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Le Pressoir d’Argent

by Daley

Here is my promised follow up post!

My sister visited me in Bordeaux a couple of weeks ago, and while she was here, took me out to dinner at Le Pressoir d’Argent.

With all the hype surrounding Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin star restaurant here in Bordeaux, I thought I would give my two cents.

First of all, the ambience and decor of this restaurant is to die for. The restaurant is located within the Grand Hotel, a luxury in and of itself.

Music softly plays in the background as you’re greeted to your table–never mind if you’re just in a party of two, the table size is nice and big which I found as a major perk. It seems whenever you’re just dining with only one other person, the tables are so small, especially in France– but this one was huge in comparison (not so huge that you feel like you have to yell to be heard by your fellow dinner guest but just big enough where you’re not scrambling to find room for your dishes on the table) and the seats are so comfortable you feel like royalty. There was even a velour ottoman for my purse!

I was enamored with the dining ware–which is probably a weird thing to get excited about–but how gorgeous is this setting? Pure elegance. The napkin ring just killed me.

While we’re speaking of weird things to get caught up over, Le Pressoir d’Argent had great lighting. With almost all of the fine dining restaurants I’ve been to, the lighting is so dark. I like to actually be able to see the person I’m eating with and the food I’m eating! The lighting wasn’t so bright it felt harsh, but it was definitely brighter than most places I’ve been to. This made taking pictures way easier, though most will probably come here to simply enjoy the food instead of snapping photos of it.

For our apératifs, Kelly ordered a mojito and I ordered a kir cassis.

My kir turned out great but Kelly’s mojito was way too strong–you could pretty much just taste the alcohol. I wouldn’t say I’m a pain at restaurants (I had actually never sent anything back to the kitchen up until this point), but when you’re at such a nice place and you’re not happy with your drink, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to send it back. Especially with the staff checking on you constantly to ask if everything is okay!

Kelly was pretty reluctant to send her drink back so I sent it back for her, despite her protests.

Our waiter was very gracious about it and even made jokes that he would happily drink her mojito that was too strong. The second one they brought back was perfect!

Kelly and I both ordered the tasting menu. I don’t know if I have quite the vocabulary or palette to narrate each of these, so instead I’ll just show you pictures of them.

First we were given a little pre-course to cleanse our palettes.

Bazas beef tartar, oyster cream, Aquitaine caviar and sorrel

Confit organic egg with king oyster mushrooms, Noir de Bigorre ham, smoked chestnuts, onion velouté

Sole petit bateau with young leek, black truffle, duxelles and vin jaune

 

Lightly smoked Scottish venison with sautéed foie gras, red cabbage, parsnip, Manjari chocolate and Pedro Ximenez

Lightly smoked Scottish venison with sautéed foie gras, red cabbage, parsnip, Manjari chocolate and Pedro Ximenez

Okay, here is where I will interject. I really did not care for this course. It was my first time having venison, and probably will be my last. The texture was too tough for me and I couldn’t disassociate cute innocent deer with the meat. (I know, so why am i able to eat other types of meat if I can’t bear to eat venison? I’m not sure, but something I should consider, I know.) Not really the chef’s fault, but I barely nibbled on this dish.

The staff asked if everything was okay since I didn’t really eat any of this course and offered to bring out a complimentary course. I said it was fine, as I was really getting full anyway.

That is one of my critiques for this tasting menu–I think as you are having several courses, the portion sizes here were way too big and some of the courses are far too rich. I’ve had some other tasting menus and the portions were just right so that you still had room and a desire to finish each of your courses.

After the first few, Kelly and I both were feeling very full.

A cheese course is not included in the tasting menu, but the staff rolled out the cheese cart and asked if I wanted to try anything. I really could have done without but since they had just offered me a complimentary course, I figured, why not?

Well, turns out it wasn’t complimentary. Which was very confusing to me as they had just been so apologetic about the venison and offered to bring out anything in place of it.

I only ordered three cheeses from the cart and picked at them just for taste as I wasn’t feeling too hungry anymore.

When the bill came out and I saw they charged us 24 euros for a cheese course I thought was free, I was really surprised! I wanted to ask about it and explain my confusion about the course, but Kelly didn’t want me to push about it so I respected her wishes and just gave her 24 euros for my cheese course lol.

If I had explained to the staff I thought they were giving me the cheese course as a gesture because of the venison dish, maybe they would have knocked it off the bill. But considering how nice of a restaurant this is, I was really surprised they charged me to begin with when they had just offered to bring out something free for me!

 

Verjuice and chamomile mousse, Merlot grapes sorbet, Granny Smith and Sauternes

(This was way too citrusy for my liking and the dessert didn’t seem to flow with the rest of the dishes we had just eaten)

Tropic fruits royal and sorbet, saffron, tarragon, lime

I was going to try to avoid talking about the price because I know this is a huge amount to pay for one meal, but I think it’s pretty unavoidable when reviewing a restaurant. So–yes, the price is steep at 165 euros a person if you order the tasting menu.

Is it worth it? I definitely do not think so. I have been lucky enough to dine at my fair share of Michelin star restaurants and just because it’s Michelin star does not warrant this price. You can find some other great Michelin star restaurants (or restaurants that may be missing a Michelin star but still have high quality food) for much more reasonable prices. I think the fact that this has Gordon Ramsay’s name on it inflates the prices.

If I’m (or in my case…my sister haha) paying this much for a meal, I expect to leave raving about the place. And that was not my experience. I was still annoyed about the staff charging me 24 euros for a cheese course when they made it seem like it would be free.

Kelly, who was not annoyed about the cheese course, still was not super impressed with Le Pressoir d’Argent. She felt the courses were very expected and not worth the money.

The restaurant’s ambience and decor are great. But the value for your money here is not well spent, and this place airs on the side of pretentious. If you do dine here, perhaps you’re better off ordering à la carte rather than taking the tasting menu.

Have any of you been to Le Pressoir d’Argent or a Gordon Ramsay restaurant? What do you think?

Also, if you have any places in Bordeaux you want me to review (preferably spots with a more friendly pricetag) let me know!

xoxo

Daley

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