My trip to Europe: Pierre in Mâcon, France

image of Vineyard in Bourgogne, France

My brother Hervé and sister in law Rosa proposed to spend the week end in Bourgogne (Burgundy) and to try some Michelin Star restaurants there. We had a wide choice of restaurants, as the region has many with one or more Michelin Stars, some of them offer reasonably priced menus. For instance, Pierre that is the subject if this post, has a menu at 29 Eur ($40) including taxes and service, with appetizer, entrée and dessert. 
image of Restaurant Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

I was also thrilled to have Jodi discover Bourgogne, a region known for its wine, where I did not set foot in years. 

So, our first Michelin Star restaurant was Pierre in Mâcon. To give us some appetite, we first visited this small city, on the riverside of La Saone. 

I thought that Pierre was the name of the Chef and owner of the restaurant. Well, no: it used to be the name of the owner, before Chef Christian Gaulin and is wife Isabelle purchased the place. It is not a big place, with probably 10 to 12 tables spread across the room, so you do not have the impression of eating with your neighbors... That day, they had a party of twenty setup in a private room, but this did not disrupt at all the impeccable service we got. 
image of Dining room at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

The menu is what I would call New French, in the sense that it is not the traditional dishes you would find in some restaurants, like fromage de tête, coq au vin, canard à l'orange, etc...But elegant dishes made with traditional ingredients, from the terroir, such as foie gras or volaille de Bresse (poultry from Bresse, a fairly known origin). There, the pleasure of the eyes is as important as the taste. 
image of candle at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

To start off, we decided to try their house cocktail, suggested by Isabelle Gauchin herself who, while her husband is the Chef d'Orchestre in the kitchen, plays the role of Maître D and sommelier. 
image of house cocktail at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

The cocktail was made with crémant de Bourgogne and griotte. 
image of house cocktail at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Very fruity and with not too much alcohol, it was the perfect drink to start. 

Then, they brought us some bread. We had the choice between one made with Sel de Guérande (salt of Guérande):
image of bread with sel de Guerande at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Or olive oil and herbes de Provence (blend of herbs from Provence that you can find in fine groceries or Whole Foods). 
image of bread with olive oil and herbes de Provence at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

It was served with some smokey salted butter made with smoked Sel de Guérande. 
image of butter made with smoked sel de Guerande at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Then, they brought us some Mises en bouche or amuse bouche:

image of mises en bouche at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Fish rillettes:
image of fish rillettes at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Foie gras crème brûlée with a cherry jam (my fav):
image of foie gras creme brûlée at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Crème coco avec jus de viande truffé or coconut cream with truffled meat juice. 
image of creme coco at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Petit sablé de Parmesan avec crème de roquette or Parmesan cookie with cream of roquette salad:
image of petit sable de parmesan at Pierre in Macon Bourgogne, France

Chips de jambon cru or cured ham chips:

This was a great start, the presentation being fantastic and a nice way to experience many different flavors. 

We then started our dinner, paired with some white Bourgogne wine from Mâcon, that I completely forgot to photograph, to remember the name...

My appetizer (did I mention that we say entrée in French because it is the first course, while what we call entree in the US is the plat or plat principal?), was the foie gras de canard du Sud-Ouest aux fruits secs en gelée de pomme et Mâcon moeilleux, petite feuilles et brioche tréssée

It was a foie gras from South-West with dried fruits in an apple gelée. It was served with some salad and a toasted brioche. 

I loved the foie gras, but admit that I did not like the texture of the gelée that was a mix between the gelatinous part and the crunch of the dried fruits. 

Jodi got the ravioles de champignons avec bouillon de foie gras or mushroom ravioles with a foie gras stock. 

Know that, unlike me, Jodi does not like foie gras, so she was not sure she would like it. But she did! These ravioles that are like small ravioli, were delicious, thin, with the mushroom taste coming through. The foie gras stock was very good also, the foie gras taste not overpowering. 

For the main dish, I got the volaille de Bresse ("Maison Miéral") en deux préparations: la poîtrine rôtie, jus au suc de cuisson tranché; la traditionnelle cuisse à la crème de morilles, risotto truffé

It was a poultry from Bresse ("Maison Miéral") prepared in two ways: the breast was roasted and drizzled what I believe can be translated by the juice reduction; then the thigh with a morel cream. It was served with a truffled risotto. 

This was a great dish, the poultry being perfectly cooked and moist. I just wished there was more of that morel sauce that was succulent. The truffled risotto was also perfect with it, the rice perfectly cooked and creamy. 

Jodi got the Goujonnette de turbot au basilic et mini-ratatouille (Turbot fish with mini-ratatouille):

Then, we got a pre-dessert. Isn't it a nice concept? A dessert before dessert: that's my kind of thing! It was a crémeux de fromage Blanc avec une confiture d'abricot or creamy fromage Blanc with its apricot jam. 

But it was not over! We got some mignardises ;

Orange sucettes (lollipop):

Gâteau Mâconnais or cookie from Mâcon:

Gâteau au caramel et noix or caramel and walnut cookie:

Idéal Mâconnais with nougatine, meringue, crème patissière:

Guimauve fraise or strawberry marshmallow:

Then came desserts! Jodi got the ice cream and sherbet selection. The flavors were: vanilla/coconut, strawberry, banana, exotic fruits and cassis. 

On my side, I chose the entremet croustillant chocolat blond "Dulcey" aux Pommes, served with a salted caramel ice cream. 

I picked it because we discovered the chocolat blond "Dulcey" few days before at Valrhona (check out the post here). It was good, but not at the level of their soufflé with limoncello. 

And when we thought it was over, they brought us some chocolates...

This was a sublime dinner, Chef Gauchin definitely deserving his Michelin Star for a cuisine served in a nice and relaxed atmosphere, not stuffy at all. The service was also perfect, as expected in such place. 

Restaurant Pierre
7 Rue Dufour
71000 Mâcon, France

Enjoy (I did)!

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