We had lunch at Le Pavillion des Boulevards in October. We had booked online the night before having made a decision to visit Bordeaux for the day.
It was a cool mid-week day and the area around the restaurant has a drab suburban look. But as you walk through the doorway you enter a different world. We were greeted warmly by Madame Franc and shown to our table in a sunlit room looking out towards the courtyard which, during the warmer months, would be a wonderful place to enjoy what Le Pavillion has to offer. As we sat down the sunlight was warming the room.
We opted for the surprise menu at 80 € per person. It was a delight. The dishes (4 seafood, 2 meat courses and two deserts) were all excellent but special praise must be given to the pan fried St Jaques with a miso saucer, chanterelle mushrooms and tiny almond flakes, the fillet of red mullet with a ratatouille of zucchini and mango with a superb creamy source and a cockle of chocolate filled with fresh raspberries, a slice of foie gras lightly pan fried and dusted with orange powder and placed on a thin ginger bread biscuit with a rhubarb jam and Chantilly and topped with hot chocolate which melted the chocolate cockle when poured on the dish. A must for chocoholics! The flavours were sometimes subtle (the miso source with the St Jaques) and sometimes pronounced (the red mullet) but it all worked wonderfully.
The Maître d' (who spoke fluent English) was friendly and helpful, as was the Sommelier. A young waiter was always there to remove dishes and set for the next course. At the end of a wonderful we were able to convey our thanks to the chef, Denis Franc who deserves the accolades his creative cooking achieves.
The restaurant offers a lunchtime menu for 40 € which, on the day we went, consisted of four ample courses. Given the quality it was surprising there were less than a dozen people enjoying the wonderful food. Overall a great experience with great food served in a very pleasant room. It is certainly worth finding La Pavillion des Boulevards which is a little out the of the city center. Parking could be a problem. We found a spot but there were very few. We suggest you take a taxi and enjoy some of the fabulous wines on the Carte de Vin.
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