So I was really looking forward to my visit to Maison Carrier in the beautiful ski resort town of Chamonix in Haute Savoie. Oh wow!! where shall I begin… Sunday lunch was booked in a great restaurant in Chamonix by friends, who kept telling me how much I was going to love this place!! So I was really looking forward to my visit to Maison Carrier in the beautiful ski resort town of Chamonix in Haute Savoie.
Firstly the location: Chamonix itself is a wonderful vibrant town nestled in a valley and flanked by the most dramatic mountains either side, including the peaks of the Aiguille de Midi and the north summit of Mont Blanc. Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
Chamonix offers tourists year-round activities including some of the best skiing for all levels in various different areas, including the well know Argentiere area for the more accomplished skier. Visits via the Montenvers railway to the Mer de Glace glacier, the spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille de Midi and for those extreme skiers access to the world famous off-piste run the Vallée Blanche.
In the summer months, Chamonix is a mecca for mountaineers, hikers, mountain bikers and many other outdoor sports. The town of Chamonix offers a great selection of shops and restaurants, most of which are open practically all year round.
So…back to lunch!
The restaurant Maison Carrier is the ‘restaurant de pays’ of the Hameau Albert 1er Hotel, their other gastronomic restaurant has 2 Michelin stars! Guess where I want to eat next?
The Maison Carrier serves traditional French cuisine in a wonderful farmhouse with mountain architecture, setting the scene of a bygone era. My impression of the atmosphere in the restaurant was that it was warm, friendly and although a fairly large restaurant it had a cosy feel and I loved the Savoyard style furnishings.
They describe their food as ‘montagnarde cuisine’ however I would say it is slightly more refined and in some ways a slightly fusion more modern take; all beautifully presented and using the same wonderful local and Savoyard ingredients.
There are delightful dishes on their menu like dandelion salad, a selection of Grandmother’s tarts and always a great selection of Savoie cheeses. There is an element of very traditional french with one whole pork menu offering the
‘top to tail’ pig.
|Half smoked and half pan-fried salmon, broad beans and pancetta,
cream with pink berry
|from the ‘whole pork’ menu – pigs trotter with bearnaise sauce|
The service was good, friendly and informative when clarifying what was what on the menu! The restaurant has an upstairs area, where we were seated which was light and airy and had a great large oval table making sociable dining for a large group, but downstairs is where more of the ‘buzz’ is.
There is a wonderful wood burning open fire for cooking the meats which were hanging from the high beams. A great array of stunning desserts laid out around a pillar made a real feature in the restaurant.
|Roast duck breast with Mondeuse and damson juice|
|Rack of lamb spit roasted over the open fire, pea puree,
crystallised root vegetables
all photos are copyright ©Caro Blackwell