La Grenoiullere, is in line with Mugaritz, In The Wulf, Faviken, Air du Temps, Attica, …. as one of those unique special spots in the middle of nowhere that can’t be missed especially if you are in love with food as much as I am!
Getting to any of these places is an adventure and our journey to La Grenouillère was no exception. Let’s say it was an “interesting” drive from Brussels with a car full of talented Copilots: opinionated’s Steve, Toby and Scott. (If I were to describe the trip to you all it would require its own dedicated post, no doubt )
I don’t know where to start writing about this restaurant. I could easily talk about the great garden forward cuisine or about having the opportunity to enjoy this meal at the Chef’s table with Thai and David Toutain, one of the most talented chefs of the moment, but when I look back at our experience at La Grenouillère the one thing that rises to the surface is how Alex Gauthier laughs out loud and plays of the traditional fine dinning principles. Alex not only is moving away from the expensive traditional ingredients, as most of the Avant Garde restaurants are doing, but he is also pushing the experience to the next level by experimenting with how the diners interact with the food. Each dish represents a new challenge in regards to how it should be eaten…Should I use the spoon, should I use the fancy knife, just bread or what the hell maybe I’ll just use my fingers (as if I were back in Spain fighting for tapas.) These sometimes Bizarre, humorous and often phallic interactions makes La Grenouillère the special place that it is. (Just take a gander at the end of this photostream to see what I mean… hehe)
The restaurant has been recently renovated, adding a new kitchen and dinning area next to the old restaurant. Designed by Torque Patrick Bouchain (architect-designer Lieu Unique in Nantes, the Friche Marseille or Colline du Colombier Troisgros), kitchen looks more like a set from a Ridley Scott movie with all the exposed metal and chains hanging from the top. Room uses mainly leather chairs and tables, unpolished dishes, some of them broken and large hunting knives . The interior is one of the more strikingly unique places I have seen. It is chalk full of character making it a far cry from your standard fine dinning restaurant” it is about time!
This gorgeous space would not mean anything without Alex Gauthier, the talented chef running the show. Alex took over this family restaurant from his father Roland a few years ago, and put it back on the culinary map. As with the decoration, Alex likes to takes risk and in my limited opinion those risks are paying off, and what better way to showcase this genius to look at his menu from 2012:
More beautiful pictures from this meal can be found at Thai’s amazing blog: Hungry for more (disclaimer: If you decide to open the link, consider the rest of your morning a complete loss as you will not be able to stop admiring the food and kitchen action pictures.)
The show is available in 3 or 8 services for lunch and 11 in the evening services (110 €)
I did not stay in the Hotel but from what I hear it is beautiful and worth the stay. (140 to € 215 per night).
19 rue Grenouillère, 62170 la Madelaine-sous-Montreuil
Tel: 03 21 06 07 22