Restaurant Céna in Montpellier jolts the palate

Céna Montpellier

When a young chef begins a gastronomic playground, you know you’re in for something exciting. This is precisely what Chéri and I experienced visiting Céna in Montpellier recently. Run by 28 years old Chef Clément Briand – Seurat, he wanted to start writing his own history. Having worked at several prestigious restaurants and being elected as ‘Young Talent’ in 2022 by Gault et Millau, he opened his place in January 2023.

It’s in the details

Every time I visit Montpellier, I’m surprised by the bustling vibe. There are so many restaurants that I want to try! This time, I had already made a reservation for lunch at Céna- to dine in Latin- in the historic heart of Montpellier. Opening the doors revealed a classy restaurant under a high, medieval vaulted ceiling. There is even an intimate courtyard outside; notice the monumental door. Comfortable blue, ochre, and beige chairs added colour to the dining room inside. After taking our coats, a genuine and friendly host led us to our already set table- including a little table for my (equally little) bag. Yes, at Céna details are thought of!

Chef Clément Briand - Seurat

Star treatment

Céna works with a set menu, both for lunch and dinner, with a star treatment on vegetables and very little meat or fish. Another- sustainable- surprise gift from the team will appear when planting the menu, you’ll see. When we sat down, the menu was already on the table, and I thought we had to choose. However, the only choice we needed to make was the number of courses (two for 42 euros or three for 49 euros) and which dessert out of two. If wanted, you can add French caviar (+ 15 euros) and/or cheese (+ 13 euros). Wine pairing is possible, too, which comes to 20 euros for three glasses. The dinner menu (8 courses) is more elaborate and costs 79 euros. Of course, you can express your special dietary requirements when making your reservation.

Céna Montpellier

Various guises

The first surprise came with the amuses-bouche, beautifully delicate appetizers presented as the Chef’s ‘premier pas’- the first step. The starter involved beetroot and goat cheese from the nearby Pic Saint-Loup in various guises, topped with a velvety sauce. Next was a fish from Sète’s fish market with local vegetables, marine seasonings, and a top-notch croque-monsieur on the side. Desert came in several variations on local producer Pauline’s grapes, including a startling scoop of smoked yoghurt. The lunch ended in style with the Chef’s ‘retour sur nos pas’- back to our first steps. The small bites served with our coffee and tea looked exactly like the amuses-bouche at the start of our meal. However, the tastes were completely different. How originally inventive!

Céna Montpellier
TO EAT - Restaurants
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