The Auberge du Pont de Rethondes of Chef Ludovic Colpart
One hour from Paris and in the quiet countryside of Picardy, The Auberge du Pont de Rethondes is owned for a year by the Chef Ludovic Colpart . For 28 years, the charming establishment located in the commune of Rethondes was indeed run by the starred chef Alain Blot . Retired, he gave up his place (but not his star) to this talented Chef known for having worked in the kitchens of several famous restaurants in the Oise region and for preparing the gastronomic dinner of the charity restaurant The ephemeral for the benefit of the association Croq L’espoir.
First Impressions :
GPS in the cabbage, 36°C in the shade, we arrive in the peaceful village of Rethondes made famous for having been the place of signature of the armistices of November 1918 and June 1940. The Auberge has benefited from a small facelift when the owner changed, but the charm of the place remains intact.
The main room is vast and decorated in a bourgeois style with watermelon colors. This one opens up to the outside and allows access to an outdoor area in good weather pretty terrace where some tables are installed. I will thus have lunch to the rhythm of the floating of the water lilies and the flickering of the flowers..
At the service, the team is sufficient considering the low number of customers that day. Even if I don’t remember any real false notes, we felt slightly uncomfortable (maybe we didn’t have the right head or the right look). The service is not very communicative and the menu is poorly mastered.
For a restaurant that aims for a star, there is still room for improvement in order to transmit a little more passion and enthusiasm to the customers.
The construction of the menu of The Auberge du Pont de Rethondes proves that the establishment is still looking for itself. Four menus various menus from 29 to 82 € and from the Bistronomic Menu to the Tasting Menu. Note the very good idea of the Children’s Menu. We understand by this menu the ambition of the Chef but also the concern to make his cooking accessible and to fill the restaurant with a “good” menu attractive menu .
Beyond that, the menu is well constructed. The choice is large and the compositions are varied. The Chef favors seasonal products as with the Lobster that it declines in raviole, in salad or roasted. The proposals oscillate between classics as with the Piece of Rump Steak, Darphin Apple, Bordelaise Sauce and creations a little more daring as on the Calf sweetbread, Roasted with Speculos, Artichokes .
The wine list is short and exclusively French. The selection plays the extremes with great classics of Louis Jadot and more confidential and organic wines like the Viognier of Xavier Gérard .
We leave on a selection with the chart and with the blind person for lack of satisfactory explanations. However, we were hopeful or even unaware that we had ordered without constraint.
A nice amuse-bouche for this Cucumber Tartar and Beetroot Mousse . A little work, color, freshness and creaminess, a nice start for this hot lunch.
Daring bet with this Lobster Salad from the Auberge du Pont de Rethondes charged all the same 52 € to the card ! Visually, I got my money’s worth. The plate is generous (almost a whole lobster), the whole is colorful and delicately prepared. I really like the idea of lobster in several forms and this lobster claw tempura style very successful.
Under the mountain of greenery, we discover the lobster tail, which is cooked a little too thoroughly in my opinion. The dressing of the salad is agreed and lacks panache.
Next to it, we stay on the Lobster with this Raviole and seasonal vegetables . Mixed feeling at first sight. It is aesthetic but a little childish with flashy colors and the small flower really too much . There is some good stuff in this plate, starting with the sauce, very powerful in taste and with a perfect texture. The raviole is less convincing.
Lacking in refinement, we particularly object to the excessive thickness of the pastry which spoils the party.
The Veal, Low Temperature, Lobster Raviole is without a false note. A well-cooked meat and a series of vegetables such as asparagus very well worked. We find the lobster raviole with the same qualities and defects.
L’ pleasant surprise came from the sauce . It is clean, glossy and powerful. This is one of the strong points of Chef Ludovic Colpart’s cuisine.
The second dish is called Turbot and Monkfish, Like a Bouillabaisse . We were really misadvised because this dish is exactly in the same spirit as one of the starters. To link these two plates of fish abusively copious was not the best of ideas. Of course, the noble fishes are there and in number but the sauce hides all their subtlety. Too bad, there was an idea in the image of the monkfish roe mousse .
The dishes are accompanied by a Robuchon style purée . I found this one very well done, proving once again that the Chef is not lacking in resources and techniques.
Ludovic Colpart, because of his training, does not neglect desserts and dares to complex pastry creations . Many of the proposals on the menu were tempting like the Religieuse revisited, strawberry, white chocolate, lemon or the Chocolate soufflé tartlet, iced parfait, salted butter caramel .
In search of freshness and lightness, I was tempted by Le Blackcurrant in Osmosis with the chocolate of Cuba vintage . Behind this somewhat pompous name hides an equally convoluted dessert. No one will deny the beauty of this plate. An almost showy beauty with the underlying will to always impress by the technique. In the end, it is neither more nor less than a variation of blackcurrant in coulis, mousse and ice cream, a chocolate shell and a dacquoise cookie. I must admit that this style of cooking leaves me speechless.
I am much more impressed by the choice of a bold combination than by a series of red dots delegated no doubt to an apprentice. Anyway, all this remains good but does not bring the emotion that one comes to look for in this type of restaurant.
Should we go there? ? This experience at L’Auberge du Pont de Rethondes has been half-hearted. A very nice environment, ideal for a lunch in the sun, but a distant service without warmth. Same feeling about the kitchen.
The Chef has a great technique and does everything to show it. However, despite the quality of the products and the visually magnificent plates, I remained somewhat insensitive to this cuisine which favors aesthetics over the quality of the seasonings and the associations of flavors. We will see soon if the Michelin inspectors had more emotion than me..
With which ? For a romantic meal in peace.
Going back to it ? If I’m in the area, I’d still be curious to try the bistronomic menu, which is probably a good deal.
The clientele ? Not many people that day.
It’s expensive ? There is something for everyone thanks to menus at all price levels. A la carte, the price quickly climbs to 100 € per person. I found it expensive. There is perhaps a better balance to find on the proportions and prices of the dishes on the menu.