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“Mr”
Review of L'Essentiel

L'Essentiel
Ranked #10 of 222 Restaurants in Perigueux
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We have lived in this area for over ten years and eating out is one of our passions. Dining out at these prices should be a faultless experience and with its Michelin star and the promises given on the website our expectations were high. This was a celebration so I wanted it to be special. We have lunched here before and had an excellent meal.

However, the Menu Gourmand at 43€ each is very restricted. Just four entrées, two of which are asparagus (!), three main courses and three dessert choices. I don't rate French beef generally but took a chance with a steak. My wife chose the fish as neither of us fancied the pigeon.

The entrée was good, we both had foie gras. My steak was tasty but tough and not at all what I would have expected. The dessert, when it arrived was OK although the ice cream on my chocolate soufflé was well on the way to melting. My wife's dessert was a thing of beauty but the strawberries were not particularly flavourable.

The wine was glorious but champagne is 13€ a glass. Pretty much what we would pay for a good three course menu de jour at most of the other restaurants in this neck of the woods.

They were very busy so this seemed to affect the service. My wife waited 30 minutes for a second glass of wine despite a reminder by which time she had finished her fish. We had to wait well over 30 minutes for our desserts which even by laid back French standards was too long. By this time our visit had soured and I was nitpicking. We did not have coffee. In this review I have been specific to show that not everything was below par.

Go again? No. Complain? Sadly, our French is not good enough to achieve that level without embarrassing ourselves and anyway the tables are so close that we would have disturbed other diners. Were my expectations too high? I don't think so. We have had wonderful meals at much less expensive places so the high standard can be achieved. Perhaps it was just a glitch but it was disappointing.

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2  Thank Enfrance2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 37 of 378 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2014

L Essentiel, Perigueux, Michelin one Star
After a hard mornings work searching for bargains at the Saturday morning markets in the old town of Perigueux, what could be more relaxing and rewarding than a long lunch at a one star Michelin restaurant. And l’Essentiel is so convenient both to the old town markets and our hotel at the other side of the square, not a long walk home. A la carte is tempting, but the fixed price menu selection helps put our taste buds into context, this is only lunch! With so much on offer we decide to go small and chose the 42 euro option of three courses while we will select regional wine by the glass for a quick viticultural education.
We are cognisant that we are in truffle territory here and the menu and our selections feature truffles just about everywhere and we are not complaining. We begin our little lunch with a truffled chardonnay aperitif which we find surprisingly rich and appealing, more please.
Our entree courses feature the famous perigord fois gras … and truffles. Firstly the Lobe de foie gras de canard confit dans sa graisse, une fraîcheur de courge Bidao au vinaigre de gingembre citron is in the traditional way and is wonderfully presented and appreciated. The Escalope de foie gras de canard rôti, pomme granny-smith et rhubarbe, un consommé. de jus de rhubarbe à la vanilla features a bed of granny smith apple and amazingly, rhubarb in a rhubarb soup. Not a combination that comes quickly to mind, but boy does it work well. Probably the taste explosion course selection of the day.
The main courses feature salmon and a local pigeon specialty. Firstly the Filet de Saint pierre rôti à l’huile d’olive, un crémeux de chataignes aux cèpes, une sauce velouté de courge Butternut au cumbava was an inspiration to so much salmon cooked in innumerable kitchens. The key here was the collusion of a range of apparently diverse flavours to yield an exciting and bright result. Then the Demi pigeon rôti à la goutte de sang, une farce des abats en pastilla, rouelles de navets et radis rouges glacés au cumin. was a house specialty and again came with a range of unexpected vegetables and flavours.
Deserts were spectacular and challenging, featuring firstly a Cylindre craquant au sucre cassonade, un crémeux de chocolat noir et noisettes caramélisées, un sabayon café et glace au safran and the Ananas victoria confit d’un caramel vanillé sur un sablé pressé, un crémeux de chocolat blond dulcey, un sorbet ananas et citron vert.
Overall the whole experience at this one star Michelin restaurant was impressive without being spectacular or particularly innovative. We did feel that the fare and prices were competitive with other similar tables in France.

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Thank Constant T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

I was recommended to this restaurant, and my friends and I enjoyed the food there. Excellent creation of main course and dessert, the presentation of table setting and food were pleasing to eyes. The chef's wife paid attention to every details to make our dining an unforgettable experience, she made the whole dinning experience there a wonderful and magical evening.

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Thank Mail4ken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

I was looking forward to my first meal at L'Essential in 2014, and I was not disappointed. The a mouse bouche was very creative, and the ensuing courses all well prepared. Fresh ingredients, cooked to perfection and beautifully presented. A must for any food lover !

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Thank Condor1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2013

This is a very good restaurant. Shades of cream and biscuit, proper table cloths and cutlery etc - all the simple modern elegance of a Michelin starred restaurant. Service is friendly, unstuffy and pleasant. Food is carefully prepared very good but ultimately not quite as memorable as you might be hoping. You will feel that going to a gastronomic capital with thi9s its best restaurant might just blow your socks off. Everything will be well prepared and presented but it lacks a little sparkle or imagination. You would feel wrong to complain but in your heart of hearts when you leave you will have had a lovely time but will have just hoped for that little bit more which didn't quite materialise.

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Thank FrankieSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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