Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Le Bistrot Gabriel à Bordeaux: Classic French Cuisine

Located in Bordeaux's beautiful 18th-century Palais de la Bourse on the Garonne River, Michelin starred Le Bistrot Gabriel has one of the most spectacular locations in Bordeaux overlooking the famous fountain of 'The Three Graces' and Jean-Max Llorca's 'Water Mirror' installation, which reflects the architectural grandeur of Place de la Bourse. A flagship of French classicism in the heart of this historic city, the square is the work of Jacques-Ange Gabriel, Louis XV's architect who was inspired by the Place Vendôme in Paris, and built the gorgeous buildings in which Le Gabriel now resides over three floors, in the square's central pavilion. On the first floor: Le Bar Dix and Terasse; the second floor Le Bistro Gabriel; and at the top, Le Restaurant Gabriel. Under the culinary eye of Chef François Adamski, Le Bistro Gabriel is a stylish and elegant room with a superb à la carte and prix fixe menu featuring classic French cuisine served with distinctive Bordeaux panache. 

The Three Graces fountain in the centre of Place de la Bourse

Chef Francois Adamski

The elegant and modern interior of Le Gabriel

The linen napkin features the exterior of Le Gabriel iconic facade on Place de la Bourse

Le Gabriel's menu

Le Gabriel's menu features a la carte and prix fixe dining

A classic French aperitif: Lillet with a curl of lemon

A bottle of eau minérale naturelle

Duck Rilette with warm toasted baguette

An amuse-bouche of coriander mousse with beets and savoury sabayon

We started with a bottle of white Bordeaux wine

Salmon Tartare with green onions and creme fraiche

Charolais Beef Carpaccio with rocket salad and parmesan cheese

Terrine of Foie Gras with dried fruit marmalade and toasted baguette

Tomato and Mozzarella di Bufala Salad with basil

Since we were in Bordeaux, we ordered an elegant bottle of 2011 L'Archangel Pascal Chatonnet St Emilion

Filet of Beef with Foie Gras and Bernaise sauce

Roast Breast of Moulard Duck from Southwest France

Grilled Angus Steak 

Pommes Paysannes

Grilled Courgettes and Aubergine

Morbier is an aromatic and suprisingly mild French cow's milk cheese defined by the dark vein of vegetable ash streaking through it middle, and named after the small village of Morbier in Franche-Comté

Comté Fort Saint Antoine: a French unpasteurized cow's milk cheese made in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France

Langres: a French cow's milk cheese that originated in the Champagne region

Crème brûlée a la Vanille

Tarte au Pommes

Profiterole with Pistachio Cream and Raspberry Coulis

Tarte au Chocolat et Caramele

A Dessert Tasting Menu: Baba au Rhum, Creme Brulée, Creme au Pamplemousse and an espresso

Le Gabriel at night, as we bid adieu and strolled back to the ship

The Silver Whisper docked on the pier in Bordeaux

Sea Bass Poached in Nori Milk with Aquitaine Caviar
Serves 8
Recipe courtesy Chef François Adamski

2 lb sea bass
4 nori sheets
4 cups whole milk
2 lb white or cremini mushrooms
7 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 oz butter
4 cups fish stock
2 cups light cream
Aquitaine caviar
Ground salt and pepper
8 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish

Remove the skin and bones from the sea bass. Cut into 8 1/4-pound portions, and season with salt and pepper. Blend the nori, and put three-quarters of it in the hot milk.

Flute and partially cook 8 mushrooms. Cut the remainder into a brunoise, and fry in the oil and butter until they reach an even colour. Add the quart of nori, and season.

Reduce the stock by half, add the cream, and reduce to the right thickness. Check seasoning. Bring the milk to the boil, then arrange the sea bass pieces on top. Remove from the heat and allow to cook gently for 6 minutes. Remove the fish and leave to rest.

For the presentation, arrange the mushroom duxelles in a circle on the plate, mix a little caviar with a little sauce, and draw a thread around the mushrooms, then place the sea bass on top of the mushrooms. Arrange an attractive quenelle shape of caviar and the fluted mushroom on the fish. Serve hot with a little sauce on the side.

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