An authentic and refined restaurant in Southern Corsica
A cuisine with an unmistakable sense of place
Flavour! Flavour, a bouquet of colours, and a riot of scents! Enough to awaken sleeping senses. Flavours that stir your taste buds and impassion your palate. Corsica is all this at once. Its seasons fragrant with different bouquets. Savoury wild herbs, tender meat and fish, juicy fruits and vegetables, and full-bodied wines. Sustainable farmers and ranchers who care about the environment, proudly earning their French quality labels, who make us – and you! – locavores. Our garden and henhouse are proof of our commitment to this fertile land. A commitment more akin to activism, because Corsica is a pure delight. Corsica is a caress; as creamy-smooth as Marianne’s pastries. A pleasure as voluptuous as Vanessa’s handpicked wines. A rapture whose quintessence springs from our chef Gadio El Hadji’s clever and refined cuisine.
Gadio El Hadji, a "black and white and heartfelt" cuisine
Gadio’s cuisine? It is a country in itself, nothing more and nothing less! A country that is neither his native Senegal, nor France where he came to the top of his art. Nor even Corsica in truth, though he has lived here for more than twenty years. No, it’s an unknown country, the product of a heady cross-fertilization of flavours. It is the world!
The only recipe he follows is born of instinct and of heart, which infallibly guide his flavor pairings and proportions and lead him to experiment, to innovate, to create. Of course, this recipe draws on experience: the experience, first, of a child who loved to linger clinging to his mother’s robes as she bustled about the kitchen. Then that of a student trained first in Dakar, then in Paris. And of a kitchen help, learning from his peers and chefs as one learns from a father, enthralled by the slightest gesture, the smallest experimentation. And finally that of a chef who came into his own in our 4-star hotel kitchen in Bonifacio. Though it was no mean feat, nineteen years ago, to convince him to take up the reins of our gourmet restaurant and to don the chef’s hat! “I was too young,” he admits, “too young to give up partying, going out and my buddies. Too young to take on such a responsibility, even though I knew how to manage a team and a kitchen!” Yet take it on he did, quite naturally. And today our kitchens waft with the scents of exotic spices and exceptional flavours: here are born the precious, refined dishes which all our guests savour, be they in the restaurant or the paillote: each with Gadio El Hadji’s unmistakable identity.
"You know, little one, pastry and love are exactly alike – if it’s fresh all the ingredients, even the most bitter, turn delicious."* That could have been Marianne, our head pastry chef’s inspiration, for her pastries are…
They are just like a cloud. A round, sweet cloud decorating a perfect blue sky, highlighting its dimensions and bringing out its azure nuances. They are like childhood jams, even better tasted with your fingers. They are the reassuring smell of tenderness, the fruity, exotic sweetness of mango and pineapple candied in caramel. They are the crunch of a crumble, the pillowy unctuousness of an Aullène chestnut cream. They are also audacious, like the ambitious young woman who didn’t give up in the face of the challenges she faced early in her culinary journey. “Before the year 2000, very few women worked in the world of cuisine,” she shares, “so it was difficult to make a place for myself.” Too bad! Or perhaps – so much the better! For Marianne’s faith took precedence over such challenges. And faith in the simple evidence and in the rigor of pastry creation grew throughout her culinary studies, as she discovered that starting with the simplest of ingredients, she could create “something crazy”. Blithely ignoring how complicated it would be, this young lady travelled from luxury hotel to gastronomic restaurant before, at last, joining our four-star seaside hotel. That was in 2008. Since then, Marianne invents…deconstructs…creates…takes inspiration from local flavours…follows the rhythm of the seasons…and treats you, treats us. * Christian Bobin
Happiness begins at breakfast
A special time, breakfast sweetly prolongs night’s evanescence. Little by little, the night chill vanishes, as Mediterranean specialties satiate your appetite. Most are homemade, created here from scratch from fresh ingredients. Breads, buttery brioches, salty and sweet loaf cakes, fruit salads, fruit purees, omelettes, yoghurts and our own honey are paired with Corsican-made delicacies: jams, cured meats, and of course cheeses.
- Sweet buffet: yoghurts, loaf cakes, breads, jams and honeys, freshly squeezed juices, and so forth.
- Savoury buffet: cured meats, salamis and cheeses, fresh eggs made to order, "detox" juices, etc.
Every day, palates awaken as gazes turn to the sea. The spirit wanders the globe, led by the buffet which varies: today Breton, tomorrow Moroccas, Corsican, Senegalais, Provençal or British. A carousel of crêpes, pancakes, buckwheat galettes, chesnut flans; frappe brocciu doghnuts, canistrelli biscuits, manioc goodies, muffins and boat-shaped provençal navettes. A carousel of flavours and of regional treats.
One season, one menu. A proverb? No, more of a philosophy to which we’re deeply, viscerally attached. An ethic revealing freshness and authenticity. Wonderfully varied salads, pasta al dente, fish tartare, brocciu cheese omelettes made from our hens’ eggs, Haut-Taravo cured meats, etc. Everything here breathes in Corsica, takes in its scents, and exudes its aromas for you.
The restaurant is open for lunch from end of April to Mid October.
An expressive dinner
One season, one menu. In the evening too: it’s all about authenticity and freshness, always and forever. And also about discovering the essence of things. In springtime, in a cream of Aullène chestnuts, in a beef fillet smoked with herbs of the maquis, in a layered pastry of chard and tomatoes, in a saffron polenta, or in a garden-fresh marjoram emulsion. In each and every offering on our Corsican menu, and in our grilled or roasted meats and fish.Our Menu Card 2018
Culinary journey and ApéRosé
Setting out on a culinary journey demands audacity: dare to welcome pleasure! Dare to awaken your senses! Dare to set off on a sensory journey, a symphony which you yourself conduct. You tell us your preferences, and the score is written by a talented trio of hands: those of our chef, our pastry chef and our sommelier. Together they create your menu. You won’t find "ApéRosé" in any dictionary!
The word "apérosé"is our invention, a mix of “apéritif” (French cocktail hour) and “rosé”. We also invented its savoury and sweet recipes. Served on a slate board, with a rosé wine (of course!), we’ll take you deep into Corsica’s savoury secrets. And actually take you on an exclusive private “voyage” to the beach, or poolside, to the tip of the dock, under the arbour, or even deep into the maquis, for an utterly relaxing and private moment to savour. A journey whose final note is played at the bar as you sip an invigorating digestif.