We wanted to make the most of our last evening in France. The history tour had gone well and we had seen some pretty amazing things. Therefore a celebration was in order. We had made reservations at L’idée Hall, a restaurant we passed and found totally interesting (plus the Google reviews sounded impressive). It was also booked for the day we actually wanted have dinner there, which only confirmed to us that this place must be good. That’s how we ended up at L’idée Hall on our last evening in France.
The restaurant is quit small and narrow, with light coming only from the entrance. We got a table all the way next to the bar and had therefore a view on the whole dining room.
With our champagne we also got some rillettes with toasted baguettes (in my opinion the best way to use stale baguette). I think we had had better rillettes on this trip, there was just nothing remarkable about it.
As amuse gueule an emulsion of white asparagus and angler-fish arrived at the table. The emulsion was soft and really light. There was only a hint of asparagus in the back to detect. The fish was definitely the main event. It was vividly in the foreground and unfortunately also strong on the nose. I really liked the emulsion though.
Next up my friend ate more of the angler-fish, this time in form of a carpaccio. It was lightly cooked on low temperature, but tasted watery and of nothing more. The carpaccio had a pea cream dressing and a slightly thicker pea mash on the side, topped with fresh peas and black radish. Unfortunately it was all rather boring and lacked seasoning. To put it bluntly the carpaccio was a disappointment. Also, how come the peas looked as if they came from a can?
I had ordered the egg parfait with asparagus and Maltaise sauce (a sauce Hollandaise with orange juice). The egg came in form of an onsen egg, long cooked and delicious. The white asparagus cream, seasoned with orange zest, was delicious to taste. The asparagus itself though, might have been roasted for a bit since there was a hint of brown color at the endings, but couldn’t be cut. Which was a problem, because the stalks were too long and couldn’t be eaten with the provided spoon. Since the asparagus was in season at that time, it was another disappointment. Correctly prepared that should not have been a problem.
Tuna filet was the main dish for my friend. She was on a run with fish for this dinner. The tuna came with caponata, roasted potatoes, and green asparagus. The tuna was unfortunately almost fully cooked. Of the two pieces only one had a hint of pink, the other slice was completely cooked. What a waste of good fish! The caponata missed the acid of the vinegar and the potatoes were not seasoned at all. I didn’t like it, but my friend was happy enough. We ended up having a rather long discussion about what makes good food and how to criticize a restaurant.
My main dish was beef tartar with roasted potatoes on the side. A new experience, because in France you usually get it with French fries and in Austria with toast. So let’s start with the easy part. The potatoes were unseasoned as well and even though roasted, they had no crunch. Just a hint of color but no taste. I am not sure how this can be accomplished, but there you have it.
The beef was hand cut, in a nice size, but unfortunately too chewy. Not really what you want to experience when you eat raw beef, to go on chewing forever. It was seasoned with pesto and had spring onions inside. Topped with a crunchy green asparagus.
The tartar came with two emulsions on the side, one with mustard and the other one with smoked paprika. The sauces were lovely and added great flavors to the meat and the potatoes.At least the mayonnaise based sauce added something to the dish. But overall, I was not impressed.
For dessert I had a tartelette with rhubarb and raspberries, and a blueberry ice cream on the side. The blueberry ice cream was very tasty. The tartelette shell had a very nice crunch and a nice taste, but the rhubarb had a problem. It was all a bit soupy and when I cut into the tartlette it all ran out. Also the rhubarb was too sweetly marinated and had lost all its texture. White chocolate ganache dots rounded out the dish, which didn’t help with the sweetness. The raspberries though were the best I ever tasted. Such a great taste, ripe and sweet. Unblemished! I was most impressed with the raspberries in this dish, I could have eaten just a basket of these. Pure bliss!
The chocolate ganache tartelette from my friend was delicious, with a rich and deep chocolate taste. The roasted nuts on top added a lovely crunch. In my opinion the chocolate tartelette didn’t enhance the overall taste, a regular one would have been enough. Best of all though was the creme chantilly with salted caramel inside. That was to die for! Maybe a bit rich, but very good!
L’idée Hall seemed like a very good idea but then didn’t deliver on all courses. Best of all, tastewise at least, were the desserts. Service was quick and efficient, but on the whole it’s a restaurant I wouldn’t consider again. I am sure you can do better in Tours. Yours, Pollybert
37000 Tours, 47 Rue de la Victoire
Tel: +33 9 81 16 92 29
Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri: 12:00–1:30, 19:15–21:30, Wed: 19:15–21:30