Report 2: Les Fables, Les Cocottes, Chateaubriand, Miroir
I came back to Paris Sunday by myself for my “last night” and was supposed to leave Mon morning but ended up changing my flight to Thursday. Just wasn’t ready to leave! So there were more restaurants to be tried…yay!
Sunday night (my supposed last night): LES FABLES DE LA FONTAINE
I had dinner w/ my chef friend from Le Miroir, and he is friends with the guys here, so they did the “Menu Degustation” for us.
1st: Langoustine wrapped in basil and lightly fried, w/ citron sauce to dip – perfection…This will be the first thing I order when I go back; little glass of cucumber purée w/ a fish tartare; little glass of carrot purée topped w/ caviar – All beautifully presented, all delicious. I was in heaven already. I was giggling, it was just that good.
2nd: 3 layers presented in a martini glass: Avocado cream, crustacean gelée, and a red beet foam. Amazing. Such complimentary layers of flavor and texture, and so fresh. Served with a thin savory butter cookie.
3rd: Lobster in a light creamy sauce w/ foam – again, beautiful presentation in a huge bowl
4th: Swordfish belly topped w/ a sunny side up egg yolk, with sliced asparagus and whole morel mushrooms. The mushrooms were incredible, and the egg yolk w/ the swordfish…wow.
5th: Pan-seared John Dory with a side of little square layered pieces of zucchini, ham, red bell pepper, & cheese
6th: Half globe chocolate shell filled with pistachio cream & lemon sorbet
I can’t even describe the deliciousness…I was giddy during this whole meal, especially the first 2 courses. Wow. And the restaurant is intimate & beautiful, the service was wonderful…I can’t wait to go back.
Monday dinner: LES COCOTTES
I walk in the door, and there’s Christian Constant. Got to meet him because my friend used to work for him, so that was fun! I feel like I’m meeting celebrities. Love the atmosphere here. Upbeat, fun, modern. Packed, even on a Monday night, but we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.
1st: White asparagus in some sort of light garlic sauce…wow.
2nd: Crabmeat salad (mix of shredded lettuce topped w/ crabmeat) – okay
3rd: Pied de cochon served in a little potato – Get this if you can!! So delicious.
4th: I got the scallops in foam & orange sauce w/ endives and my friend got a beef dish (apparently too busy w/ my scallops to pay attention). The scallops were great, didn’t love the endive/orange combo.
5th: The “fabuleux” tarte au chocolate de Christian Constant. I think “fabuleux” is a little much, but it was good.
Fun place, good food, love the idea of eating everything out of cocottes. I’d go back maybe for lunch and for those pied de cochon potatoes! Glad I got to try this place.
Tuesday dinner: LE CHATEAUBRIAND
So thrilled I got to try this place. Service was efficient and friendly, they explained every dish thoroughly, the waiter crouched down at the table informally to talk to me, and the atmosphere was great, yes all the waiters are gorgeous and I’ll admit I would go back for that reason alone, but the food was good, too, imagine that!
Amuse bouche: Gougere au fromage (cheese puff)
1st: A beet root purée topped w/ mild radishes, smoked fish & tiny nuts. Beautiful on the plate.
2nd: A fresh salad w/ 7 types of herbs, including tiny flowers, topped w/ smoked gouda shavings. So fresh, floral, and delicious. So many flavors, it was really surprising.
3rd: A piece of whitefish w/ a crisp skin, served w/ a baby carrot, thinly sliced white carrots, red onion pieces, pearl onions, grapefruit & orange pieces, in a jus de carrotte – Not my favorite…the flavor combination was a little odd, but the fish was nicely cooked.
4th: Veal topped w/ citrus caviar, white asparagus, & purple basil. The citrus caviar with the veal was wonderful. Such bright bursts of flavor.
5th: 2 Desserts…#1 was a bowl of strawberries topped w/ thyme-infused Chantilly foam. There were little pop rocks inside the strawberries for a surprise. The foam was amazing. I would like to order a gallon of it. Dessert #2 was a lemon custard w/ fresh raspberries, a bright red raspberry powder, and thin apple crips. This was delicious. Any place that wants to give you 2 desserts gets extra points in my book.
All in all…not my favorite dishes in the world for this particular evening, but I’m sure they have stellar ones on other evenings…I’ve heard it’s a gamble here, and it can be fabulous or fall flat. I think my meal was somewhere in the middle of that spectrum…but it was still fresh, inventive & enjoyable. The creativity, freshness, playfulness, and aesthetic beauty of the dishes (and the waiters) was enough that I will return for a second go! Definitely worth the gamble.
When I left the restaurant, two patrons on their smoke break offered to take a picture of me in front of the restaurant. Just as they started to take the picture, one said “Oh look! Here comes the chef!” and the chef came outside to take a picture with me. Then he asked how the meal was, and I got so nervous and star-struck that I said thank you so much, everything was so good, and practically ran away.
Wednesday Dinner: LE MIROIR
The final night. Since I was dining solo, they were kind enough to give me a prime table facing the little window that goes into the kitchen so I could see what was going on, which was fun. I’m amazed at the pace at which they work…looks exhausting! Love the atmosphere here at night and the lively buzz. It was packed at 9:30, and I didn’t hear any English at all, which I’m a huge fan of. Beautiful little restaurant, red walls, nice lighting, mirrors on the walls. Sigh…Paris.
1st: Royale d’Asperge…a layered dish in a glass pot w/ an asparagus cream, shrimp gelée, & fresh asparagus shavings. It was amazing, flavorful, and fresh.
2nd: A little cup of swordfish tartare topped with coconut cucumber mousse. That cucumber mousse is on the top favorite things that I have ever tasted.
3rd: Blackened whitefish w/ spring vegetables. Fresh, beautiful, perfectly cooked, and a generous portion.
4th: Dessert trio: Sables aux fraises (butter cookie w/ lemon sorbet, topped w/ a little tower of strawberries and drizzled with balsamic sauce); Sweet fromage blanc with caramelized rhubarb; Chocolate ganache w/ a sprinkling of pop rocks – yum. yum. and yum. I’m about to burst.
Café: Espresso followed by a plate of hot madelines fresh out of the oven…regular, marble & chocolate. I was so full I had to break them into little pieces to make it look like I ate them but I couldn’t fit another crumb into my body…don’t tell. (But I tried them earlier and they are delightful!) The server suggested a pear digestif that actually did wonders.
Service was great, so friendly and wonderful. The food was fresh, unique, some really interesting flavors. Atmosphere top notch… just a beautiful interior with a lively buzz about it…A great experience, even for a girl dining solo! I’ll be back.
Sorry for the length, apparently I don’t know the meaning of brevity. Attaching a few pictures. Again…many many thanks for your input in helping me choose these places…I really am grateful. Already thinking about a trip back for New Year’s and can’t wait to be dining in Paris again!