Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feasting in Switzerland: Le Poisson at Auvernier, near Neuchatel

Neuchatel. Lovely city. Pearched on the lake, it enjoys the mountains on one side, and the lake on the other. However, being a little lower in altitude, and by the lake, it does get quite a lot of fog.

Click here for a wide pano from the mountains looking over Lake Neuchatel. The Alps in the distance, and the fog over the city.

In the evenings, it is a bit more lively than most Swiss cities. But a short drive away, in the little village of Auvernier, lies this wonderful fish restaurant...its namesake in French Le Poisson (meaning fish).

We started with a glass of champagne and oysters. I cannot imagine a better combination for fresh oysters.

Fresh as it can be. Sweet, delicious. With a whiff of the fragrance of the distant sea.

And of course, I had fish...sole, pan fried with butter, and a serving of shoe string fries.

Needless to say, the sole was fresh. Firm flesh, white creamy. Pan fried to perfection...thin, slightly crisp on the outside. Smooth, rich, moist inside. Beautiful.

And the fries...superb. Crisp covering...and a creamy interior. I imagined the fries to be deep fried in tallow or a mix of tallow and butter to give it the rich, creamy mouthfeel. Sinful, but oh, so good.

For desserts, I had a small scoop of ice cream...pistachio

Home made. Delicious. And...

a triple decked decadence of pear and cream within crisp pastry. Heavenly.

Truly a magnificent place to dine in or near Neuchatel. We went to the restaurant on a Monday evening, and it was brimming...full. Merely 5 days later on Friday, we had a magnificently catered meal at a private residence attended by the chef of Poisson himself labouring in the kitchen.

He moves fast, this man.

Needless to say, it was a magnificent meal, featuring one of the best langoustines and veal dishes I have had in a long time.

The meat was superb. Sous vide, and expertly browned. Tender to melting. Smooth, creamy mouth feel. Superb.

Washed down with these magnificent wines.

I cannot begin to describe the Chateau Cheval Blanc. The first bottle (yes, we had 2 bottles) was superb...truly magnificent, in its prime. The second was still excellent, and had it not been the wonderful palate and nose of the first, we would have hailed it as a beautiful drink. But in comparison, it was perhaps a bit over in terms of aging. Perhaps a month earlier. But both bottles were superb. All its touted to be.

And for desserts, home made glazes...the marron was particularly wonderful.

Again fully confirms that this is one of the best restaurants in the land. Superb.

Restaurant Le Poisson
Rue des Epancheurs 1,
Auvernier 2012, Switzerland
032 / 731 62 31
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