Located within the majestic Ten Trinity Square, Michelin-starred La Dame De Pic is playful from the off.
The name of the establishment, a riff on ‘La Dame De Pique’ (which translates literally to ‘the Queen of Hearts’), sprinkles the surname of head chef Anne-Sophie Pic into regal phrase, and this restaurant — the crowning glory of French cuisine — is her claim to the culinary throne.
Throughout her career, Anne-Sophie Pic has amassed a string of accolades to prove she is one of the most superlative female chefs of our time. And, when Gentleman’s Journal visited La Dame De Pic, we tasted the proof in the pudding — and all the other courses for that matter.
With some of the most innovative French cuisine in the Capital, the true mastery of Pic’s menus can be found in the pairings. Wine, as we know, is one of the most important parts of the meal, and here are some of the most inspired pairings from our dinner at La Dame De Pic.
With crab, an expressive Chardonnay…
First up was Cornish Crab, steamed with sobacha and dill panna cotta and accompanied by a Corsican clementine jelly. What could be better? How about enhancing this starter with one of the most expressive Chardonnays on any wine list?
This 2016 Château de Santenay Saint-Aubin En Vesvau, from Cote de Beaune, has an elegant palette that brings out the flavour of the crab without overpowering the subtle seafood taste. Notes of yellow peach and apricot are supported by vanilla nuances from judicious oak ageing, and the minerality adds an edge to the dill panna cotta.
With pasta, a red Bordeaux blend
Up next came Berlingots — pasta parcels with gruyere and vacherin cheese, seasonal wild mushrooms, woodruff, barley and roasted hazelnut consomme. And, to pair with such fatty flavours, a 1998 Château Meyney.
With a decent amount of dry tannins, this blackcurrant-tinged wine feels like an old-school claret — and does its job admirably. With leather and dark fruit on the nose, the wild mushrooms benefit from this aged bottle and the smoky blueberry flavour adds fruit to the plate that isn’t even there.
With venison, a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend
For the main came venison and foie gras, a gamey course complimented by pithiviers, likouala pepper and Nikka whisky. Alongside came a crispy autumn salad and, in the glass, a 2008 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse from Pauillac.
With a taste as deep and intense as the colour, the elegant, noble palate offers spice to bring out the flavours of the foie gras. And, once you’ve enjoyed the subtler flavours, a racy and powerful finish keeps the course kicking to the last bite.
With the cheese board, a lightly-spiced Merlot
To finish, a selection of St Maure, Munster and Mont D’Or cheeses paired with a 2008 Chateau La Tour de Mons from Margaux.
With delicate scents of violet and underlying hints of pepper, this is a garnet-red offering built on finesse. Muffled tannins offer blended wood and light spice to compliment the cheese, and the pleasant aromatic persistence pairs well with the selection.
Looking for more wine inspiration? Read the Gentleman’s Journal Christmas wine guide…