Saint - James

Michel Portos
Michel Portos
Country: France
City: 33270 Bouliac
Address: 3, place Camille Hostein
(+33) 0 557970600
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, 15 days in January and April
Price: 80/120 €
Tasting menu:: 95 €

  • Helado de ajo con rebozuelos, chalota, pasta de aceitunas y anguila ahumada
  • Helado de ajo con rebozuelos, chalota, pasta de aceitunas y anguila ahumada
  • Bloque de apio helado con chocolate, crema de coco y caramelo
  • Bloque de apio helado con chocolate, crema de coco y caramelo

With incredible technique, this great connoisseur of raw product, an intelligent, inventive and temperate chef, masterfully transforms the extraordinary products chosen from all over France – with special attention paid to the Bordeaux region and more than one incursion into neighboring Spain – creating precise dishes, rich in flavors and bearing a distinct mark of professionalism that often times reaches excellence.

The menu is comprised of many interesting proposals, but our suggestion is to order the menu découverte, which changes daily and allows Michel Portos the freedom to express himself best. Let us begin with the starters: a refreshing frozen soup of fennel and pineapple with tapioca pearls and a brochette of Bouchot mussels with herbs. The Bouchot mussels reappear in the first (and magnificent) dish accompanied by a tagliatelle salad with dill, a “trembling” tomato gelatin and a spoonful of Aquitaine caviar. We continued on to the surprising garlic ice cream with chanterelle mushrooms, shallots in vinegar, olive paste and smoked eel that prepared our palates for an exceptional oyster cooked in a wood-fired oven with artichoke slices and “coco” beans of Paimpol with Banyuls sauce, cardamom and fresh mint. Next, we were served a cube of raw foie gras, Madagascar prawns, sprouts and green mango – a composition that brought us absolutely unprecedented sensations. The calamari with eggplant-stuffed pancetta ravioli, pear and cilantro, seasoned with lemon in brine, mojama (dried, salted tuna) and spicy oil was a complete dish with clean, precise flavors. Immediately following, we tried the slightly less convincing river crabs with dill-pesto fennel bulbs.
We returned to form with an astonishing turbot paired with kumquat confit, wakame seaweed and crustacean juices: a masterpiece of contrasts. An excellent low-temperature lamb with crispy onions and a remarkable squab with rhubarb and lemon confit with rosemary closed out the feast.
On to the desserts: the block of frozen celery with chocolate, coconut cream and caramel; two crispy muesli leaves filled with wild blackberries and blackberry ice cream; and to finish, the cylinder of herb greuil, cherries in olive oil, cherry gelatin, almonds and tarragon. All three are up to the standards of the house.

What we were most impressed by in the tasting menu were the combinations of ingredients, herbs and spices that create (sometimes violent) contrasts, but which are absolutely original and incredibly well balanced. Michel Portos improves with every passing year, keeping firm to his path, consolidating himself as one of the finest chefs in the region.