Le Foch, named after the French field marshal who was commander in chief of the allied armies in 1918, opened in April 1997. It is a family affair, with its chef Jacky Louaze and his wife Corinne running the front of house. Le Foch is located on a smart street in Reims, the dining room in two sections. The room is carpeted,with well-spaced tables laid with good quality white linen. There was a tasting menu at €85, a simpler three course set menu at €51 as well as an a la carte choice.
The lengthy, all French winelist had a particularly wide section of champagnes, and reasonable coverage of the other main wine areas of France. Examples were Muscadet Chereau Carre 2009 priced at €32 compared to a shop price of €12, Ostertag Pinot Gris 2011 at €65 for a wine that retails at €30, and Haut Marbuzet 2009 at €105 for a wine that will set you back around €47 in a shop. Those wishing to splash out could indulge in Chateau Latour 1995 at €940 for a wine that costs around €686 to buy.
The meal began with a tray of nibbles. Pea tartlet with mint had pastry that was rather thick and peas that were a little too hard, along with a pleasant candied tomato and some ham. These were pleasant but no more than that (barely 14/20). Bread was bought in from a local baker, a choice of baguette or olive rolls. Both were good, the olive roll having particularly nice flavour and texture (easily 15/20).
Blue lobster was served on a bed of quinoa with a little horseradish, garnished with grapefruit segments and served with melon. The lobster had good flavour and was quite tender; the crab was good and the fruit provided some useful acidity, the quinoa giving a texture contrast, the bite from the horseradish nicely controlled (16/20). This was followed by roast langoustine with crab with an emulsion of crustaceans. The langoustine was tender and the crab excellent, with a hint of inherent sweetness, the emulsion having good depth of shellfish flavour (17/20).
Turbot with artichokes and onion was also good, the turbot precisely cooked, the onions fried in a delicate batter, the artichoke base tender (16/20). The main course was sweetbreads with chestnuts in a port reduction, served with asparagus on the side. The sweetbreads had plenty of flavour, the reduction was intense, the asparagus providing some welcome relief to the richness of the dish. Buttery mash on the side was good in itself, but the overall effect was overly rich (15/20). My wife had carefully cooked red mullet with shredded leeks and a cream sauce (16/20).
Cheese was in excellent condition, a broad selecton from around France. There were two desserts. A raspberry millefeuille had delicate pastry, good quality fruit and a smooth raspberry ice cream (17/20). Chocolate cake came with vanilla ice cream and a little chocolate square as garnish. The cake had nice chocolate, but the ice cream was served a little too warm, so was melting as it was served (15/20). A menu of coffees from around the world was offered, and this came with a few petit fours including a superb canelé and a little cherry cake (17/20).
Service was excellent, friendly and attentive. The bill with some nice wine came to €147 (£121) per person all in. Clearly the bill would be less if you went with the cheaper menu and modest wine. A typical bill might then be £70 a head. This seems to me good value for what appeared: ingredients were luxurious, technique was excellent, the dishes generally well put together and appealing. A strong one star Michelin level meal.