chose to serve was frog legs, one of the very few (if not the only one) dishes he has kept on his menu when in 2002 he took over his father’s restaurant in the village of La-Madelaine-sous-Montreuil in the North of France.

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Alexandre Gauthier, whose restaurant La Grenouillere (19 Rue de la Grenouillère  62170 La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil,France;tel.+33 3 21 06 07 22) has one Michelin star and is currently number 29 on the OAD’s list , is considered as “an extreme naturalist”, which means embracing one’s natural surroundings and using only local, seasonal ingredients.  And the team of La Grenouillere does take that very seriously. The recently constructed minimalistic, industrial style dining room and the hotel rooms, or rather, hay covered huts, perfectly melt into the historical settings of the auberge

The hotel
The hotel
Inside of one of the rooms
One of the rooms

As for the cooking, Alexandre Gauthier has this rare ability to see everything through new eyes without making it too complicated and conceptual. The associations of cherry tomatoes with crushed raspberries, grilled cucumber with tarama or cockles with raw yellow squash and lemon zest are unexpected, yet everything tastes so good you would think that those tomatoes are made to be served with raspberries… The most remarkable dish of the lunch was the simplest of all – a  juicy,still slightly raw lobster tail brought to your table under some burning juniper branches and eaten with your fingers. Simply delicious!

Cherry tomatoes with raspberries
Cherry tomatoes with raspberries
Melon with salmon roe, egg whites and basil
Melon with crab,salmon roe and basil
Cucumber with tarama and tarragon
Cucumber with tarama and tarragon
Cockles with raw yellow squash and lemon zest
Cockles with raw yellow squash and lemon zest
The lobster
The lobster
Honey
Honey
Strawberry jam, vacherin, apple skin..
Strawberry jam, vacherin, apple skin..
Avocado and pistachio sponge cake,avocado and grass sorbet
Avocado and pistachio sponge cake,avocado and grass sorbet
Raspberry jelly with liquorice and poppies
Raspberry jelly with liquorice and poppies
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