6.5 Charles Barrier in Tours; The old U-shaped meal.
Colette and I TGV’d to Tours to pick up a car and toodle around the Loire and reserved lunch at Charles Barrier, a 1-star where Herve Lussault has been at the piano, he says, for 15 years. BTW, he was most attentive to me altho’ I swear he didn’t out me.
And it certainly started that way with two amuse bouches: Two teeny-tiny slivers of marinated mackerel, two slim slices of asparagus (one white and one green) and a small knuckle of pigeon in honey as well as a creamy soup of a variety of cultivated and wild mushrooms. Both divine.
Then Colette had a superb duo of bar, a tartare and a microtomed slice with asparagus and I the rollatine of rabbit which had a rich forcemeat and slice of foie gras and wild mushrooms and fluffy sauce. I wrote down – “This guy is about to get a rare 8/10 from me."
But then, like the World Cup refs, he lapsed mid-game, and we had two OK, well, banal, dishes: she the maigre with a caper sauce, microtomed beets and green beans (we’re in the Loire folks, where fresh veggies made their rep) and I a lamb that I asked for blue, he tried for blue, but had to admit it was over-cooked (and in my opinion - bad product and tough.) As I say, M. Lussault was all over me, from the solicitous to the slightly annoying.
Onward. Colette had the very good, “true”, profiteroles, not your usual, industrial cardboard things and I enjoyed 3 chevres from around town and a vache that was as runny as it can get. Up again. But, woops……..the coffee was not good.
So there you have it. Great first ½, limpy next ¼ and bursting final quarter.
Go? OK. You decide. At the end, M. L. comes over again and says (I’m trivializing it) “So (implied, Big Shot from Paris [he had my 01 tele number]), can you get a meal like this in Paris for 32 E?” Me: “Well, there’s Bruno Doucet’s new Regalade St Honore, just a few Euros more and the new chef at l’Agape’s for just a few more than that.” Smile (me).