Mirazur. Menton. 22nd September 2017

The appetizers

Bread to share & poetry by Pablo Neruda
Gillardeau’s Oyster. Cream of shallot, declination of Williams pear
Pumpkin from our garden. Sage and maple syrup
Beetroot in salt crust. Schrenckii caviar sauce
Bordighera squid. Bagna cauda sauce
Gamberoni stew. Vel tendon, cherry tomato juice
Red porgy. Celeriac mousseline, shellfish smoked sauce
Biggore black suckling pig. Mole with osmanthus
Pigeon of Marie Le Guen. Porcini, coffee
Naranjo en flor. Sospel’s St Joseph saffron, almond foam and orange sorbet
Chocolate. Burnt rosemary, olive oil
Petit fours

Mirazur

30 Avenue Aristide Briand, 06500 Menton, France
Phone: +33 4 92 41 86 86

 

Mirazur is not only about food, which is at this restaurant really amazing. It is also about the most amazing view at the endless azure sea and the city of Menton below, and the most amazing hosts – the wonderful Mauro and Julia Colagreco together with their fantastic team.

Mauro and Julia Colagreco

Mauro was a young chef, working in Paris, who was looking for a place to open his own restaurant. As a young chef, he couldn’t afford the prices of the real estate in Paris, so he started looking elsewhere. And so, by chance, he heard of this place on a cliff just above the Mediterranean sea, which was empty and looking for somebody to bring life into it. The rest is history and will be talked about more in another article later on …

The location in France, right on the border with Italy (Mirazur is literally the last building before the Italian border), in a place where mountains meet the sea, rich of traditions and with a wealth of diverse ingredients, deeply inspired him. Looking at the terroir with fresh eyes of a newcomer (born and raised in Argentina within a family of Italian immigrants) he saw the region, its produce and culture as nobody else before. This gave birth to a cuisine which is inspired by tradition but is creating something new, unique, deeply delicious and stunningly beautiful.

The evening starts with a poetical gesture  –   a bred to share and parts of  The ode to bread by Pablo Neruda.

Bread,
you rise
from flour,
water
and fire.
Dense or light,
flattened or round,
you duplicate
the mother’s
rounded womb.

How simple
you are, bread,
and how profound!

you are
mankind’s energy,
a miracle often admired,
the will to live itself.

the earth itself,
beauty
and love–
all
taste like bread

Everything
exists to be shared,
to be freely given,
to multiply.

Then
life itself
will have the shape of bread,
deep and simple,
immeasurable and pure.

Then there was an oyster. Mauro Colagreco’s Gillardeau’s Oyster with shallot cream and declination of Williams pear is a very subtle yet intense, utterly delicious signature dish. It is so beautiful that I struggled to touch it. Same appeals to the beetroot which was cooked in a salt crust, super thinly sliced and served with caviar cream. The cream gifted to the beetroot a soft accent of milkiness, yet let it keep its beautiful fresh crispy texture, caviar instead added an additional texture and lifted the flavour giving to the earthiness of the beetroot the beautiful saltines and flavour of the sea.  It is like an ode to the territory where the glamour of Cote d’Azur  (incorporated in precious caviar) touches the deeply grounded countryside (beetroot) where Mauro regularly keeps in touch with the most genuine and passionate farmers who still work with the soil in the old good way with lots of respect for traditions. And yes, it is marriage of that soil and the minerality of the sea!

Pumpkin was an ode to autumn. Sweet creamy pumpkin from Mauro’s garden melted in the mouth, the crispy porcini and dried ham instead elevated its flavour and gave to the dish a beautiful structure. So intense and so moreish!

Bordighera squid with bagna cauda sauce and the gamberoni stew with veal tendon and cherry tomato juice were Mauro’s beautiful takes on incorporating the elements of traditional dishes into his contemporary cuisine. But hey, why should I reveal all the secrets in one single post? Instead of just reading it, why don’t you just take a plane, car, train or a broom (if you prefer) and fly to Mirazur (they close for vacation on 17th December, so hurry up!). Open yourself to the magic of the place, the people and the food that will expect you there. I can guarantee – it will be one of your best food related experiences of your lifetime!

Andreja Lajh

Should I add to this a few views from Mirazur?

At night
Daytime

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