During our road trip in the Ardèche in France we had lunch at Michelin star restaurant Le Carré d’Aléthius in the Ardèche. Le Carré d’Aléthius can be found in a small, sleepy town called Charmes-sur-Rhone. I never expected such a good restaurant in such a small town. You might easily miss it when you’re on vacation in the Ardèche, so I’m telling you all about it on this page. Trust me; it’s worth the drive when you’re staying in the Ardèche! You can find Charmes-sur-Rhone near the city Valence and it’s about a 1 hour drive from Lyon.
Le Carré d’Aléthius is a restaurant and hotel run by the couple Stephanie and Olivier Samin. They opened up in 2010 with Stephanie being in charge of the hotel and Olivier as the chef of the restaurant. In 2014 they received their first Michelin star and they’ve kept it ever since.
Chef Olivier Samin worked for Anne-Sophie Pic before, one of the few female chefs int he world that have been rewarded with 3 Michelin stars. So Samin had a good example!
At Le Carré d’Aléthius they work as much with local and seasonal products as possible. In this bowl you see a Parmezan cheese panna cotta with olives, cress and rosemary popcorn. The three amuse bouche you see pictured above are a Gouda cheese marshmallow, a black olive and basil square and a radish with pink butter and bread crumbs.
My starter was made with green asparagus from the region, prepared in different textures. It’s served with buckwheat and a small potato delicacy which is also from the region.
You can tell that the chef focusses on colors a lot as well. You can especially see it at my main dish, which is pictured at the top of this page. The seasonal vegetables were served in a carrot and cumin sauce with olive oil from the Ardèche.
For dessert I had this beautiful rhubarb dessert. Isn’t it beautiful? The striped sides are made from white chocolate. And it’s filled with mousse. I was there in April, so it was rhubarb season!
Speaking of seasonal fruits, strawberries were also in season. My mother had this beautiful dessert with fresh strawberries.
After the many dishes we had at our lunch menu we had some coffee and tea and we got some wonderful sweet treats. You see a lemon marshmallow, a mint chocolate lollipop and a crispy mikado.
As I said, Le Carré d’Aléthius is also a hotel. On the ground floor there are rooms that all have their own theme. And on the top floor is this beautiful suite.