During our trip to Mexico in the Cancun area we had the chance to meet the director of operations of affiliates at the Biltmore Hotel. This coincidence is unimaginable like all coincidences, we decided to see us when we would saty at Biltmore hotel.
Candy and her husband Ron invited my wife and me at restaurant La Palme d’Or of the Biltmore Hotel. The place is pretty old style, as if they had stopped the clock in the decades thirties to fifties, with pictures of Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, and other giants of the period of black and white cinema. We take an aperitif at the bar with a glass of Champagne Brut non vintage Leon Launois, simple but bright enough to be appreciated.
We move to table greeted by the manager who speaks French. The chef Grégory Pugin comes to greet us and informs us that he has made a menu according to his inspiration, with food and wine pairing imagined with the head sommelier José J. Garcia. We let ourselves willingly embark on this journey.
They bring us a brioche instead of bread. This is incredible greed to the point that we will order another one, which is quite unreasonable.
The menu, given after a meal, is: appetizer of caviar and raw shells St. Jacques put on thin slices of avocado / Stone-crab spice to the emulsion / roasted lobster curry / pie outbreak black truffle / sole artichoke / the sauce large Huntsman saddle of venison, baked in foil cigar / hot époisses with black truffles and beet / variations on the caramel / sweets.
The dishes are beautifully executed, the prize, so to say, returning to the taste of the pie with black truffles, and originality to the presentation of the deer.
Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut is nice and goes well with the classic shell and caviar dish. A slightly more tense champagne would have strengthened this fine agreement.
Chablis premier cru Fourchaume Domaine Séguinot Bordet 2014 comes too cold. When it expands, it becomes joyful despite its young age and very incisive. The agreement is relevant but the dish is too complex for wines with two sauces that counteract.
The Rosé de Provence Triennes 2013 is a nice wine with character but does not have enough skeleton to join the delicious dish with truffles. It is the wine which comes after which would have suited him.
The Morey-Saint-Denis Domaine of Beaumont 2012, when it is served, delivers an unforgettable fragrance. What charm in this elegant and subtle wine that plays on more elegance than power. I applaud with both hands the idea of combining this wine to the sole. This is the best agreement of the dinner and I applaud especially as sommeliers that combine fish and red wine are very few. Congratulations. I checked in thought as the previous dishes is no longer there, that Morey would have created with pie truffle a relevant agreement.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Château Fortia Baron 2009 is a comfort, fine wine in the full possession of his qualities. The agreement is a tangible evidence with deer. We could know in advance that they played winning with this wine.
The Gérard Bertrand Banyuls 2009 is light enough to be drunk easily. Epoisses streaming has an acidity that does not create a good combination because there is a fight between bitterness of wine and cheese.
With the front-dessert floral and very smooth which I have no more in mind the composition creates an agreement with Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise Vidal-Fleury 2010 which is masterful. The wine is delicate with sweets calmed by evocations of litchi. The agreement is the second bright for my taste and better than the one that forms with the « real » dessert.
José Garcia who was occupied by a wine tasting of a domain for more than sixty people came to join us after a meal to talk about pairings. Here’s a relevant sommelier who did not try to defend his choice but to discuss what could be improved. Such listening and such intelligence deserves compliments.
The service was impeccable and attentive. Gregory Zarzycki room manager was a little too talkative and involved. Understandably he was interested in this beautiful experience. We complimented the chef who has a real talent.
Our hosts, whose family trees have branches in numerous countries but especially in Greece were charming and welcoming. We explored thousand gastronomic tracks to explore together. It was a wonderful evening, warmly friendly.