Louis C. Jacob Restaurant is in the hotel of the same name. It is an elegant large room overlooking the water in the small boutique hotel and has a rating of 2 Michelin stars. The building dates to the 1700’s with the last major renovation in 1990’s. The restaurant had one star by 1995 and its second in 1997. The building has always been a restaurant or bar. The beautiful hard wood floor is set off by two massive crystal chandeliers overhead. Sage green velvet arm chairs are at the white cloth covered tables and gray plush velvet chairs are at the bare polished wood tables. All the large tables are nicely spaced and set with well starched large cloth napkins. Service was excellent and most of the staff were very conversant in English. Music is in the background. They offer two tasting menus, 4 or 6 courses, with pairings offered and a la carte. Most of the a la carte dishes were available to substitute on the tasting but there could be a surcharge. We chose the longer tasting and ordered our own wines.
We started with a Negroni cocktail while we pondered our choices and enjoyed a few amuse bouche.
A warm gougere made with comté cheese and filled with truffle cream was topped with sliced truffle. The truffle had good flavor as did the pastry underneath. Excellent. Smoked salmon was served with pickled radish on a meringue bottom. It had a nice stick to the texture and a little zing to the combo. A foamy topping of egg with onion was on a crisp bottom cracker. It was also good.
Bread service was a loaf of potato bread with a very crisp crust and a medium to dense interior. It was tasty. Alongside was some softened salted butter that was really good and some flower topped sour cream spread.
The last snack was a marinated salmon trout with a buttermilk sauce and topped with caviar and potato crunchies. The tender fish was tasty and the dish had good textural variations. A good combo.
The tasting started with Balfegó tuna belly prepared ‘paella style’ and served with saffron, fennel and bell pepper. It was on 2 plates with one having a sashimi style tuna next to paella style rice and lightly cooked fennel and other with the tuna tartar mixed with mussels, saffron & fennel vinaigrette (they left the extra on the table). The rice and fennel were great by themselves but even better when eaten with the tuna. The second plate had subtle differences with the mussels very mildly flavored and a foamy sauce. This one was topped with crisp rice for texture. Both plates were outstanding.
Cream of early leek with calf’s head and crustaceans mousse was next. A ragout of calfs head was on the bottom and topped with black caviar and then a cool crustacean cream mousse was poured around it tableside. There was a strong essence of onion from the leeks and it worked wonderfully with the extra rich beef. The temperature variations in the dish were an excellent and fun blending. I lapped up every bit of this delight.
Beet root tortellini was served with goat cheese, walnut and autumn truffle. The goat cheese was stuffed inside the beetroot pasta with the walnuts and truffles making up the topping. The sauce tasted of truffle, chicory and caramelized walnuts. On the side were some parmesan cheese crisps. The sweet beet blended fabulously with the cheese and the nuts turned this into a really yummy combo. The truffle pieces were a little lost among the stronger flavors in the dish. It was best to combine a lot of things to achieve maximum flavor. This one really worked.
Breton mackerel was served with pear, bean and bacon. The onion was in the sauce poured on the pieces of fish and pear. Some pasta strips were rolled up and fried and topped the dish. The pale rolls on top of the fish were bacon and the beans were underneath the fish. This was the dish on the menu that I worried about but my fears were unfounded. Mix the ingredients together and they worked into another brilliant combination of flavors and textures. Really good.
Oriental Etouffée pigeon was plated with aubergine, dates, yogurt and couscous. The breast of pigeon was cooked rare, topped with an orange jelly and oriental spices and served alongside some braised meat of the leg and liver (the golden ball), mounded couscous, a cannoli stuffed with eggplant and yogurt. The braised meat was excellent as was the sauce on the breast meat. Some pomegrante seeds decorated the eggplant roll that were really a fun touch. The pigeon meat was all excellent, tender and tasty. This dish had a lot going on but it was all good.
Dessert was Piña Colada with coconut, rum and pineapple. Some caramelized pineapple topped the pineapple ice cream, pineapple jelly, white chocolate cake, pineapple pieces and coconut. The pineapple was totally sweet and wonderful – both fresh and the caramelized pieces. It was the star flavor of the dish and really packed in the flavor. Yummy.
A dessert trolley brought a ton of things to satisfy any sweet cravings you had left. Delightful choices. Also an after dinner drink cart came around.