Imagine a restaurant located in an old hotel particulier (old townhouse of grand sort) where the Chef is dedicated to quality and food inspired by nature. This is the brasserie Le 1836. In fact, there are two restaurants: The Fantin Latour located at the entrance of the townhouse, where the Museum dedicated to the painter Fantin Latour was. The restaurant is kind of fancy and gastronomical with some mouth watering tasting menu. And then the brasserie Le 1836, a more casual but still upscale restaurant whose name comes from the year Fantin Latour was born.
The restaurant is owned by Chef Stephane and his wife Lea Froidevaux. The story of the Chef is pretty interesting: According to him, he was 5 years old when he decided to be a Chef. He spent his childhood going in the mountain with his family to pick various plants, fruits...ingredients that he used later as an inspiration for his cuisine.
We only went to the brasserie for lunch and I have to say that the restaurant was beautifully decorated and there was no doubt that nature was the inspiration considering the large presence of wood and plants. They also have a lovely garden with a fountain that is opened when the weather permits.
In term of menu, it changes depending on the market availability. We went for the 26 Euros ($35) prix fixe menu: for that price, you get an appetizer, an entree, a dessert and either a glass of wine or a bottle of mineral water. But note that there is no choice for this prix fixe, except if there is really an issue with a dish or an ingredient. Otherwise, you need to order from the menu (written on a chalk board). So, that day it was:
Pissaladiere: pizza like dish from the South of France and the Italian region of Liguria, made of a bread dough thicker than that of the classic Italian pizza and the traditional topping consists of caramelized onions, olives, garlic and anchovies (either whole or in the form of pissalat, a type of anchovy paste).
Not only the presentation was incredible, but this was delicious although the Chef made it different: the onions were not fully caramelized and a bit crunchy, giving an awesome texture to the dish. The dough was a puff pastry and there were some delicious raisins. Last, the anchovies were replaced by a sardine. It was in fact my favorite dish!
Then, we had the Quasi de veau with a peas sauce.
Again, for this dish, the presentation was amazing. The Quasi de veau is in fact a piece of veal taken from...the bottom of the animal. It is supposed to be the best part for roasting. But I have to say that I did not really like the meat. The sauce and the sides were good, but the meat was tough. Too bad. However, I loved the mash potatoes, the couscous and the peas flan (very light) that came with it.
We also tried a piece of beef that is closed to rib steak.
Once we finished the entrees and before dessert, they gave us a non alcoholic digestive shot made of pineapple and ginger.
So here is the best part: dessert!!!
I definitely had a nice meal, although I did not like the veal itself. The presentation of the dishes was very elegant, at the level of a gastronomic restaurant. The whole meal really shoed the creativity of the Chef and it was a pleasure for the eyes before being a pleasure for the palate. I would definitely go back, but next time, I would like to try the other restaurant of the Chef, The Fantin Latour!
Enjoy (I did)!
And Remember: I just want to eat!
5, rue Abbé de la Salle,38000 Grenoble, France