La Côte St-Jacques

Jean-Michel Lorain
Jean-Michel Lorain
Country: France
City: 89300 Joigny
Address: 14, fg Paris
(+33) 0386620970
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays midday (from November to April)
Price: 110 - 160 €
Tasting menu:: 147 - 185 €

  • Bandeja de marisco virtual
  • Bandeja de marisco virtual
  • Morcilla con puré
  • Morcilla con puré

Jean-Michel Lorain’s career has been rather unusual considering how he began, as young chef born to a family of already established, confirmed restaurateurs. Instead of starting out in the protective environment of La Côte St-Jacques, Jean-Michel opted to begin his training in the restaurant of the Troisgros brothers, in Roanne, where he remained for four years. He then spent two years on the legendary Swiss chef Freddy Girardet’s team, and in 1983, he finally returned to Joigny where, ten years later, he replaced his father Michel at the rings.

Endowed with a strong character, Jean-Michel Lorain has known how to impose his personality on La Côte St-Jacques, completely reforming the establishment and, above all else, introducing new concepts in the kitchen. His father gave him carte blanche with the restaurant, something rather rare in this world, and sufficed himself with the occasional suggestion, here and there, which no doubt allowed him to enjoy his retirement in a much more serene fashion… Just to clarify, certain classic dishes are still offered, mostly out of respect for the fifty years of history the restaurant boasts. Fifty years that made the Lorain family famous the world over.

As an appetizer, we were served slices of the celebrated “homemade” blood sausage with potato puree, a classic of La Côte St-Jacques and something with which we fool the stomach while waiting for the first dish: a tray of virtual shellfish. The dish is comprised of six spoons supported by a base filled with ice that contain grooved carpet shell clam pulp with vodka and lemon peel, a cube of pumpkin bathed in crab cream with spider crab meat batter, mollusk tabbouleh with cabbage in lemon vinaigrette, sea urchin emulsion with pea cream and poached quail egg, raw scallop millefeuilles with white radish, horseradish and caviar, grey shrimp over jell-o and shrimp gelatin, and, in the centre, a small glass with oyster water frappé with vichyssoise and ground oyster meat. I promise you, this dish requires more time to both describe and taste. This was all followed by the legendary and exceptional quail eggs in sea urchin shell and the “genesis of an oyster themed dish”, based on an absolutely brilliant intuitive concept. In a sequence of four courses that came next we covered the distinct stages that the chef used to define the dish. Four small bowls were presented on the table: the first contained rye porridge with oyster water; the second, cream of lettuce and red onion; the third, a poached oyster, and the fourth held a crispy rye crêpe. Truly extraordinary. We continued with delicious pan-seared sweetbreads accompanied by cauliflower cream with citrus and a light sea urchin mousse, finished with a majestic pyramid of spiced bread all’imperatrice with a caramel ice cream made with salted butter.

Jean-Michel Lorain proposes a progressive cuisine, reaching for the future while respecting the past, which encourages our expectations about the future of the establishment.