The Relais Gourmand Olivier Roellinger – one of the Maisons de Bricourt – is one of those special places that is both august and homely. It’s three Michelin stars, inventive spice-rich cuisine and impeccable service make it a paragon. Yet, it is a small place. It is on a friendly, human scale.
I went with two friends, landing at Dinard. The town of Cancale is a thirty minute cab ride from the airport. As usual, we were running late (time to spare, go by air) but they kept the kitchen open and we arrived at about 2pm local time.
I had a clear, lightly spiced broth over a bowl of prawns and shellfish with a few thin vegetables to start. It was clearly inspired by Vietnamese food but like everything else here it was its own creation. The spices have a local history because Cancale was the port through which much of France’s spice trade flowed. My main course was two fillets of John Dory with a sauce made of 14 (count them, 14!) spices. It was subtle and flavoursome, not at all overpowering. My favourite course, though, was the pudding. I had hibiscus jelly with fruits and a small sorbet on top. The jelly was sublime with a hint of pepper, I think.
The staff all speak fluent English and are very welcoming. The menu, however, is only available in French. I speak it a little but I don’t have any menu French. The waiters were happy to translate for us but choosing our order was a bit like throwing darts in a darboard. Mind you every throw is a bull’s eye.
I also recommend the spice shop and the Grain de Vanille tea and cake shop, both part of the same business, as post-meal shopping.
Overall, this restaurant is one of the best I have visited. Next time, I will arrive promptly and linger long.
1, rue Duguesclin,
Tél :02 99 89 64 76
Fax : 02 99 89 88 47
GPS : N48 38 588 W 001 52 345
Check website for opening times.
Meal for two: £250 with wine
Michelin Rating: ***