The view from the hills is spectacular and as for romantic nights with a fabulous view of the river Seine its valley and Paris under the twinkling summer lights, it is certainly a lasting moment. But winter is also magic with some unforgettable moments while dining at Pavillon Henri IV nestled along the historic hills of Saint Germain en Laye Once part of the royal palace till the 17th century before the court moved to Versailles, this place was where Anne of Austria in 1638 gave birth to Louis XIV popularly known as the Sun King. Later, what was then known as Chateauneuf, was acquired by Comte d’Artois brother of Louis XVI who decided to rebuild the castle. His project fell into oblivion with the start of the French Revolution. Today nothing much is left of the old castle but the brick wall building where Louis XIV was born. Decades went by from a royal court, began under Henri IV in the 17th century to becoming a German Headquarter during the occupation and later at the beginning of the 19th century as a hotel restaurant run by Chef Louis-François Collinet who created the reputed pommes soufflées with its sauce Béarnaise in 1837. If the popularity of the Collinet’s cuisine was soon to be known, so is the site exquisitely placed along the hills has made Pavillon Henri IV to be one of the most preferred get away for celebrities. Many came to enjoy the view and get inspired, among them were Alexandre Dumas and Jacques Offenbach. Today, acquired by Charles Eric Hoffmann, Pavillon Henri IV has once again regain its resplendence with some of the best creative cooking concocted by Chef Patrick Kappler.
The exotic winter menu can be chosen either à la carte or why not try out their menu dégustation or menu Châteauneuf. I went for the à la carte which seems to blend in more into my winter mood symphony, with a prelude and delights from the sea and earth … To whet the appetite comes this lovely warm creamy fennel soup.
A carpaccio of marinated scallop Noix de Saint Jacques bathed in olive oil and lemon comes next followed by sweet sour turbot fish on a bed of sweet potatoes topped with pineapple immersed in a delightful mixture of coconut, ginger and lemongrass.
From the symphony of earth unfold some tasty roe deer meat in black pepper with the famous pommes soufflées – these little flat cut slices of potatoes puff up into small balloons by cooking at high temperature, created at the Pavillon Henri IV by Louis-François Collinet. These lovely puff French style fried potatoes is served with Béarnaise sauce – a mixture of clarified butter, wine vinegar, egg yolks and herbs.
And to end it all, a delicious warm mango dessert with coconut sorbet …
PAVILLON HENRI IV
19 – 21 Rue Thiers
78100 SAINT GERMAIN EN LAYE
Tel : +33 (0)1 39 10 15 15
Categories: Pavillon Henri IV