Here is undoubtedly a restaurant that commands respect. Located in the heart of La Chartreuse domain inside the 4 star eponymous hotel La Chartreuse du Val Saint Esprit, the Robert II restaurant is delivering a French gastronomic cuisine in an historic setting made of warm molded blond woodwork and an imposing marble fireplace, dominated, on its opposite by the room master piece : a large period tapestry.
The quest for excellence can be seen in every detail, with scarlet or celadon green chairs echoing the pattern of the period tapestry, white tablecloths finely embroidered, silverware, porcelain tableware signed by Bernardaud and the nice damask red carpet.
The Robert II restaurant decoration can bear comparison with the most beautiful restaurants of Parisians palaces. Beyond its superb, the place is extremely warm and it is there that the difference is made : you’ll feel good immediately there!
Those would who would like to meet up for the aperitif will find a charming place in the bar, which decoration is reminding an English lounge. We directly got to our table, next to the fireplace. So romantic! We had the opportunity to enjoy the warm atmosphere of the bar few hours before, at the tea time.
After an outstanding aperitif, a homemade cocktail made of Champagne and Cointreau together with delicious appetizers : little macerated anchovies, foie gras nougat and pumpkin cream have made us eager to discover the rest.
We have tested the Discovery Menu. This one includes a pre-starter, here, scallops and edible crab remoulade, a choice of starter among three options, a main course selection between poultry, a fish or a beef meat, a generous assortment of cave aged cheeses and the well-known dessert trolley.
Our choice for the starters were the roast scallops, rutabaga cream, cauliflower and broccoli semolina as well as the duck liver terrine, pears and nuts chutney. The scallops were perfectly cooked and enhanced by the side dish subtly spicy. Describing this makes my mouth water! The duck liver was also perfectly seasoned. The choice of pears for the chutney is as original as successful. It brings nice softness without unbalancing completely the taste with the duck liver. A very good start!
To continue, we have taken the pheasant hen breast cooked in “low temperature”, smoked with hay, sauce poulette with yellow wine and vegetables from the garden as well as the beef fillet, boletus compote, carrot glazed flavored with mango vinaigrette, potato crisps. Those meals were delicious, very fresh. The meat tenderness was outstanding and the dressing was enhancing those, not to mention the side dish, not really expected but perfectly set for those recipes.
The menu is offered with wine pairing but since we aren’t big wine consumers, we just had the aperitif cocktail which was really nice.
Cheese addicts will be delighted here. We have enjoyed a good number of high quality restaurants and we need to tell you that here, the selection is the largest we have ever seen. On a marble tray covered by a glass bell, a huge number of cave aged cheeses from the area are available. Don’t be afraid with the choice, you will be perfectly advised by the staff among the selection of Belgian, Dutch or Norman cheeses. The Camembert aged with Calvados has been a true rediscovery for me! I really enjoyed finding in this cheese tray a large selection of local cheeses while still having the common classics thus allowing everybody to find some that they can appreciate.
To complete this feast, it would be a good idea to keep a bit of room for the highlight of the evening. Yes, it is a real show, when the waiters come to introduce the desserts trolley : a large assortment of cakes, tarts and verrines, all home made. Regressive effect guaranteed : each feel like being in front of the Christmas tree during the childhood or in front of a cake shop where you would have to be selective in your choice! But here, you can taste everything but unfortunately, your stomach will most likely not allow you to do so based on what you already had before. Still, we found some space for the strawberry tart, the bitter chocolate tart and few verrines. All those were in line with the remainder of the dinner, fine and delicious!
To conclude this king feast, the gourmets will have a coffee or an infusion together with some sweets such as marshmallow, macaroons or fine chocolates!
Our heartfelt thanks to our hosts that made us enjoy an unforgettable evening. We warmly recommend the Robert II whether you are coming to the region, whether you want to amaze your relative with a romantic dinner or simply to meet together with family or friends around a generous table in a refined setting.
A we pointed out, you will be seduced by the background, the cuisine refinement and the natural kindness of the staff that will always take care of your every need, a characteristic of the people living in the North of France.
Don’t fear the bill, the quality price ratio is exceptional, 68 € for the Discovery menu! For those using the Guide Michelin stars to make up their mind, this restaurant, while it isn’t starred, would be ranked between 1 and 2 stars based on our modest experience. It is definitely at the level of all the 1 star restaurants that we had the chance to try and in a lot of areas, it can be compared to several 2 star restaurants. But here, the stars are in the plate and in the heart and this is much better than anything you’ll find inside the guides…
And if you are staying at La Chartreuse du Val Saint-Esprit like we did recently, take a bit of time to walk through the alleys along the “jardins à la française” of the domain. You will admire the care brought to the garden beds bordered by small hedges cut with precision over hundreds of meters. It is in this nice kitchen garden that vegetables and herbs used in the gastronomic restaurant cuisine are grown.
It is there that you can feel the quest for best products and care to the guests that the house is trying to offer, day after day. Bravo! It is not usual so it needs to be highlighted. This is why this place deserves respect! Dining at the Robert II is the insurance to experience an exceptional evening.
Phone number : +22.214.171.124.80.00