Tucked away in a residential part of the French city of Saint-Brieuc, in the beautiful region of Brittany, lies a pure gem, serving refined French cuisine in an elegant decor. Restaurant La Croix Blanche stands as a gastronomic place in the region due to some undeniable highlights.
Sincerity and Elegance
Located off the beaten path, you don’t come to this restaurant by chance. From the outside the place looks almost like a normal house, apart from the ‘Restaurant’ sign. I went there in October to enjoy a family lunch. As we entered, the hostess greeted us with kindness and professionalism. The room’s decor is classical, understated yet elegant and welcoming. The main room opens to a beautiful garden, which adds a nice and green touch to the already perfect interior. You will find no snobbery here. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Mahé, show a genuine desire to share their love of the Brittany region, with sincerity, simplicity and humility. I immediately felt at ease and ready to enjoy the culinary journey ahead of me.
Seasonal Menus and Local Ingredients
After an apéritif maison, I took a good look at the menu. I can tell you, it was hard to make a choice between the refined dishes offered à la carte and the different set menus that vary according to the seasons. The Chef, Michel Mahé, selects only fresh, high-quality regional products. In 2013 he won the title of Maître-Restaurateur, a true recognition from the trade. The restaurant is recommended by famous French guides such as the Guide Michelin, the Gault & Millau or the Bottin Gourmand. The sommelier guided us through the well-stocked wine list and we were not disappointed. The service was exceptional, discreet, attentive and competent.
An Inventive and Attractive Cuisine
After a delicious amuse-bouche, my starter arrived: a cauliflower panna cotta, topped with crumbled spider crab and crunchy seasonal vegetables. It was an explosion of flavors and so beautifully presented! The following dish was even more charming and delightful. The ray fish, boned and served over caprons, speck ham and leeks au gratin, turned out to be just perfect – a classic example of French cuisine with a modern twist. Everyone was ooh-ing and aah-ing when the desserts arrived. A farandole of sweets, succulent, original and so lovely. My cannelé, Victoria pineapple carpaccio decorated with pomegranate and passion sirup was just what I needed to finish this incredible lunch. My husband chose the omelette norvégienne or baked Alaska, which was sumptuous and such a delicacy. The tiny Atsina cress leaves provided a very creative and gustative finishing touch, one of aniseed and liquorice, with notes of fennel. The restaurant manager showed me the brochure of the Dutch grower of cresses, Koppert Cress. The Chef uses some of these plants in his dishes for a surprising flavor, very subtle and aromatic yet contributing to the alchemy of each recipe. With the café came some final sweets to end on a high note this unforgettable lunch.
No wonder La Croix Blanche Restaurant became a key actor in the region’s food scene, with discretion and audacity. An oasis of calm and delight you should hurry to discover by yourself.