Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau, starred gastronomic restaurant3 in La Rochelle
It stretches forth, like a natural extension, embracing La Concurrence Beach. The starred gastronomic Christopher Coutanceau restaurant in La Rochelle is the Ocean's favourite companion, a soul mate. Their tête-à-tête intrigues, inspires and their secrets invite us in as soon as we step over the restaurant threshold. The Ocean is everywhere, through the large bay windows of course as well as in the ocean-blue flooring, in the sand-tone leather walls and aluminium crystal drops swaying freely from the ceiling mirroring the to-ing and fro-ing of the sea.
The Ocean is an artist in residence. It even infuses the decorative culinary art imitating aquatic features fantastically. Everything espouses detail and attention to detail. The Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau dining space, created by the La Rochelle-based architect Bertrand Pourrier, ushers us in elegantly, setting the scene for an exquisite crossing, setting sail from La Rochelle.
"The Ocean is my garden, my life! In a way, it has shaped me and is part of my daily life. Through my cuisine, I tell my story. The sea is an amazing source of expression that I draw from so I can share the best with my guests."
Christopher Coutanceau's eco-friendly cuisine, bubbling over with pure, delicate iodized notes even in desserts, is a declaration of love to the Ocean.
By scrupulously observing the seasons of the sea and the biological cycle of species, the La Rochelle-based chef conjures instinctive cuisine, cuisine imagined on the spur of the moment as everything is decided every morning during the fish auction, on the port of La Rochelle.
The chef's creations are naturally coloured, veering from dusky shades in the autumn with whiting, St Pierre, weevers, to rainbow hues in the summer showcasing red mullet, porgy and wrasse. The Ocean decides, the chef composes, perception, sensitivity, an unwavering lifeline.
Meaningful cuisine combined with sensational technique forge Christopher Coutanceau's signature, along with fish deemed less noble, undeservedly scorned, worked on totally with zero waste. The fragile, delicate sardine, which can be damaged by the very warmth of a hand, is exalted from head to tail, infused with the pureness and intensity of childhood memories. The same holds true for garfish and whiting-pout.
Embracing essence, awakening unprecedented tastes: simplicity triggering waves of emotion.
The wine cellar
The wine cellar, a treasure hidden behind the scenes in Christopher Coutanceau's starred restaurant in La Rochelle, is a realm where master of the House Nicolas Brossard reigns.
This space, boasting over 22,000 bottles and some 2,400 references, including some still maturing, cruises along all the wine-producing regions of France, drifting from one bank to another, from East to West, from North to South.
Only natural that it chooses to moor in Charente-Maritime, with a fine selection of wines from Haut-Poitou, from Pays de Vendée and from Charente, as well as Pineau-des-Charentes and Cognacs.
It heads to Burgundy, Nicolas Brossard's favourite region, stops off in Val de Loire, in Alsace, in Champagne, makes a halt in the Jura, the Rhône, the Bordeaux region, abroad and everywhere that winemakers work with passion.
Thanks to Nicolas Brossard's endless curiosity, the wine cellar is constantly enriched, forever evolving. The master of the House imagines his wine list with passion, centre staging leading wine estates, somewhat confidential labels, bottles from artisan winemakers and favourites found off the beaten track.
"I'm curious about everything. It's part of my job to help launch winemakers, uncover gems and discover unknown wines."
And the result, a very precise, eclectic wine list absolutely in symbiosis with Christopher Coutanceau's iodized cuisine.
With its fine selection of wine-by-the-glass featuring grands crus and renowned names, a wide array of half bottles as well as large volume proposals, the wine list in the starred Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau proclaims its love for the vine and those who work with it.
The Chef's Table
In a lounge adjoining the kitchen of the Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau, separated by a liquid-crystal bay-style window that can be made opaque or left transparent, the "Chef's Table" is an enchanting further step into Christopher Coutanceau's personal world.
Behind the scenes, in the foreground where everything takes place, it offers 8 guests the privilege of a confidential display normally hidden from view: the ballet of a 3 star brigade.
With its intimate, hushed atmosphere, its exquisite lighting, the "Chef's Table" invites to delight in a timeless interlude, accompanied by a bespoke menu where food and wine are remarkably paired, served and presented by Christopher Coutanceau and Nicolas Brossard.