Troisgros Restaurant – Roanne, France

Hôtel Restaurant Troisgros
Place Jean Troisgros 42300 Roanne
Tel. (33) 04 77 71 66 97
Fax. 04 77 70 39 77
Opening Hours: Lunch: Noon – 2:00pm; Dinner: 6pm-10pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Very Expensive
Three Michelin Stars

Many years ago we were driving from Paris to St. Tropez on a gastronomic tour and made it a point to stop at the three-star Michelin restaurant Toisgros in Roanne for dinner. Our friend the author, Henry Miller decided to stay in Paris as he was visiting French actress, Jeanne Moreau whom he had not seen in a awhile, and agreed that his wife singer, Hoki Tokuda should travel with my wife and I to St. Tropez.
When we pulled into the courtyard of the restaurant Troisgros the entire kitchen crew came out to greet us, it may have been the California license plate on the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II or perhaps the unusual sight, in this part of the world, of an Asian and a blond girl stepping out of the car, or possibly both. I had the unusual request, or at least they thought it was, to stay in what were at that time modest rooms above the restaurant. Shortly after our visit they started renovation and built a serious boutique hotel where I stayed in splendid accommodations a few years later. They tried to persuade us not to stay there and proclaimed it was not comfortable enough, although after much insistence about wanting to be close to the cooking they agreed.
That evening we enjoyed among other courses the eggs with caviar, pâté de grives, escalope of salmon with sorrel sauce (it was first created here) and Charolais beef with marrow and sauce Fleurie with potatoes gratin “Forezienne”, cheese trolley and Le Grand Dessert (a combination of ice creams, sorbets, stewed & fresh fruit and fruit sauces along with other delight that you could combine as you liked) all of these dishes are still available with the exception of the pâté de grives, which is most likely due to the scarcity of the thrush or because it is perceived as environmentally incorrect.
After dinner we took a walk around what was at that time the unattractive downtown area near the train station to help digest the dinner. We returned later only to be invited by the Toisgros brothers, Jean and Pierre and their father Jean-Baptiste, who created an uproar in culinary circles when he first paired fish with red wine, to join them for some local charcutrie, cheese and wine. As we were finishing our “second repast” they all suggested that we stop in the next day to visit their good friend, Paul Bocuse for lunch at the “Auberge de Collonges” on the Saône river on the outskirts of Lyon. Jean called him and booked the table for lunch the following day and requested the whole fish in pastry as one of the dishes to be served. (post on Auberge de Collonges to follow soon).

Today, the Maison Troisgros restaurant/hotel and Le Central, the bistro and shop next door, are ably run by Marie-Pierre and Michel Troisgros (Pierre’s son). Michel is the chef who uses a touch of the exotic but never loses touch with the original classic base and his wife Marie-Pierre runs the front of house and supervises designs for the multi-operations.


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