Restaurant Le Cheval Blanc, Basel, 10/24/19

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hotel exterior

Le Cheval Blanc is the other restaurant in the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois but this one has 3 Michelin Stars.  It is a large elegant room with a candelabra or single candle on each double clothed well spaced table set with huge linen napkins.  The ten tables vary in size and the smaller ones have a little service table adjacent to them to hold wine or whatever.  Purse stools are available, the lighting is lowered, there is no music (but the piano playing in the lobby did bleed into the room), there is a patio, windows look out onto the water and crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling with the largest being over the center marble service table.  They offer a tasting menu as well as an a la carte menu.  The larger version of the tasting menu comes with 4 starters whereas a slightly smaller tasting comes with just 2.  The prices include service and VAT.  Service was friendly and efficient and the staff spoke great English.  Chef Peter Knogl came out toward the end of service to greet and talk with his guests.  He has been with this restaurant 12 years.  You also could see him in the kitchen through the window in the hall that you pass on the way to the bathroom.  His awards line one of the windows.  Before service begins they brought around a warm moist cloth to wipe your hands, always a nice touch.

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interior
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interior
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interior
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interior
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menu cover
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menu
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menu 2
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menu 3
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table set up
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Frankie shared restaurant details

 

Bread service was a tray of olive, baguette or tomato breads.   I chose the baguette and it had a nice crisp exterior with a good chew to the middle.  With the bread was a dish of softened, very tasty butter.

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bread tray
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butter
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baguette

 

The tasting started with an Brittany oyster, Huîtres creuses with ponzu and a green apple mousse and foam.  It had nice flavor with a bit of brine and the apple was a good companion.  A really good start.

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Oyster, ponzu, green apple
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closer
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Frankie and the water glass

 

The next 2 starters came out together, Macaron, foie, orange, Garam Masala and Textures de champignons, Pata Negra.  The first was a macaron filled with duck liver and the second was an ultra thin cracker topped with cream and mushroom.   Both were really yummy.

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Macaron, foie, orange, Garam Masala and Textures of mushrooms and Pata Negra
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Textures of mushrooms and Pata Negra
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Macaron, foie, orange, Garam Masala
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from the side
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Frankie studied the floor

 

Espuma jalapeño was cold and carabinero or tasty little shrimp were on the bottom.  It was not spicy but had good flavor.

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Jalapeño espuma and carabinero
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closer
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Frankie studied the card

 

Smoked eel, red beetroot, fermented black garlic and wasabi were combined with balsamic and serrano bits.  All were to be eaten together.  Another good one.

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Smoked eel, beetroot, fermented garlic and wasabi
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closer
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from the top
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Frankie played in the candlelight
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wine
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wine
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hotel lobby
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hotel lobby

 

That evening they had an option for the Egg yolk ravioli, cream spinach and white Alba truffle course.  Instead we had Breton Lobster with Ossietra-Imperial caviar and Château Chalon (vin jaune or yellow wine) and it was amazing.  It came out in a warmed bowl on a warmed plate to keep it the perfect temperature.  The scrumptious wine sauce  was totally rich and well suited to accompany the butter, tender and barely cooked lobster.  The wonderful caviar was the crown for this combination.  An excellent plate.

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Breton lobster, Ossietra-Imperial caviar and Château Chalon
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Award winning Sommelier Christoph Kokemoor and Frankie

 

Filet of red mullet was topped with crispy scales in a sauce of saffron and vinaigrette of tomatoes.  The fish was cooked perfectly and the really crispy ‘scales’ on top added a delightful crunch to soft fish.  The lovely, rich sauce was a great fit to finish the dish.  This was without a doubt the best red mullet ever.

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Filet of red mullet, crispy scales, saffron and vinaigrette of tomatoes
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detail
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Frankie studied it

 

Styrian saddle of venison was plated with mousseline of celery and Rouennaise sauce.  Some pumpkin and cranberry jam served as additional garnishes for the tender deer.  The sauce was well seasoned and good and the celeriac smooth and rich and they went great with the venison.  One of the marble sized bits was lovely cabbage.  It all went together fantastically.

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Styrian Saddle of venison, mousseline of cleery and Rouennaise sauce
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from the top
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Frankie napped on the purse stool

 

A selection of soft and hard cheeses from Maître Antony in Ferrette were your choices from a well stocked trolley.  There were also special housemade breads to go with the cheese, that had good crust and doughy interior.  The cheeses were all nice.

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presentation of cheeses by Sandra
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choices
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another set of choices
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bread to go with cheese
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Chef Knogl in his kitchen
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Frankie posed on the old photo

 

A palate cleanser of Japanese cress, yuzu and some spongy cake was fairly citrusy and tart.  It was just right to transition you to dessert.

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Japanese cress, yuzu and some spongy cake
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awards in kitchen window
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Maître d’hôtel Giuseppe Giliberti and Frankie

 

Pear, peanuts and Atsina cress made up the dessert.  The peanut butter was in a cream plated with a miso sponge cake and pear. It was a good mix of textures and tastes but seemed more conventional than the fine meal that proceeded it.

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Pear, peanuts and Atsina cress
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Another treat were spoonfuls of passion fruit with lemon grass (orange one in photo) and rose bush tea jelly with lemon yogurt (red one in photo).  The passion fruit was tangy and sweet with some texture.  The tea was tarter with a slight pop to the taste.  Both were good.

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passion fruit with lemon grass (orange) / rose bush tea jelly with lemon yogurt (red)
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closer
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Frankie climbed the light fixture

 

Final treats were French Calisson made with lime and almond.  The red swirls were raspberry marshmallows that were tart and sweet at the same time.  Yogurt mousse with yuzu was soft and tart.  Nougat was with hazelnut crunch in a little cake was topped with squares of chocolate.

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Yogurt mousse with yuzu, raspberry marshmallows / French Calisson / Nougat was with hazelnut crunch
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Yogurt mousse with yuzu, raspberry marshmallows
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closer
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French Calisson
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Nougat, hazelnut crunch, squares of chocolate.
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from the top
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hotel car

 

Then came the box of housemade chocolates where I tried a Schezwan pepper that did give the tongue a bit of tingle, a blueberry in a gold dome that was tart and strongly berry and a milk chocolate that was a good end for a fabulous meal.

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choice of chocolates
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choices
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Chef Peter Knogl and Frankie

 

 

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