Sandrine and Florian Favario delight their customers with elegant, honest and precise dishes at their Auberge de Montmin, located at the top of the Col de la Forclaz overlooking Lake Annecy.
Going out is often one of the joys of gastronomy. A forced wait that allows us to stroll to the promise of an unforgettable moment, of an irrepressible joy when approaching a restaurant. It’s hard not to be tempted to peek at a semblance of a menu by checking out a website beforehand. Nice mistake! Happiness is so much more intense when it is unexpected. It is by overlooking the winding road and leaving Lake Annecy below that the heart starts to beat faster. The Auberge de Montmin is close by, just a few more turns… we’re there.
Sandrine and Florian Favario’s inn, humbly referred to as “kitchen house” by its owners, is a small prairie home, both modern and rustic, pampered down to the last detail. When some gourmet restaurants impress and intimidate, not because of their decor, but often because of the condescension of the restaurant staff, Sandrine Favario, for her part, makes it a point of honor to take her guests by the hand and take them to her husband’s culinary heaven. . While the fire crackles in the fireplace, reminiscent of the alpine environment, let us be seduced by this restaurant that continues its exceptional gastronomic ascent.
The atmosphere is serene, calm and will remain so throughout the meal. Like a Japanese chef, Florian Fvario takes the stage behind his counter. Every gesture is calculated, every movement anticipated and nothing is left to chance. From the expression of his gaze toward the room alone, we understand that this excellent cook is watching everything, without a word, without a sound. Everything that comes out of the kitchen goes through him; he assembles, juxtaposes, composes and seasons with the greatest discretion. While many of his colleagues constantly wander outside their kitchens, Éric Fréchon’s former sous chef never leaves his.
With the traditional snacks as a prelude to a menu based on black truffle, the chef immediately announces his gastronomic ambitions. Without showing any ostentatious creativity, he offers an introductory score of great beauty: cured veal, truffle potato croissant, truffle croque-monsieur and Savoie cake with smoked bacon, candied onion and Beaufort cheese. It is with the mushroom broth and steamed brioche enclosing the black diamond that the meal begins.
Served in dishes specially designed by the couple, the free-range egg and its truffle semi-salted butter dip kicks off the festivities. The next series pays tribute to celeriac, the chef’s favorite vegetable, offered in different textures: roasted, mashed and crispy strips. All accompanied by a truffle emulsion and a meat juice. A flat earth in all its splendor! The beechwood smoked potato and the sabayon topped with pike eggs is a revelation and will be remembered for a long time to come; served with a crudité of féra du Léman with pike eggs, dried and smoked as bottarga. This dish is the only one that does not contain truffles, but which reveals all the ingenuity of Florian Favario.
The chef places the latest savory creations in the middle of the table in the share stand and creates a true fireworks display of flavours. The free-range poultry is cooked at a low temperature, cooked in yellow wine and accompanied by its blond foie royale; the chicken thighs are grilled over the embers, the root vegetables are cut into sticks, the magnificent gourmet onion is caramelized and the celery and truffle millefeuille is back. Majestic!
The cheese pays tribute to the fondue, while the dessert is an enchanting chocolate journey. Then unfortunately the story of this incredible day comes to an end. What an epic! What a joy to see so much freedom and humility in the same house. The sheer talent of Florian Favario is unquestionably evident and Sandrine’s gentleness and kindness extremely rare. Long live to L’Auberge de Montmin and (very, very, very) fast!
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