Likoké – Revisit May 2014 (Les Vans, France)

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The Place

Likoké is the gastronomic restaurant of Piet Huysentruyt, located in the beautiful Ardèche region in France. For more information about the chef and the restaurant, please see our lunch or dinner review from 2013.

Group

Head Chef Piet Huyssentruyt

Pictures 2014 by Pieter Declercq (Hot Cuisine De Pierre)

The Food

As from 2014, Chef Piet Huysentruyt is assisted in the kitchen by sous-chefs Stijn Rotthier and Anthony Stoop.

Sous-chef Stijn Rotthier Sous-chef Anthony Stoop

The team still creates a very special kind of cuisine, deeply rooted in the soil of Southern France and with great respect for local, homemade products. Less than one year after the opening, Likoké entered the wbpstars.com top 60 list of the best restaurants in the world, received its first Michelin star and was awarded as ‘discovery of the year’ by Gault&Millau.

Likoke-3

The kitchen is contemporary but very unique on its own.  The special use and combinations of ingredients (testicles, intestines, forgotten vegetables…), creativity and above all the taste, make Likoké a must for any foodie.  Once again, we were truly impressed by the great flavors of all his dishes and the creativity that was reflected in the plates. Every dish tells a story and this makes a lunch or dinner at Likoké a unique experience.

The chef serves his tasty dishes in a four, six or nine course tasting menu or à la carte. For this lunch the chef prepared a special menu with some new dishes and some reinterpreted signature preparations.

Appetisers

‘Asparagus Field’: shot of asparagus à la flamande with smoked quail egg, asparagus field with pistachio cake, mousse of smoked trout, wild asparagus and leek ash.

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‘Ardèche charcuterie’: homemade charcuterie: fillet (callas) from pig, saucisson, pancetta

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Smoked salmon trout on cedarwood and rosemary, smoked at the table, served on focacia

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Barbe a papa with a lollipop with goose liver, black pudding and beetroot

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Sandwich with meat, pickles, anchovies, pickled shallot

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Fresh goat cheese with caramelised and salted sunflower seeds, ice of fermented olive oil, crispy bacon, gravy of honey vinegar

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Aperitif maison with tequila, sparkling wine from the Ardeche, chilli & rosemary

Bread: local chestnut bread with butter and lard with smoked bacon flakes

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Menu

“Ball sack lobster”: lobster dish, presented in the carcass with testicles of lamb, zucchini, bearnaise of crab, oyster & basil powder.

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“Canned Sardines Calderade”: Calderade, presented in a closed can that is opened at the table, with roasted and salted sardines, potatoes, roasted onions, cream of roasted onion, tomato crisp, pork leg & vanilla. Sauce comes in a chocolate and is thrown in the can.

Wine: Le Plan Vermeersch, sauvignon from Le Plan GT domain

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“The Stone Age”: Stone filled with salad, radish, sour apple, yogurt, rasperry & vanilla, with a plate of vanilla yogurt, a potato crisp and a piece of pork leg on top. A bowl with clams, celery and foam of clams is served as a side dish. While eating, Queens of the Stone Age is played in the background.

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“The Garden” panna cotta of peas, sauce of sugar snap peas, curls and shoots of mangetout, frog’s leg, bigornot snails with structures of citron verveine and mint, almonds
Wine: L’auda cause in 2012, La Selve (Castle in the Ardeche)

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“Smoutebollen” (deep-fried solid doughnuts): sea bass, roasted shallots, cream of shallot, pickled shallot, fritter pig nose, sugar of lard, calf brains, sauce of smoked bacon, lemon and flowers ‘bonets des Papes’.

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“Moambe” (tribute to Piet’s father): steamed chicken, palm tapenade, palm oil, chicken sausage, spinach flan, banana cream, puffed quinoa, coriander, wild watercress from the garden, sauce ‘from the watering-can’
Wine: Grangeon viognier, Rosieres

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“Flagstone”: croquette of riz de veau and crab. Side dish: a combination of hare, duck liver, calf’s head, morels, asparagus and crab, raw asparagus salad with oil and vinegar, sauce of wild mushrooms.
Wine: Les Muses Lirac 2011, Domaine du Joncier

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“The perfect fries”: Pot roast of pork cheek  and fries. Mini sandwich with mustard
Beer: 7 ale, artisan beer with chestnut and honey, chataigner

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“Faisselle ball”: faisselle cheese, rhubarb, young rocket salad, hazelnut butter, marinated rhubarb, mustard seeds, chorizo, elderflower juice, frozen pieces of buttermilk.
Wine: Viognier, Faugères, organic buttery Clue sa Quo of seven ancient vines Salel & Renard
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“Strawberry tartare”: strawberries, lemon verbena mayonnaise, strawberry, roasted red onion, caramelized egg yolk, roasted capers. The sauces: Worcester sauce with caramelized onions; Tabasco with strawberry coulis; Cold sabayon mayonnaise. The fries come as a cake with marzipan and a gel of lemon verbena.
Wine: Solera, a sweet viognier, La Selve

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“Passion granite”: hand-rolled couscous, marinade of olive oil, passion fruit, orange, sorrel, white chocolate and crunchy bits of caramelized Andouillette sausage. Canelle of saffron sorbet with granite multi fruit.

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Wine: Champagne Ruinart Brut

Coffee & Sweets

Mignardises: Cuberdon stones; iced chocolate with porcini mushrooms and passion; madeleine cakes, wafers with bull butter.

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‘Chocolate sausages’

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‘Licking plate’

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The Wines

Wines are presented by Piet’s son Cyriel Huysentruyt and he serves interesting pairing beverages with the menus, as well as an à la carte wine list.

Sommelier Cyriel Huysentruyt

He uses many local wines, and throws in an organic wine where possible. Beverage prices, just as last year, are very correct.

Wines

The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

Just as last year, Likoké restaurant delivered and exceeded our expectations. Piet and his team manage to achieve a very high level of culinary perfection and demonstrate an exceptional sense for flavors. This restaurant remains a must-stop in the Ardèche region and we definitely recommend it to all.

Owners Vero and Piet Huyssentruyt 2

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                      9.5/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          8.5/10

–          Price/Quality Buds                                         8.5/10

–          Service Buds                                                    8.5/10

–          Experience Buds                                            9/10

Likoké
7 Route de Païolive
07140 Les Vans
France
http://likoke.be
Phone: +33 627 83 98 57

Nearest airport: Lyon
Nearest train station: Valence

Original review made for wbpstars.com. Discover the ultimate guide for food lovers, travellers and the restaurant business. Discover many thousands of images and hundreds of films of the most amazing culinary wonders in the world. An exclusive documentation of the very best.

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