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“Great, great food”

Restaurant Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux
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Ranked #1 of 8 Restaurants in Bouliac
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $62 - $179
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I have stayed at and eaten at many 5 star hotels. Never have I eaten so good. Highly recommend but pricey

Thank Lianne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 - 56 of 782 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2013

The chef of this restaurant certainly has skills, although he can not match the top Michelin-level chefs of Spain (that's not really fair though, as we were on a returning trip from a culinary pilgrimage to San Sebastian). So nice food, innovative touch, definitely worth its star. What completely spoiled it for us was the sloppy service. Maybe it's because our French is just very basic, but still... We had an expensive aperitif outside at the terrace and then were guided inside within 3 minutes of receiving the aperitif. They were in a hurry. We left the glasses outside, expecting to see them again at the dinner table, but instead our first course was delivered and we never saw the glasses again. Three tiny nips of Champagne for 20 euros, that's hardly a good deal. Later on, we noticed we were the only ones getting our coffee without the interesting looking sweets and cookies that all other tables were handed out. We'll probably never know why. So all in all, the somewhat formal, uptight service spoiled our lunch experience here. Not exactly an appetizer to come back, we're sorry to say.

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1  Thank RonT58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Monsieur Magie, the new chef at this prestigious address, is an excellent chef, and I found the quality of the meal there even superior to the deservedly 2 Michelin star Hostelerie de Plaisance in St. Emilion. Another plus is that the wine list is very well chosen and both the assistant sommelier and his assistant are doing a very good job. Unfortunately, despite all this, we had not very pleasant meal there due to the repeated errors and lack of interest of the service staff. The major problems were:
1. We waited at least one hour to place our order, even though we didn't want to have an aperitive.
2. The four of us finished the bottle of water rather fast, and we had to request another bottle of water at least three time. It took them about 1.5 hours to bring the bottle of water.
3. The lady who served the cheese course bordered on impoliteness. She didn't tell us the names of the cheeses and seemed very annoyed by our questions about the names of the cheeses.
4. We noticed that there is almost nobody in charge of the dining room. When we needed something, it was almost impossible to get attention, except the attention of a young lady who looked like a stagaire and who laked authority.

I also found it bizarre that depite the fact that we stayed in the hotel for four nights, we were given one of the worst tables in the dining room. Two of us had to look at the wall all night, while most of the other guests in the dining room had a beautiful view of Bordeaux. Clearly, there is a management problem, which is unfortunate for the perfectionist chef. I will fondly remember his Adour salmon entre, his langoustines, his turbot cooked on the bone, and the excellent smoked pigeon.

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2  Thank degusto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Food was very good. Atmosphere a little stiff, and service a bit clumsy. I estimate that when you have the full view from the restaurant, it's spectacular.

Thank Tartiflette0450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

This beautiful hotel I've visited twice during my stay in Bordeaux. When I was informed that Michel Portos was about to leave this restaurant and that his place would be taken by Nicolas Magie, Chef of La Cape in Cenon with who I was working with those days, I wanted to experience 'Le Saint James' of both of the Chefs.
First time I went there for a Saturday's lunch with my Mum (August 2012). Right from the beginning we felt in love with a beautiful view from the restaurant's windows (the hotel is located on the hill, on the opposite side of Bordeaux). Welcomed very friendly, we were asked about the aperitif preferences, with which we received, in my opinion, one of the most important points of the meal, so called 'amuse bouche' [pic1].
Then with our amused palette, we made a choice for the menu. We took the simplest version: starter, main and dessert. As a before starter we received nicely 'cubed' squid, fried on plancha from one side, with ketchup maison [pic2]. I need to say that as the flavor and cooking of squid were perfect, the mix with not so good ketchup was a misunderstanding.
For a starter we had crab salad in two different jellies, one fresh and citrus and the other with spices like cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg [pic3]. And again, maybe it was not the best seasoning or maybe we were just expecting something 'more' for the 2stars restaurant, but we weren't to overwhelmed. After it was a main course time. Both of us had a fish, for which I was waiting impatiently, because I really like red mullet and I really like a very well cooked fish. Unfortunately there nothing went well. Fish had a strange taste (maybe they marinated it eight something), garnish badly matched, and an olive cake under the fish over salted [pic4]. Finally we didn't even finish our plates.
Luckily the pre-dessert and the dessert were tasty [pic5/pic6].
Generally speaking during our meal we found some strong and also some week points of 'la cuisine' of Michel Portos. We left with the impression that the Chef has already left the kitchen and if not for sure he lost his spirit. However the spectacular view and very professional service put that place a little bit higher.

So after that lunch, I was really looking forward to sea the difference between both of the chefs. And so after 2 months the opportunity arrived. Once again I booked a table for two, for a lunch on Saturday (October 2012), but this time it was Annabelle, my cooking friend, who kept me company. As we accommodated by our table, chased champaign rose for aperitif and the menu formula, maître d'hôtel came announcing that Chef Magie will prepare a special dishes for us. Who would say no, right? Almost jumping in our chairs, absorbed by a discussion, we were waiting for the amuse bouche [pic7]. After the snack portions of marinated salmon, deconstructed mackerel and potato salad and a piece of my favorite foie gras on a french pastry, I could tell that the style of serving and the plates haven't changed in Le Saint James. Our appetizer disappeared quickly and it was replaced by a small bowl of pear soup, shiso cannelloni stuffed with fish and potato chips [pic8]. Sweatnes of the fruit, acidity of the japanese lief, saltiness of the fish and crunchiness of the chips - well combined different textures and flavors in the same plate, getting more hungry we were ready for the starter…
And when I saw it I felt totally in love with it [pic9]! Perfectly cooked scallops on a white cauliflower puree, surrounded with two differently marinated, colorful cauliflowers, yuzu biscuits, onion confit sauce and a Beurre Bordier sandwich.
For a fish dish we received a piece of sea bass, leek cannelloni with seafood farce and shellfish sauce [pic10]. Still overwhelmed by the scallops I wasn't very into this plate, but it was really difficult to beat it.
After all that saltiness, cheese and wine we were ready for a dessert (but still dreaming about the Saint Jacques) and so it came. At the beginning a pear mousse, with a crumble and a lime sponge to prepare our palette for a change of tastes [pic11]. Then an unexpected surprise in a form of a smooth winter squash mousse between the coconut biscuit and pepper tile with a grapefruit sorbet [pic12].
I can admit that I was expecting a lot, but not as much. Besides all of the delicious food I found a lot of heart, soul and love in Magie's plates. It wasn't only a good meal, it was also an eyes opening experience about the cooking and a brave flavor combining, after which we could not stop to appreciate all of the work done behind the kitchen's door and of course the incredible imagination of the Chef Nicolas Magie. Thank you!

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1  Thank Maria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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