A Chef with a Grand Future | SoN’ Restaurant, Bordeaux, France

By Sophie Gayot

Bordeaux, France, March 2024

GAYOT’s rating: 15/20
Cuisine: French / Contemporary
Open: Tues.-Sat.: Lunch 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

SoN’ Restaurant | +33 5 57 67 10 46 | View Website
View map: 14, rue Paul-Louis Lande, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Yes, my exclusive video above with chef Sylvain Renzetti is long (over four minutes), but Renzetti deserves much attention for what he has achieved so far at the young age of twenty-nine. Then, if you start thinking about the future, his future, you can only extrapolate that it is going to be one that will impose among his peers, and much beyond Bordeaux and France.

From wanting to be a musician to some troubled times, and with his long-time endearment for cooking, Renzetti was put back on his feet by his mother. She sold the only thing she possessed, her house, to finance her son’s adventure. Therefore, the name of the restaurant. See what love can accomplish…

The experience at SoN’ Restaurant is très unique, from the setting to the cuisine. Mom, a florist, took care of the décor, but lucky her as she had a beautiful room with vintage wood floors, high ceilings, and magnificent moldings. Each table, and there are thirteen, is a piece of nature and art — a tour de force concept from Renzetti himself. I still don’t apprehend how he got the idea. That is what the video above is all about.

Usually, when I write an article, I debate about the menu overall, and sometimes with a focus on one dish. Here, at SoN’ Restaurant, the dishes are so distinctive that each deserves its own paragraph and video (shorter that time, I promise you).

Brush up on your français, and you will see on the menu that Renzetti likes to play with ingredients. They are not simplistic dishes. But that is how and why the culinary bliss happens.

The dinner menu is a five-course € 75 prix-fixe, a steal for that quality of produce and execution. Such a meal should have fromage, so don’t hesitate for the supplement. You can ask for substitutions by calling twenty-four hours in advance. But, that you should not do. Renzetti carefully assembled his dishes combining ingredients for a purpose. When you go to a concert, you don’t ask the musicians to remove one note here or there.

You will need to scroll on an iPad for the wine list, where the labels are mostly French and reasonably priced.

Gazing at the presentations of the plates, and the plates themselves, we can be sure Renzetti is somewhat of an artist, on top of being a chef.

Personal note: I would like to thank chef Renzetti for honoring the work my father has done and showcasing the concept of Nouvelle Cuisine on one of the tables (in the first video above). Nouvelle Cuisine was brought to the culinary world in 1970 by my late father, André, and his partners.

All photos in the article © GAYOT.com

The butters are so fragrant that I highly recommend the amuse-bouches first. The evening I went, the square tray held a beef tartare with a bubble of white balsamic and truffle water, a butternut velouté with cornichon sorbet, and a black olive tapenade to be spread on “pasta” bread set on a cute tiny easel.

Back to the butters. To pair with the breads, take your knife for the green Thai curry one, the ras hanout, or the smoked paprika version.

Saturne Iodée, panna cotta spiruline & siltimur, tartare iodé au concombre, poussière d’huile d’olive, ficoïde glaciale, astéroïde et sorbet kiwi

This sea flavored asteroid did not fall from the sky, but was carefully assembled in the kitchen.

It arrives smoking at your table.

And yes, you will have to break the spiral to get to the oyster kiwi ceviche and the spirulina panna cotta.

Tortello de la Muerte, shimejis en pickles, espuma lichen, crème de champignons, jus ume, écume au lait, truffe au chocolat 90%, girolles & trompettes de la Mort

For that one, I will let the chef himself narrate what is happening on the skull…

Lieu Noir en Croûte de Citron Noir, petit épeautre lié à la bouillabaisse, espuma céleri saké, tartare de chou-fleur & esturgeon fumé, écume verjus & Pacifique, sauce citron & nori

The Lieu Noir (saithe) is where East meets West. Saké and nori are combined with bouillabaisse jus and pastis. It is served on an elegant plate looking like nacre (mother of pearl). (I should have asked where it came from.)

Lapin en Deux Cuissons, gâteau de pomme de terre, oignons rôtis, radis glacés et crus, betterave en mousseline et rôties, sauce à l’ail noir

The Lapin en Deux Cuissons is lighted by a candle. But that candle is a surprise. Discover it in the video above and admire the graceful presentation.

Abstract Fruité, Comme un dessert mais en mieux

If the dessert looks like a rock, it is actually très tender, as it is a mousse that includes fig infused balsamic vinegar and granny-smith apple. On the side, a secret ingredient, shh…