L’Ancolie Restaurant, Cruseilles

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           
Below: smoked duck breast        
R: fillets of Fera served with vegetables and rice

 L: rhubarb tart

 R: petits Fours

A little celebration dinner was in order last week and with the tastes lingering in my mouth from my previous weeks lunch I called L’Ancolie for a dinner reservation – et voila! now I get to try one of the other menus!!
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

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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.


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