Having lived in this region now for 5 years, I am wondering how I managed to miss this wonderful restaurant. It is one of those places that I have been thinking of going to but as I don’t pass it regularly it drops off my radar. Well…having eaten there twice now in under 2 weeks, I won’t be forgetting again!!
L’Ancolie restaurant is also a hotel and it is built in the traditional wooden alpine chalet style It sits beside a tranquil lake on the outskirts of the town of Cruseilles in the Haute Savoie.
My first visit was for lunch on a rainy day, but we had a circular table in the large picture window which ran the length of the restaurant and watched the mist rolling on and off the lake. There is a choice of menus and at lunchtime from Tuesday to Saturday there is the Saleve* Menu created daily according to seasonal produce. Everything is made there in their kitchens including the bread. This is a very good value for money option with a choice of 2 courses for €23.95 or 3 for €29.95 which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
The choices on this particular day were a smoked duck breast salad with a fruit compote and celeriac remoulade. Fillets of Fera (a white freshwater fish) followed by a rhubarb tart and rhubarb ice cream. However this was all preceded by a delightful amuse de bouche which comprised marinated salmon, and savoury pastries and all followed by a gorgeous little plate of petit fours. So this 3-course lunch menu soon became 5 courses!
The restaurant itself is light and airy, some may say the decor a little dated, but I love the fact that the emphasis is placed firmly on the food and service and not a trendy decor. The service was very good and friendly, professional and attentive whilst not being too formal.
L: amuse bouche
L: rhubarb tart
R: petits Fours
|amuse bouche with beetroot|
|avocado, tomato and mango with grilled prawn,
quenelles of crab perfumed with wild garlic
|Reblochon wrapped in filo, potato, emulsion flavoured with lardons,
local smoked ham – this was like a ‘deconstructed tartiflette
So this time we went for the Menu Les Usses* this is a menu with 3 choices of starters and main courses, again with everything freshly prepared. This menu offered the choice of having 3, 4 or 5 courses. Again this was all preceded by an amuse de bouche and finished with petit fours. The price range of this menu is €44.85 – €58.50
|slow cooked lamb shank in a jus perfumed with rosemary|
|mille-feuilles of pear with a vanilla mousse and pear sorbet|
|homemade sorbets and ice creams|
|chocolate fondant with a banana sorbet|
|petits fours including home made raspberry macarons|
There is another menu named Les Allobroges* which offers the ‘top end’ dishes using ingredients including lobster, foie gras, turbot… This menu ranges from€58.50 – €73.80. There is also a few classic dishes on a la carte section and an invitation to enquire about a dish you would like if it is not on the menu.
I’m hoping my next visit to L’Ancolie restaurant will be arranged for a sunny day so that we can sit out on the lovely terrace taking in the tranquil scenery, looking at the Saleve mountain and the lake. I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant and if you find yourself visiting the Haute Savoie, their hotel is in a good location half-way between Geneva and Annecy and we are surrounded by beautiful scenery in this region, well worth a visit.
I loved the use of these menu names depicting regional places and history.
*Saleve This is a small pre-alpes mountain in the Haute Savoie around Cruseilles
*Les Usses is a river which runs through Cruseilles, with its source just east of the Saleve.
*Les Allobroges is a gallic tribe of ancient Gaul dating back to the First Century BC that was located in the Haute Savoie
all photos are copyright ©Caro Blackwell
If you have visited any good restaurants in this region that you think I should go and try,
please leave me a comment to let me know.