Le Relais Bernard Loiseau

Patrick Bertron
Patrick Bertron
Country: France
City: 21210 Saulieu
Address: 2, rue Argentine
(+33) 0380905353
Closed: From January 10th to February 10th, Wednesdays midday and Tuesdays (from November to March)
Price: 120 - 200 €
Tasting menu:: 125 - 175 €

  • Mollejas con puré de patata trufado
  • Mollejas con puré de patata trufado
  • Covert con higos, nueces y manzana
  • Covert con higos, nueces y manzana

On February 24th 2003, Bernard Loiseau, the Debussy of cuisine and perhaps the most communicative of the French chefs, ended his life. Dominique Loiseau, his wife, succeeded not by burying herself in grief but rather by choosing a path of renovation. You can still find a few house classics on the menu, but everything else is new. Patrick Bertron, who has worked in the Relais kitchen since 1982, now enjoys a freedom of self-expression that is without restriction.

Don’t expect to see any molecular cuisine or exotic influences here. Patrick Bertron proposes a solid French cuisine with a classic touch, loyal to the imperatives of his mentor and based on exceptional ingredients and the flavors of the Bourgogne region. At the same time, Bertron has created the menu with an approach that reveals his excellent technical abilities and one that responds to a style that is irrevocably tied to the great history of the establishment yet still true to his own personality. It has certainly been an arduous progression, and one that resembles that of Loiseau himself when he began in Salieu years ago, mediating with one of the former owners, the great Alexandre Dumaine. You can therefore still order the legendary Poulet de Bresse à la vapeur “Alexandre Dumaine” for a price of 259.00 euros (for two or four people).

We began with a series of appetizers, among them a decadent croquette of pigs feet with a delicious pork fat gelatin, spinach puree and fried leeks, before moving on to a flavorful caramelized cauliflower cream, a prelude to a famous dish of Loiseau, the frog legs with garlic puree and parsley juice – a dish that deserves its celebrity! This was followed by one of Bertron’s many balanced creations, the warm oysters of Quiberon bay with Vezelay melon gelatin and an iodized leek velouté; we continued with another Bertron recipe, a variation on the theme of the petit gris escargots, which are offered here with a magnificent lettuce cream with almond oil, presented on a skewer over an exquisite egg yolk vinaigrette in the form of ravioli with horn-of-plenty mushrooms – a dish of great technical complexity and enormous flavorful impact. We returned to Loiseau and some unforgettable browned sweetbreads with a generously truffled potato puree that delighted us with its unique sensations. Back to Bertron, now with mallard, prepared rare, accompanied by a sauté of figs, walnuts and apple, red cabbage compote and a quenelle of nuts… an authentic game dish that awakens forgotten emotions within. We finished with the celebrated Saint-Honoré “cuit minute” with chiboust cream and petits-fours, together with an incredibly fine almond tuile.

Bernard Loiseau may rest in peace: the structure that he so painstakingly built has survived.