If you are reading the Gault & Millau guide, you are probably looking for something more than simple sustenance, temporary over-indulgence or basic satisfaction. You are looking for the path less travelled, along which you may have to push aside a few branches, find your footing, climb up towards the light for a view of the horizon. This type of journey has a fundamentally personal side to it and, as Stéphane Froidevaux well knows, the path of a creative chef is not without its pitfalls. This year, he seems more serene, more coherent in his choices too, which brings us to recommend his Ascension des Cimes menu whole-heartedly. At €85 it is not inexpensive, but for such an unusual 4-toque meal, not exorbitant either. Herbs, roots, vegetables, fragrances of the mountains… there is certainly a logical foundation to the work of this chef who learned from Marc Veyrat, but leave him to it and savour his original signature: spring amaranth leaves and wild watercress, smoked mackerel and pesto with wild garlic and smoked tea, pan-fried foie gras with blackthorn flower jus, an excellent slowly steamed, marinated fera, vinaigrette infused with primrose roots, crisp veal sweetbreads with grapefruit and saffron sauce… each dish combining concept, technique, a slight tang to ensure sensation and indulgence, through to the dessert, which offers a careful balance of chocolate, fruit and citrus flavours. The service is precise: faultless, without over-doing it. The wine cellar is true to its era, with a selection to satisfy curious natures, and promoting good wine-makers at reasonable prices.
Gault & Millau 2017 guide, 4 toques, score 17/20