Restaurant: Brasserie le Jardin
Location: 7 Av. du Général Giraud, 51100 Reims, France. +33 3 26 24 90 90
Date: June 25, 2022
Rating: Lovely lunch
After my Tripadvisor fail the night before, I retreated for the next day’s lunch — and a day trip to Reims — to the comforting territory of Michelin Guide rated French restaurants.
I really wanted to go to Le Parc (2 Michelin stars) but our 13 person party and the formal dress requirements send me instead to Brasserie le Jardin their “more casual” garden restaurant.
The approach is lovely.
We had this giant table which was great.
I don’t like to drink on the first night in Europe (after 36+ hours awake) but today we jumped in feet first.
2006 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Nicolas François. VM 97. The 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine, but it needs time to be at its best. I am surprised by how tightly wound it is. But that only makes me think what it might develop into with time in the cellar. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and sage meld together in a bright, crystalline Champagne endowed with terrific purity. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, mostly done in steel, with just a touch of oak, around 5%. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. (Drink between 2020-2032)
I hate this new trend of digital only menus.
NV Eric Rodez Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée des Crayères. VM 91. Light yellow-gold. Aromas of Poire William, white flowers and honey are lifted by a zesty mineral topnote. Fleshy and dry on the palate, offering very good lift and clarity to its bitter quince and peach pit flavors. Closes on an emphatic, sharply focused mineral note, with firm grip and spicy persistence.
Cucumber gazpacho with beet sorbet.
Tomato Tart with reims vinegar.
Tin of crab with Champagne emulsion.
Salmon in Bellevue with garden herbs.
NV A. Margaine Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. The NV Brut Rosé is mostly Chardonnay and is done in a style that emphasizes vibrancy and tension. Crushed red berries, chalk, white pepper and mint lend pretty top notes to this beautifully sculpted Rosé. The Rosé is 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, of which 8% is still red Pinot. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. Disgorged: June, 2021. (Drink between 2021-2026)
Lean on the planca with paprika sauce.
Hake with passionfruit sauce.
Veal filet with olives and lemon with garden herb jus.
Beef filet with roasted foie gras. For when you feel your steak doesn’t have enough calories.
Braised beef chunk with cooking juices.
Pork loin confit with baby onions.
French fries with thyme flower.
Salad with seeded granola.
Madelines with the coffee.
Gianduia chocolate ganache with Mille-feuille.
Soft biscuit with lemon zest.
Fresh fruits with basil syrup.
Rhubarb sorbet with raspberry coulis. There was mint in here and different textures. Very refreshing.
We had a large party.
This meal was far more my style. It was hovering just under 1 (European) Michelin Star. Service was great, particularly given our gigantic party. Food was rich, French, and quite delicious. Champagnes were very good. Setting was fabulous too. It was raining, so we sat inside in the lovely dining room. They have a lot of nice garden too (given the name) but that rarest of June sight to my California eyes: rain.
After lunch we staggered over to Taittinger for even more Champagne.
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