Jannick was the owner of the lovely Chateau Fresnoy, located just outside Arras. Dave picked this Bed and Breakfast for us to stay in and the sprawling garden impressed me as we drove through the gate. She recommended we drive 20 minutes into Arras for our dinner that evening. This meal, to me, is a meal that will likely never be equaled again.
The city square of Arras at night is illuminated to reveal the fronts of buildings that had to be rebuilt after the shells of the First World War. Only the roof of the original building that houses La Faisanderie, caved in during the war. The original façade greets guests as they enter. The dining area is nestled in the bricked cellar two floors down. When I ask about the horse collars on the wall and harness, the owner Laurent Duburquoy, explains that during the war when his family owned the building, this space was used as a stable. The history of the building was intriguing but the food was unparalleled. Laurent served us as his only waiter had just quit without notice. I thought that might not be a good sign; the chef changed my mind.
I have never tasted a CO2 infused cauliflower emulsion with crispy pancetta before but it was a silky, flavorful delight that preceded our meal. Dave had the fois gras – having only had one previous experience with fois gras myself – I am now a convert and ready to eat it on toast if I could afford it! Dave’s meal was rich and meaty in a traditional northern French style and mine, a local white fish, arrived plated like a work of art. The other outstanding moment, a French Sauvignon Blanc arrived for me, which was excellent. I am challenged sometimes when travelling in France because I love crisp, zesty, white New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs – now I have a favourite French one I love. If you find yourself anywhere near Arras, this gastronomic delight awaits you. Contact information: www.restaurant-la-faisanderie.com