The Treasure Valley has surely never seen anything as opulent as Chateau des Fleurs in Eagle.
The French-influenced chateau, which debuted in early October, sits stately on the property of the Camille Beckman corporate headquarters just off Idaho 44 near the Boise River.
Camille Beckman founder Susan Roghani made her fortune selling boutique-quality body-care products. And she’s obviously a Francophile, as evidenced by the the 21,000-square-foot chateau gleaning inspiration from the Palace of Versailles, a majestic chateau and gardens near Paris.
Chateau des Fleurs — albeit much smaller than its French counterpart — serves as a high-end event center. It even has an upscale French restaurant, Le Coq d’Or, run by longtime Boise chef Franck Bacquet.
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The drop-dead gorgeous chateau is resplendent with white marble floors, two luxurious ballrooms, crystal chandeliers and a vast collection of paintings from 19th and 20th century Hungarian painter Mark Lajos.
The restaurant, just inside the grand entrance, boasts an upscale bistro feel — with its Burgundy-colored paint, high-back chairs and linen-covered tables — making it an ideal spot for an unhurried repast.
Bacquet, who was born in northern France, has earned a loyal following over the years for his classic French cuisine that touts modern flair. Diners may remember him from Le Coq Rouge, a French restaurant he once owned and operated on Maple Grove Road.
Le Coq d’Or, which means “the golden rooster,” takes farm-to-table cuisine to the next level thanks to an on-site vegetable garden and vineyards. Besides fresh offerings from the garden, Bacquet goes out of his way to source other locally produced food.
The a la carte menu, which is on the expensive side, changes slightly every few weeks and reflects what’s in season at the time. But it does have a few mainstays throughout the year.
For example, the escargot maison appetizer ($16) is culled from Bacquet’s grandmother’s recipe book. Diners can stay the traditional course with these little snails — tender and drenched in garlicky butter flecked with parsley and thyme — tucked away in their nautilus-shaped shells. Slices of freshly baked baguette were there to soak up the residual garlic butter.
A time-honored French onion soup au gratin ($13) is another menu anchor that will have you singing Edith Piaf songs and recalling fond memories of your time spent in Paris. An earthenware crock came bubbling with a Gruyere cheese-covered crouton over a brandy-rich beef stock riddled with silky caramelized onions with an essence of fresh thyme.
If you’re lucky, you might find appetizers such as scallops au gratin ($16), a plate of baked sea scallops on the half shell, tender and sweet, topped with light pesto cream sauce and a golden crust of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Truffle ravioli ($16) speaks for the season with its puffy al dente pillows (stuffed with ricotta and shaved black and white truffles), served on a sheen of fried sage butter and encircled by a band of syrupy balsamic-truffle reduction.
Also expect to find a short list of seasonal salads. I especially liked the Belgian endive salad ($16), with its pointy, crisp spears arranged like a flower around a roasted sweet potato medallion in a pool of honey Dijon vinaigrette that boasts a garam masala backbeat. The large crumbles of blue-veined cheese on top set off a flavor explosion once they hit the sweet and spicy vinaigrette at the bottom of the bowl.
As for entrées, the monkfish Provencal ($29.50) evokes tastes of the French countryside and North Africa. A pan-roasted fillet of dense and flaky monkfish, smothered in an eggplant ratatouille sauce finished with white wine, anise liqueur and tomato sauce, came leaned up against a little pyramid of fragrant basmati rice tinged with ginger and turmeric.
Coq au vin ($29.50) is another traditional dish that will have you singing French cabaret songs. A half of a Cornish game hen gets slowly stewed with mirepoix, red wine, butter, chewy nibs of duck bacon, sliced mushrooms and herbs, resulting in tender chicken in a dark pan sauce with robust flavors. It was served with a roasted, hollowed out side of yellow squash filled with ratatouille and a stratum of golden brown potatoes au gratin.
Go ahead and splurge, like I did, on a pan-seared bison strip loin ($44), a juicy New York-cut steak (nailed perfectly at medium-rare) covered in a flowing Barolo wine demi-glace with noticeable pieces of chopped shallot. It came with ratatouille-stuffed squash and potatoes au gratin.
I washed down the bison steak with a glass of rather affordable Domaine de Couron Cotes-du-Rhone ($7.50), a bold red blend from the south of France.
We ended the night with a warm round of tarte tatin ($10), a classic French pie with cinnamon-dusted caramelized apple slices set in custard, garnished with vanilla ice cream and little dots of dark caramel sauce.
I was surprised not to see a cheese offering on the dessert menu, considering the French like to conclude their meals with a sampling of cheeses often served with some sort of fruit relish.
All in all, Le Coq d’Or offers a superlative dining experience. Bacquet’s nuanced fare, paired with a thoughtful wine list, will surely leave diners wanting more. And service is polished like the silverware at this new destination restaurant.
Reviewers pay for their meals and attempt to dine anonymously. Email James Patrick Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Le Coq d’Or at Chateau des Fleurs
Address: 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle
Phone: (208) 947-2840
Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Menu price range: appetizers, soups and salads $10-$16; entrées $21-$44.50.
Libation situation: A surprisingly affordable wine list that features lots of French and Italian wines, and even some Idaho labels such as a Chardonnay and Riesling (produced by Greg Koenig) made from grapes grown in the Roghani Vineyards that skirt the property. Also expect to find a few bottled European beers.
Kid friendly? Yes. But only for well-behaved, patient kids.
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Opened: October 2015