The hôtel du cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes is one the most prestigious place to stay on the french riviera. It is the exclusive summer home for upscale American families since decades, and, may become « a table worth the trip » for fine gourmets in the next years. I’ve been to before it was called Louroc, the month right after Eric Frechon (MOF, 3 stars Michelin, Chevalier de la légion d’honneur) and the new cuisine team have work on the new Louroc restaurant, and, one year later with the kitchen residents members and a Michelin star awarded in the 2021 edition of the guide. The core team is identical despite the COVID-19 fresh exit. Let’s review Louroc as of July 2021.
The dinner starts with the tasting of a local olive oil from Tourrette sur Loup and a rosemary focaccia followed by three cooking techniques of olive like the classical tapenade. The amuse-bouche is a jelly of fish soup, with rouille, potato pebble with squid ink and seared red mullet. The Provence trip starts with a bite that could be rated more than one star without a doubt. The degustation menu has made noticeable improvements after getting the first Michelin star. Does 2022 is the time for the second star?
The first is the large pot caught langoustines. The caviar melts in mouth meanwhile the langoustine is fresh, tasty and crispy in the yuzu juice and tangy cream. A good start that is the same as last year.
Let’s go for the second round with the artichoke and I’m so happy with the 2021 version. An improved plating with more height bringing some crisp and more sauce to the artichoke heart game. The three flying leaves with more roasted hazelnuts and anchovy balls bring a sense of taste boost that confirm Louroc is doing its best to elevate the level. At least, I’m satisfied as I feel like my feedback have been helpful last year for this course 😄
But… there is still room for consistency. After the previous courses, I suddenly have mixed feeling with the red mullet with aioli and zucchini flower stuffed with tomato and ginger. The aioli sauce is a call to dip for hours with the squid fritter on the side but I’m not convinced by the zucchini stuffing. It is uncorrelated with the aioli and the red mullet hidden under the bread crust. The former is a bit overcooked and the latter is too much fry despite the good technique to visually make it looking good.
The next is the saddle of lamb with goat cheese in a zucchini roulé. It has small improvment compared to last year to finally be mastered from A to Z. The cooking of the meat is rosé, condiments and harissa makes you feel the Mediterranean’s touch under the delicate knife cuts arroused by the sauce. The refined lamb concludes the main courses. Globally, a neat and readable cuisine with tasty local products.
Promoting the local producers, a dedicated board to goat cheese is offered to the eyes before embracing the tasting buds. I personally like this positioning so much as I love all goat cheeses. The waiter has prepared a round of many cheeses to eat clockwise from less to strongest in mouth. Accompanied with a Puligny-Montrachet 2014 from Burgundy on the side makes the experience so delightful.
The pre-dessert is a calisson d’Aix over watermelon. The combination is perfect and makes room for dreams about the dessert. The Mara des bois strawberries are coming with its yoghurt meringue filled with whipped cream. It’s so fresh, sugary with the own juice of strawberries and a bit of acidity and florality coming from the raw fruit. The dinner ends with a lot of mignardises. Let’s keep a bit of mystery and let you discover them for your next visit to Louroc.
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is a luxury place that stays connected with the Antibes’s life and partner with locals artists, producers and Antibes Insider, the best book in town. They have successfully aggregated the best ideas and producers in the region with a team that click well together to focus on the local cuisine, a helpful sommelier, attentive front of house and an holistic experience that will stay in your memory for ages. Beyond the tiny glitches to fix to get higher in the Michelin ranking, Louroc « The rock » is an exclusive place with a stunning view and atmosphere for all fine dining lovers of Côte d’Azur.