Restaurant Le Moissonnier: Eric Menchon wins plaudits for his avant-garde cuisine of supreme quality

In the bistro ambience at Cologne's Restaurant Le Moissonnier, Eric Menchon creates some of Germany's most innovative and exciting cuisine.

When you walk into Le Moissonnier, you have to pinch yourself twice to check you're not in Paris. Nowhere in Germany is there a bistro with a more authentic, more French soul. This iconic restaurant, built up over the years by owner Vincent Moissonnier and chef de cuisine Eric Menchon, doesn't fit into the 'gourmet restaurant' mould at all. Eric Menchon's is an unmistakable cooking style and his philosophy slightly reminiscent of Pierre Gagnaire but with more mediterranean flavours, believing that every dish is a menu in miniature. The prices are also reasonable considering the quality that is served (four-course weekday menu: €70; six-course weekend menu: €108).

Menchon dazzled recently with roast milk veal sweetbread with orange blossom & aniseed cream, sweet onion compote, vegetable nem, samphire and asparagus. The robust, assertive roast sweetbread is flanked by the orange and aniseed notes, which give the sweetbread a certain lightness, and by the intense onion compote, which emphasises the roasted notes. Served separately is a vegetable spring roll, which again gently picks up the roasted notes and forms a bridge to the third plate of samphire and asparagus, creating a wonderful circular effect. Together with the owner's exceptional wines, this principle of circular flavours that inspires almost every dish at Le Moissonnier, including the desserts, makes dining here one of life's great joys.

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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