Lunch at La Marine

Lunch at La Marine

at La Marine on 28 July 2023
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Alexandre Couillon, born in Dakar, Senegal in 1975, honed his culinary skills in the Loire Valley before taking over "La Marine" in Noirmoutier from his father in 2000. Now boasting three Michelin stars, his innovative dishes celebrate the best of local ingredients and the sea's bounty. Couillon's culinary finesse extends beyond the restaurant, with cookbooks and media appearances, where he champions sustainability and supports local producers. A rising star in French cuisine, his journey inspires gastronomy enthusiasts worldwide, leaving a lasting impression with every visually remarkable dish.

Our extraordinary culinary journey at "La Marine" in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île took us on a captivating exploration of the sea's treasures. With an impressive lineup of five different fishes—Red tuna, Small peach mackerel, Whiting, Grilled monkfish, Turbot, and Pollack—the dining experience was truly exceptional.

In awe of Chef Alexandre Couillon's expertise in preparing seafood, we marveled at his mastery. Having learned the Ikejime technique from Okuda-san, owner of the famous Kaiseki restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, he ensures the fish is treated with the utmost care, resulting in flawlessly grilled fish on the skin using a Plancha grill, preserving pristine flavors without any smokiness. His sauces, light yet brimming with acidity from unusual garums like Pin Vinegar, elevated each dish to new heights.

From the vibrant Red tuna, delicately accompanied by candied egg yolks and onion juice, to the Small peach mackerel, exquisitely grilled with beetroot and parsley, every bite transported us to a realm of culinary excellence. The Lobster and Osciètre caviar flan, immersed in green crab broth and marsh herbs, was an indulgent symphony of flavors.

The Whiting, creatively paired with courgette, fig leaves, and fennel butter, and the Grilled monkfish, complemented by green beans and almond milk, showcased Chef Couillon's unparalleled artistry. The Turbot, skillfully presented with tied chard and head juice, and the Pollack, accompanied by field carrots and pine butter, further solidified the notion that we were experiencing a culinary masterpiece.

For dessert, the refreshing Cucumber infused with elderflowers and the intriguing Sea Lettuce, served with buckwheat and caramel and a burst of citrus fruit, left us yearning for more—both low in sugar and great in taste.

The whole dining experience at "La Marine" was remarkable. Chef Couillon's dedication to showcasing the bounty of the sea, combined with his unique culinary approach, has earned him well-deserved three Michelin stars. It's an unforgettable culinary journey that will remain etched in our memories, forever cherished as one of the most extraordinary dining experiences we have encountered.

As a passionate lover of Japanese cuisine, I can confidently say that this is the best cooking of fish I have ever encountered, surpassing even all of my experiences in Japan. Kudos to Chef Alexandre Couillon and his lovely wife for creating such an enchanting dining experience at "La Marine." Their passion for sustainable seafood and dedication to using the best ingredients shine through in each dish, making it an exceptional destination for any discerning food lover.

Creative French
Modern French
10 / 10
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Small peach mackerel
grilled with beetroot and parsley

Lobster and Osciètre caviar,
a flan with green crab broth and marsh herbs

courgette, a garden condiment with fig leaves and fennel butter

grilled green beans and almond milk

tied chard and head juice

field carrots and pine butter

Infused with elderflowers

Sea Lettuce
buckwheat and caramel, citrus fruit