CHECK IT OUT: Champêtre in Fort Bonifacio
Formerly Je Suis Gourmand, this recently-revamped resto is reborn with more classic French fare cooked with a country-style twist.
G/F Net One Center Building
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel. 815 8801 to 02
Roasted Chilean Seabass with Stewed Lentils and Meat Jus. Click for more.
Champêtre means "country" in French, and it's that sort of quaint, rustic feel that former Je Suis Gourmand chef Marc Aubry pursues in his new restaurant. Outside, a wooden fence-like structure and blue-colored plant boxes line the perimeter of the al fresco dining area, while its interiors are clad in cheerful yellow walls with pale blue trimmings and brightly-colored paintings. The overall vibe in the newly revamped space is, in a word, inviting.
Inside, the restaurant’s new botteca sits in one corner. The main difference between the two restaurants is that now we get more space, Aubry said. He gave up Je Suis Gourmand's function room to make way for Champêtre's new botteca, where shelves of bottled jams, sauces, Aubry's famed pate, as well as French wines served in the restaurant, are now available for guests to take home.
Fans of Aubry's classic French fare-those who first fell in love with the French restaurant's bestselling duck foie gras terrine, baked escargots, Portobello mushrooms with eggs "en cocotte," lamb shanks and rib-eye steaks-will be happy to know that Champêtre retained most of their favorites from the Je Suis Gourmand menu.
Case in point, the Roasted Smoked Bacon, Roquefort, Walnut & Boiled Egg Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette (P460+), which boasts a refreshing mix of greens interrupted by bursts of bold flavor from the bacon and Roquefort cheese-hardly a healthy alternative but definitely the kind of indulgence calorie counters would devour-is among Aubry's personal favorites.
Champêtre also reintroduces the Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with Stewed Lentils and Meat Jus (P820+)-succulent fish meat paired perfectly with the lentils' grittier, earthier texture. Among the newbies on the menu is the Stewed Red Snapper, Prawns & Clams Bouillabaisse Style (P680+), perhaps the best example yet of comforting, country-style French cooking with hefty servings of seafood bathed in a hearty, flavor-packed stew.
For dessert, try the homemade sherbets and ice cream, Champêtre's Passionfruit Cheesecake (P180+), Aubry's signature souffle (P210), or go traditional and order a classic French dessert called the Charlotte cake (P240)-a light, mousse-like dessert which Aubry prepares with pears, pear liquor and a killer trio of sauces: caramel, vanilla, and chocolate.
Photos by Kris Alcantara