Even as a big food lover, I’ve never had the luxury of visiting a Michelin-star restaurant before…
Let alone one with two!
I’ve been to a couple of Bib Gourmand awarded restaurants here in Cornwall (ie. restaurants that have made it into the Michelin guide but haven’t quite been awarded a star yet), and I love the experience of high quality (less quantity!) food.
However, on our trip to Val D’Isere this January, we ended up staying in a chalet directly next door to the region’s top restaurant; two Michelin-star Atelier D’Edmond. Our stay overlapped Alex’s dad’s birthday too, so it seemed too good an opportunity to miss!
We were the first to arrive on the Friday evening, welcomed over to our large table and handed our menus. We had done the research online and knew roughly what to expect from each menu (including the price!! I’m fairly sure this will end being the most expensive meal of my life…) so decided quickly on the Discovery Menu – a 10 course menu with an outdoors/Autumnal theme.
Sat at the table waiting for us were these beautiful parmesan crisp leaves served in pinecones, which we ate while Alex’s sister ordered the wine. It was incredible! I can’t remember the name of it sadly but it was definitely the best white wine I’ve ever had (which again, you would hopefully expect from the price, to be fair!).
Our selection of appetisers arrived in splendour, with each element served on something interesting and different; from coffee beans, to wood and even a book! For the life of me I can’t remember what each one was, but they kindly also brought me my own substitutions for the duck and fois gras foam.
For our amuse-bouche we had a seared trout (or salmon… I can’t quite remember oops!) with caviar, which was perfect as our whole table was made up of sushi lovers!
What came next was probably my favourite of our savoury dishes; a crawfish and pike mousseline that was arranged like a beautiful garden, and even had the waiters pouring the sauce over with a silver watering can! It looked fantastic, and tasted even better too.
For what I believe must have been our second starter, we had scallops in a creamy sauce with apple and my gosh those scallops were perfect. I’m not normally a massive fan of scallops as they’re prone to going a bit rubbery, but these were as smooth as butter and melted in your mouth with the sauce too.
The main course was smoked and roasted pigeon, but they of course had a substitute for me as well. It smelt great though! But my fish option was delicious too – I believe it was maybe hake or something similar, and they’d turned the skin into a kind of salt and mixed garlic into it before sprinkling it over; it was super rich but really nice.
Next came our cheese course, which again, was inspired by gardens and the outdoors, with a selection of local and regional cheeses in a whipped form for us to try. I loved the way it was served, but by this time I was starting to feel in the mood for something sweet…
Which is when our ‘transitional pre-dessert’ came out! To blend us between the cheeses and desserts, we were served a parmesan and honeycomb crisp with apple sorbet and it was exquisite! The flavours worked perfectly together and I swear I could eat that sorbet for days… it was the perfect sharpness for palate cleanser to get me ready for the next course.
… which was another transitional pre-dessert of vanilla cream cheese and meringue. I think this may have been my favourite dessert though. Again, a heavenly combination that I wish I could take home and eat all the time!
Next came our actual dessert, by which point we were definitely close to bursting from all the food. A beautifully autumnal looking tonka bean cream with cocoa sorbet and tangerine sauce. This was absolutely delicious too, however I don’t know whether it was because we were so full or whether it was just so rich, but none of us could finish it at all!
And then to our amazement (and the horror of our bulging bellies!), out came yet another course; our final selection of petit fours to finish off the night. There were cocoa shards, lemon drops on spoons, and these delightful chocolates mixed with fir that were bitter (in a good way) but also like Christmas!
As you can imagine, by the end we struggled to roll home – I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten so much in my life. Even when each course is very small and you’re eating over the course of 3 hours, it still gets to you! Each element was so rich as well, I felt like I didn’t need to eat anymore food for at least 4 days.
The experience overall was fantastic, and as a special treat or once-in-a-lifetime pleasure, I’d totally recommend it. For the cost, it’s not something I’ll probably be able to do again in a long time, but if you or someone you love fancies themselves as a bit of a foodie, it’s definitely worth saving up and adding it to your bucket list!
Read more about Atelier D’Edmond on their website.