Over the years some of the most exciting dining you can experience is a restaurant on the way up. With Goust only being open three months you would seriously hope that they are not on the way down but let me tell you this is a restaurant on the’ fast SNCF to Etoillesville’.
It is Enrio Bernardo’s new baby in a posh area of the 2nd. Don’t let the plush, inviting fit out or outstanding service scare you off. This place represents terrific value. We were offered a complimentary glass of house Blanc de Blancs Champagne, sat on it for half an hour, devoured the excellent amuse of anchovy mousse, bade our farewells and left with exactly same net worth as when we arrived.
After we were forcibly restrained and made to sit down we enjoyed immensely the ‘Grand Goust’ degustation menu. The wine list is good, big on Burgundy and pricing is extremely gentle. We started with a 2007 Roulot Meursault ‘Perrieres’ that had just a hint of smoky minerals to start with. It breathed up beautifully in the glass and has so much flinty, rocky, salty geological action. There was just a faint suggestion of green melon, citrus and white peach fruits. It was linear, razor sharp and focuses, with a glycerol sheath around the spine. Length of flavour was tremendous. It was terrific with the first few courses.
There’s a touch of the molecular to the cooking and thankfully chef gets it out the way early, proving he can do it and then getting down to the business to cooking seriously good food without obvious trickery. It comes in the form of an egg served with a most excellent tartare of veal and oysters. The egg looks like an egg, has the texture of an egg but is in fact a yolk of mango surrounded by coconut and yoghurt at the white. It was quite sweet and confronting at first but worked well with the tartare.
With Enrico’s wine background the restaurant is really conscious of showing each wine in its best light. I should not have worried about endive or artichokes being part of the equation in the next dish, these two things can monster a wine. They had been steeped in orange juice and were sympathetic with our Meursault. The Mackerel escabèche on the plate was sublime. It was as if the fish had been confited and its oiliness was perfectly cut by everything else tart and bitter. Gently poached langoustines could have been aggressively poached but tasted as if something gentle had had to them and were sweet and sublime. There was an emulsion on top called cream of tortilla that has a light, meaty smokiness and beautiful potatoes and watercress coulis finished the dish of magnificently. It was sublime with aforementioned Meursault.
This trip we have not had any red mullet thus far and it may have been fortuitous as I suspect the version Chez Goust would have blown any others out of the ocean. Here a perfectly cooked fillet lay upon broad beans and girolles. There were a couple of lines of saffron infused garlic aioli and once again so far as wine friendliness was concerned this was the U.N of aioli as any harsh pepperiness of garlic was somehow rounded out.
I am an absolute sucker for wine well under the going market price and if I told you what we paid for the 2006 Armand Rousseau Chambertin I won’t tell you what we paid for it not because I can’t kill you as it is illegal, but because by the time this goes to print there is no way any will be left at the tariff they have on it. It behaved in an opposite fashion to the Roulot. It was immediately giving and opulent with pristine raspberry, cherry and blood plum fruits, some highly perfumed flora, ginger and plenty of sweet earth. It tightened in the glass and showed some meatier traits. It was impeccably balanced with good power and not an ounce of heaviness. It finished with good detail and was also extraordinarily long. It was heavenly with veal sweetbreads en papillote. They were poached in a bag with a teriyaki and citrus sauce and skewered by a lemongrass stick. The sweetbreads were milky and sweet and the sauce gave the overall dish strength to cope with the Chambertin.
Our sommelier asked if he could propose a glass of something to compliment dessert. When he arrived with some Chilean botrytis I asked whether anyone ever knocked back such proposals. He responded with ‘yes’. I was in a good mood and drank this serviceable wine with an excellent dessert of Mascarpone mousse filled with strawberry ice cream, strawberries and mint.
Enrico Bernardo was on hand, cruising the floor and pressing the flesh. His team is well drilled and excited. The service is warm and authentic, perhaps a bit over-eager at this stage but you sense it will settle into its groove in the next month or so. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.
I am unable to ring the Angelus with the same dulcet tones as Jeremy, but let me offer up my praise as well. It is certainly my favorite of the Spring 2013 places visited. I reserved immediately after Jock praised it and am returning this week with another Hound of renown.
Michelin macarons are not the holy grail they once were, but my money is on Goust winning one next year.