Restaurant Review: Le Brittany Hotel, Roscoff, France (*)

My husband and I spent our August holiday in Brittany.  A beautiful part of France which reminds me of my home country Scotland.  It has a similar feeling of wilderness to some areas of Scotland, except it is warmer!  To celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary and my birthday, we went to the 1 Michelin restaurant at Le Brittany Hotel in Roscoff.  We considered staying at the hotel, but it was a little outside of our budget at €420 a night!  Instead we found a great B&B run by a local couple at a more reasonable price of €89 (Chambre d’Hôtes de la Grande Greve).  The room was clean, and colourful, with a private terrace and a wonderful view onto the sea.  The couple only have one room available as B&B which helps to create a very personal visit, to the extent that you feel like you are staying at a friend’s house.  They even gave us a lift to the restaurant!  To top it off, the breakfast was all homemade, and absolutely delicious!

My mum had recommended the restaurant at Le Brittany Hotel, claiming it has one of the best restaurant views.  I have to agree.  The drama of the sunset over the sea helps to create a very warm and intimate setting in the old stone dining room.  The large curved windows ensure that the light floods in and the sea views are appreciated at their most.  We loved the view.  The room itself is an old stone room, with modern touches.

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The photo does NOT do the view any justice, but it gives you an idea!  The view from the restaurant Le Brittany Hotel.

There were a few options on the menu.  You could either choose from the à la carte menu, or you could choose a selection of menu options ranging from about 50€ to 135€, with all having the option to add a wine supplement of champagne + 2 glasses of wine for 30€.  We chose the 96€ menu as we felt it was sufficient, and would provide us all the options that interested us.

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We were excited by the amuse-bouche, I write this blog a couple of weeks later and I can still remember the flavours of the Oat Marshmallows and Bisque.  The Bisque was silky and intense and the nutty sweetness of the marshmallow helped to set it off.  We both went for the Roscoff Crab as the starter, as it is famous for its flavour, and we were not disappointed.  The dish was delicate, and yet still intense. The crab was followed by the langoustine.  This was one of our favourites, and we loved the addition of the very cleverly cooked vegetables.  The only issue I had at this point with the food was with the fish stock.  The stock was very good, in fact very intense, and masterfully cooked, but this was the 3rd meal back to back with the same or similar bisque stock, and it was starting to bore the taste buds.  I would have liked to have had a bit more of a different flavour between the dishes, and I do see this as a weakness in the menu composition.

For the main, my husband chose the Sole with Grapefruit.  Honestly, he was disappointed with this dish. He confirmed the Sole was very well cooked and tasty, but it was served alongside my gigantic dish of lamb, and it immediately looked lacking in comparison.  Again, I believe this was an issue with the menu composition.  The lamb, however, was spectacular.  I loved the drama of this dish, it was full of unusual flavours that worked well together, and every element was excellently executed including all the vegetables.  I would never have put capers with lamb, but now I will!

I had the Raspberry dessert – raspberries and chocolate is my favourite dessert combination, so how could I resist! The sorbet was delicious, and I loved the mousse fillings (one raspberry, and two vanilla)  of the crispy chocolate biscuit tubes.  I know that even if I did have the recipe for the chocolate biscuit tubes, I can just imagine the trail of broken biscuits that would haunt me as I try, and fail, to make them as perfect as they are in these photos.  They show excellent craftsmanship very much envied by myself!  My husband had the Kouign-Amann with candied peaches and tomatoes and basil sorbet.  Immediately, one would question whether this combination works, but surprisingly we felt it did.  Kouign-Amann is a Brittany speciality, which is extremely buttery.  The buttery pastry of the Kouign-Amann was cut perfectly by the sweet acidity of the candied tomatoes.  My husband loved it, I thought it worked, but I was very happy with my own dessert (paws off!).

The real disappointment of the evening was the service.  We found it sloppy for a 1 Michelin star.  The service seemed out of synch with the kitchen, almost as if the food was being delivered to the timing of the kitchen whether the service team liked it or not. There seemed to be a lack of communication between the two teams.  To give you an example; we received our main meal about 5 minutes before we received the wine for the main meal ( a pet hate of my husband). We also received cutlery after a dish was served, and once, I was given a spoon on the table upside down (the handle facing away from me) while my husband’s was served correctly.  I know, these are small things, but in a 1 Michelin you expect to at least get your cutlery served the correct way!

Overall, the view was spectacular, and the food was delicious.  I will remember this restaurant for the magnificent view, the good food and sloppy service.  Will I be able to remember the dishes in a few months time… I expect not.  I believe they need to work a little more on the menu composition.  A better menu composition would ensure all the dishes play to their strengths, ensuring there is a variety of flavours from one dish to another, and that two main options do not look ridiculously different in size and drama.  If I go back on holiday to Roscoff, will I want to go back?  Maybe for the view….

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