Restaurant Le Neuvième Art is a 2 Star Michelin with about 10 widely spaced pedestal tables with a large staging area in the middle of the dining area. Some of the tables are in two pieces where the smaller one serves as a staging table. The lighting is lowered as is the ceiling, gauzy curtains cover large windows on two sides of the room, an automatic sliding door opens to allow quick looks into the kitchen, “crumpled paper” covers are on the overhead and wall light fixtures, a box on the table turns into a flame for each table, no music is in the background, the purse stools are topped with cork and lots of friendly staff speak good English in this comfortable yet elegant dining room. Chef Chrisophe Roure was in the house and made the rounds of the tables. He and his wife opened their restaurant in June 2014 and offer a couple tasting menus, with optional wine pairings, as well as a la carte options. We had the 5 course tasting that also includes cheese and dessert and ordered our own wines. Pacing and portion control of the tasting were good and the food was really tasty.
Several amuse bouche started the tasting, a very light tartlet and sardine soufflé were first. The tartlet had an ultra thin crisp crust and was filled with a rice mousse and vegetables. Fun. The soufflé had a light coating that was puffed and fried and filled with a small sardine. It was not as strong as I expected and that was a good thing. I loved the light crisp and with a bit of fish.
A smoked quail egg was one bite of deliciousness. A tasty coating around the egg left a nice taste of smoke in your mouth afterwards.
Bread was a large round loaf that was dense and moist in the interior with a good crisp crust.
The tasting started with Crab ‘Royale’ with fish roe and snow peas in a bed of lemon emulsion. There were both shreds and chunks of crab that blended well with the caviar and were nicely contrasted by thin crisp pieces of toast, that also added some salt flavor. The snow peas brought an additional bit of crunch and had a good strong flavor. It was a fun combination of ingredients and textures that was very good.
Warm foie gras was with tonka bean notes, vanilla quinces and carrot juice. The perfectly cooked duck foie gras had a nice crisp on the exterior and was beside some well flavored pieces of quince that had been seasoned with vanilla. It was a really tasty combination.
Fresh scallops and Autumn Uncinatum truffle (Burgandy truffle) like a ‘floating island’ was sauteéd sea scallops with a vermouth like foam. The scallops had been melded together to form a log and were accented with slices of truffle and truffle powder. The foam achieved successful delivery of a good amount of truffle taste while the excellent sauce was incredible on its own. The perfectly cooked scallops were well seasoned otherwise and even though there wasn’t much textural contrast in the dish the flavor made up for it.
Blue lobster, pumpkin purée and smoked head juice were crowned with a few lobster eggs and saffron threads. The perfectly cooked lobster pieces were great with the well flavored sauce. The various seasonings were fun but the lobster was the star here – juicy and sweet. This was a fantastic dish – totally full of flavor.
Wood fire Roe Deer was served with celeriac cooked in a sea salt crust with mint powder. The venison was marinated in olive oil and then cooked over a wood fire. A small piece of lettuce was also cooked over the fire and was quite a nice burst of flavor and texture. The sauce on the venison included pepper, wine and black truffle and was well flavored and good with the tender, tasty deer. Alongside was a crisp ball filled made with other cuts of venison, cooked well done. It was very tasty.
The cheese course was your selections from the cheese trolley or a selection of their house made yogurt. It was a good selection and served with an optional bowl of cranberry apple relish. The cheeses were good and the relish a tasty accompaniment.
The pre-dessert course was a panna cotta flavored like a mojito. It was quite good with a bit of rum cake underneath the smooth custard. Strong flavors of lime rounded out this yummy transition.
A pistachio soufflé was served alongside a marshmallow and pistachio ice cream. The ice cream was presented on this neat springy holder that was fun to eat from. The soufflé was fluffy, light and nicely flavored. The chocolate covered pistachio marshmallow was good for what it was but not as good as the other two components for me, but overall a nice trio for dessert. A good sweet fix with a variety of textures.
We had a couple after dinner drinks to to with the Petits Fours, that came in a lovely labeled plate. At this point in the meal it’s hard to get all of it down and it was a treat to have them named in print. The mango jelly was strong, soft and sugary – a yum. The caramel yuzu was on top of a cookie and nicely sweet. The middle one was pear with milk chocolate and just ok. The praline and chocolate was good. The last dark chocolate was a caramel with kumquat and a tad tart. Alongside was a small cake with dried fruits inside and crisp sweet bits on top. The texture was almost spongy. It was good.