Georges Blanc

Europe's biggest three-star restaurant

Georges Blanc is not only the chef of a legendary restaurant. The man controls a whole village. Complete with shops, cafes, bistros, restaurants and hotels

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The traveler who passes through here somehow can’t be helped to draw parallels between this and Disneyland. Similarly to Disneyland, superficiality is on the programme here too.

Because, from the moment you walk into the restaurant, you leave this perfect, idyllic world that exists outside. You enter another one. One where things shine and sparkle, but can’t help revealing more than a few cracks and problems all over the room. Also, the fact that this is probably Europe’s biggest three-star restaurant makes you understand that this is a money making machine. The room is so big and loud that it seems more like that of a bistro than that of a grand restaurant. To be honest, the service is more on that level too: Unprofessional, without any knowledge of either dishes or wine and embarrassingly unorganised.

However, a look at the wine list makes you look twice: The prices are very fair indeed. Legendary wines are available in a vast selection of vintages at prices that are more than reasonable. This is certainly aided by the fact that the restaurant’s wine cellar contains no less than 130.000 bottles.

That, unfortunately seems to be the only point lacking superficiality. The food, arguably every restaurant’s most important element, is dreadful. The product quality is shockingly bad for a restaurant of this standard. Be it sea bass or langoustines, you will not leave here with the feeling that the money you paid for your meal will have gotten you good quality products. The same also goes for the cooking. A dish of langoustines, oysters and chicken oysters simply features three tiny, lonely bits of protein surrounded by an overly sour, one-dimensional broth.

Another such example of technical problems is the classic of the house: The Bresse chicken with foie gras, and crepes vonnassiennes. It is a dish that features a decent chicken, but treats this chicken with overly generous heat that only results in a dry and unpleasant texture in the mouth. Furthermore, it lacks flavour, which is brought only by the fatty, lumpy foie gras sauce. This is cooking of the lowest order, cooking which does not manage to get the essentials right. Therefore, one somehow gets a feeling of being served off here, not as a gourmand or esteemed client, but as a silly tourist who doesn’t understand what’s going on anyways.

Thus, one can safely say that this restaurant, glorious as it might have been in its heyday does not merit much attention anymore. It does not convince in any way apart from the wine list. If you still want to eat in Blanc’s empire, do yourself a favour and go to one of his bistros. Chances are you will spend much less, and will have a decent meal…

Georges Blanc

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