La Fine Bouche – Chamonix, France
Just before noon and after a morning exploring Aiguille du Midi, we were definitely ready to hit lunch. At the other side of town was La Fine Bouche – a very well rated bistro. While reviews claimed reservations were required due to the small size, I could not fine a way to make a reservation ahead of time online. I was hopeful that showing up at open for lunch in the middle of the week helped our chances of getting a seat – and we were starving. After counting down the minutes until it opened, waiting outside trying not to look terribly desperate, there were only two tables open for walk ins and we grabbed one.
The inside was adorable, appointed with plants everywhere and picnic accents, including the traditional red checkered table clothes. But the reviews were not kidding- there are less than ten tables total.
As we were learning, most restaurants in Chamonix have a menu formatted with a daily pre-fixe menu or full menu options for à la carte. We were confused at first with how to pre-fixe menu worked as we are familiar with getting to pick from the à la carte menu to create the pre-fixe or from a selection of items but in these cases, the pre-fixe menu was already determined by the daily menu. We each ordered a glass of wine and we were ready for our lunch!
Kevin opted for the pre-fixe menu of daily selections. The first course was a house salad full of green leaves and pieces of citrus fruits. It was refreshing as much as it was fresh. This dish was a great way to load up of veggies, which sometimes gets forgotten on vacation.
Having onion soup in France may be a cliche but I didn’t care – it felt authentic to the area and I adore french onion soup at home. This one had a sweet onion broth with thick country bread croutons (they were enormous) to sop up the soup. And it was all topped with delicious gruyere. After a freezing cold morning, this just completely warmed the inner most parts of me. Pure happiness!
Dish of the day – Chicken
The dish of the day! Kevin really enjoyed this dish because it was so different. The chicken was perfectly cooked and benefited from a complex sauce. He expected a cream based sauced so it was a good change to have this savory, tomato based. The sides were a hunk of some sort of cornbread – grits child and the smallest dollop of mashed potatoes. While it felt that the portion sizes of these sides was reversed, they both helped sop up that delicious sauce.
Warm goat cheese salad and smoked salmon
It may be difficult to tell from the photo but this dish was enormous! There was so much of everything and reminded me of a deconstruction lox without the bagel. This salad was completely amazing and I loved everything on the plate. The salad and salmon was fresh and well dressed. The toast with chunks of warmed goat cheese was simply divine – DIVINE. Warming the cheese really took it to the next level. This really made for the perfect soup and salad meal.
It was hard to resist dessert as we saw plates flying out to other tables so we decided to split the classic chocolate mousse. Hard to mess this one up but it was definitely home made.
We loved our lunch at La Fine Bouche and felt lucky we were able to fit a meal in here despite not having a reservation. I would highly recommend making reservations if you can (by calling only), especially for dinner. The menu is littered with great choices that all sounded great and I do not think you can go wrong. Thanks La Fine Bouche for a wonderful meal!