With a weeks vacation in Cannes I couldn’t spend it entirely relaxing by the beach, but I simply had to try one of the upscale restaurants that off course are present in a city as luxurious as Cannes. With the majority of my fine dining experiences have been within new Nordic cooking I was very much looking forward to my first visit to a Michelin star restaurant in France.
La Palm d’Or a two star restaurant in the beautiful and luxurious hotel Martinez overlooking the Croissette was an obvious choice.
I unfortunately have to say that not all of my high expectations were met. When enjoying an evening or afternoon at a Michelin star restaurant the food is a big part of the experience, but to me what takes it from an excellent meal to a great experience is the service. In this regard I am still amazed that waiters on Michelin star restaurants in France and Italy do not speak a proper English. The part of the service that is suppose to make you feel welcome and relaxed was therefore almost non existing. Having experienced the warmth and humour from waiters at the classic bistros in France I am amazed that this completely disappeared behind the black suit and ties and apparent language barriere.
I don’t doubt that could I have spoken French I would have had a completely different experience, but this was not the case. I nice touch in the service was however bringing me an English newspaper to read between appetizers.
Now to the food.
I have noticed that in both Italy and France the bread plays a much bigger part than in Scandinavian. The first service was 4 different kinds of truly paper-thin pieces of bread.
The second round was 4 different snacks, both sweet and salty pieces.
The puffed rice with goat cheese deserves to be highlighted. Sweet and crispy. A nice combination. Similar was a different take on the classic ravioli. Spinach within a crisp tempura batter.
First course was zucchini in different textures. A very beautiful dish with very delicate flavours. However more beautiful than tasty.
Luckily this was not the case for the second dish. Carrot and snails. The carrot was cooked in orange juice and champagne at low temperatures making it extremely sweet and delicate to balance the snails with was served with different oriental spices.
The last salty dish was another French classic. Quail. Perfectly cooked. Served with verbena, fennel and fennel flowers they balanced the soft and delicate flavours of the qual.
The two desserts were both in the theme of peach. First was peach in different textures. Very fresh and refreshing. A truly aesthetic serving.
The second dessert was a classing. Poached pear with the fluffiest and light cream and a sorbet from rose pedals. Classic.
To finish the lunch was 3 small petit fours. The raspberry foam with fresh raspberries was exceptional. The simplest serving of the day.
After 3 hours my first French Michelin experience was done. For 72 Euros for a 5-course lunch including wine I would repeat this any time. A great meal definitely, but an exceptional experience no. To that extent the service was far too distant.