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Maison Troisgros – Le Bois sans Feuilles

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Le Bois sans Feuilles? A kingdom located just a few kilometers outside of Roanne, where the Troisgros family treat guests to a world apart. Designed by architect Patrick Bouchain, this U-shaped space decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows is built around a hundred-year-old oak tree and brought to life by steel tree trunks, Little Tulip turquoise chairs and chandeliers that resemble trembling leaves… In short, it’s a small, reconstructed, nearly barren forest, where you can savor the superbly revisited, bourgeois cuisine of Michel Bras and his sons César and Léo. For us, served à la carte the day we went for lunch: a fabulous pigeon served bloody, with red shades of watermelon, tomato, beetroot, redcurrants, strawberries and infused bee balm leaves; jubilatory grilled veal sweetbreads sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, plus eggplant marinated in dashi and a rich jus de cuisson; before a sublime chocolate narcissus, a sort of cacao disc with shortbread edges, filled with a lightly runny, irresistible ganache, punctuated by tangy capers in the ice cream served on the side. For the voluntary vertigo of an even-lengthier tasting menu, you can dive blindly into the €300 menu – eg.: milk curds with autumn truffle; sole with mint; crayfish “melancholy”; venison medallions; “somewhere between a pear and a turnip,” etc. // Gilles Dupuis

FEELING THIRSTY? Precious nectars abound: an Alsace-Sylvaner from Valentin Zusslin (€15 a glass), a Jura Chardonnay from the Domaine Labet (€20), a Côte-de-Brouilly from Laurent Martray (€65 a bottle)…. And if you’re not worried about the bill, there’s a 1985 Côte-Rôtie from Guigal (€1,200) or a 2009 Montrachet from Romanée-Conti (€3,600).

PRICE: Tasting menus €130 (weekday lunch and for anyone under 35 on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evening, drinks included) and €310 (€500 with food and wine pairings), children €50, youngsters (11 and up – €100), à la carte €195-230.

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Le Fooding is a print and digital guide to all the restaurants, chefs, bars, stylish hotels and B&Bs that make up the “taste of the times,” plus an annual awards list for new establishments across France, a series of gastronomic events, a tool that allow you to make reservations at some fantastic bistros, and an agency specialized in event planning, content production and consulting… In short, something to keep you on your toes at all times!

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