Goût de France is over. This year, 2000 restaurants from 5 continents, including 14 restaurants from Norway, took part in this event. The restaurant Jacob & Gabriel from Skien was among the lucky 14 places. This is a great honour, both for Jacob & Gabriel and for the entire town.
I quickly booked a table for my friend and I as there were a lot of people wanting to participate in this special dinner. The restaurant was full on that day. The chefs, Lars Ludvig Jacobsen and Mateusz Wesolowski, prepared a special 5-course menu. As a starter we chose Arctic char tartare – one of my favourite dishes that evening.
Fresh, very delicate fish was served with oyster mayonnaise and crispy cucumber in a few forms, among others, as a super fresh cucumber “gin&tonic” sorbet. I thought that would be the best dish, but I was wrong, as there was an even better one later on! Langoustine with shellfish essence, brown butter, baked Jerusalem artichoke espuma and perigord truffle. A real explosion of taste and aroma! I will remember this dish for a long time… My mouth waters whenever I think about it 😅 That was definitely the best langoustine I had ever eaten in my life.
Then there was the main course – slow cooked pork belly, foie grass, radichio rosso compote and organic spinach. Very delicate meat, boiled at a low temperature for thirty-six hours, then glazed in madeira sauce. Perfectly selected additions made the dish. My friend immediately changed her mind and said that in her opinion, the bacon was the best dish in the menu.
As befits a French dinner, there was also cheese. This time in a slightly different, delicate munkeby cheese in foam with rye bread structures (crisps, crumble, rye popcorn) and plums. Unfortunately, I am not keen on cheeses, so I can’t express my opinion regarding that dish. However, I was looking at the smiling guests and empty plates that were coming back to the kitchen, and I can say that they must have really liked the food.
Finally, an excellent dessert: apple terrine, burnt cream “toffie” brioche ice cream and pain pardu vanilla. It all went together perfectly. This sweet hint rounded off the evening in the restaurant Jacob & Gabriel. All the dishes were in harmony with one another, like a great orchestra. My favourite was langoustine, and Dominika called the main course the best meat she had ever eaten.
It is worth emphasising that the chefs in the restaurant prepare these dishes using only ecological ingredients from local suppliers. They also often go to the forest or to the farms themselves to get the best ingredients for their dishes. Bravo to you! The dinner can be considered a success not only because of tasty food. It is said that people make the restaurant. Jacob & Gabriel is a perfect example. The atmosphere in the restaurant that evening was amazing. Most guests took photos of the dishes and the restaurant. The waiters took care of every single detail, their service was very efficient, it was obvious that they knew what they were doing and that it gave them pleasure. A big round of applause for them also for selecting the perfect wines for the dishes.
Without a doubt, Jacob & Gabriel is the best restaurant in Skien, and I would dare say that it is the best in Telemark. We thank all the team for a very pleasant evening, atmosphere, delicious food, and perfect service. We will surely return again after Easter to sample your new menu.