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Nov 30, 2011 02:04 AM

What's the early word on Verjus?

Understand this is the new venture from the Hidden Kitchen people.

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  1. The restaurant opens tomorrow. I believe the wine bar is open, but I have not been.

    1. item #1 on the menu 2 weeks ago (don't know if still on there) is really really good. so good that it turned on my taste buds again, which had been turned off during my month in China.

      1. I hope it is good. We have reservations there in March 2012.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Cflower5

          So do we. Just curious, have you made other reservations yet? I'm wondering if it's still a bit too early.

          1. re: Nancy S.

            I was making reservations for their Hidden Kitchen and found out they were closing that and opening Verjus. So we do have reservations at 9:30 on March 22. Will you be there then? We are coming from Texas. I'm hoping to blog all the restaurants I visit on my food blog www.rosemaryandthegoat. We are still trying to find reasonable walking food tour and some place in Provence for a cooking class.

            1. re: Cflower5

              We'll be there the next week. I plan to start calling restaurants for reservations after the new year.

          2. re: Cflower5

            We just ate there during one of the last "run in" meals before the official opening (our meal was Friday, Nov 25th). Apologies for failure to report, but have been sick since returning home. Food was great! Will post a detailed report soon...hopefully tomorrow.

            1. re: DaTulip

              Okay - so now that I have a few minutes here are my thoughts on Verjus. We had our Hidden Kitchen reservation rolled over to the new place on Friday, Nov. 25th. We arrived a bit early and had a drink at the bar downstairs which was PACKED. Note: the resto is a bit hard to find from Rue Rivoli as it is really in the passage to the back street where the wine bar is located. They also had signs for the old resto still up, but I understand that was being changed this week.

              Since we were part of the run up to full opening they were still doing the communal table with a set menu with wine parings. It was a fun group and the food was good. The resto does get quite loud with big groups and a lot of wine ;-)

              Right off the menu seemed a little much to me. I'll post it below, but reading it I was thinking there are a lot of different flavors going on here...I hope it comes off okay. I was beyond pleasntly surprised. I loved every course!

              Here was our menu:
              Citrus tofu with wild rice, bone marrow, mussels, and smoked curry
              Served with a leyche nut kir royal (interesting, but not to my taste)

              Sea scallops with grapefruit, poppyseed, onion ash, chipolte, and chives
              Served with Coteaux du Giennois 2010 from Domaine Villargeau

              Red cabbage raviolis with a seaweed, red pepper, seafood broth
              Served with Jurancon Sec 2010 Cuvee marie from Charles Hours

              House smoked salmon with beets, quali egg, herbs, and buttermilk
              Served with Givry 2009 Pied de Chaume from Domaine Jobolt

              Buckwheat cracker with winter pickles, greens, pine nut butter, and ricotta

              Duck breast with white miso labne, cauliflower, nori crumbs, and micro basil
              Served with Fleurie 2010 Les Garants from Domaine Vissoux

              Pork belly with chicharron, frisee, turnip, carot, bock choy, and licorice apple
              Served with a Chinon 2010 from Chateau de Coulaine

              Tired yet???? I was....
              We finished with a lovely chocolate ganache with a pineapple habanero sorbet, chevre custard, and praline crumbs
              Served with a Cream Sherry Morenita from Emilio Hidalgo

              All in all a great evening! I would definately go back. I will post some pictures after I download them from my camera.

              1. re: DaTulip

                Thanks for the report. I would be curious to know what the price is for their menu.

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  They have the options of two different menus, 4 courses at 55€ or 6 courses at 70€.

                  1. re: Nancy S.

                    This menu with the wine pairings was 110 Euros per person. But again that was a pre opening set communal dinner.

            2. Verjus - 52 rue de Richelieu. Went for dinner with my son on the third night they were open as Verjus. Did the full menu 8 courses with wine pairing at 70 euro (a six course tasting menu is 55 euro) They have a short but well chosen wine list but we opted for the wine pairing (40 or 30 euro). Portion sizes were just right. At the end of the meal we had cleaned every plate and were fully satisfied with no feeling of having eaten too much. Each plate nicely presented the somewhat complex preparations. We sampled each component separately and then tasted them together as a whole. Everything worked! The individual components were precise and the combinations sparkled. Only major ingredients listed below.

              Sea bass carpaccio with black truffles, grapefruit and radish paired with Macon Fuisse. The bass was absolutely fresh and the truffles intense.

              House smoked salmon with chanterelles and horseradish paired with a terrific Croze Hermitage blanc. The salmon was very lightly smoked so the smoke was just an accent and not overpowering as so often happens. The salmon was just warm. Delightful.

              The intermezzo was a single small buckwheat cracker (housemade) with "winter pickles, greens and pine nut butter." WOW!! Sometimes I am blown away when I least expect it. This really popped. I should have demanded a half dozen more. The best single bite of not just the trip, but the whole year.

              Duck breast with white miso labne, sunchoke, nori, micro basil and kimchi paired with a 2006 Bourgogne rouge. Despite the improbable ingredients it was delightful.

              Braised pork belly with carrot, frisee and ricotta paired with a Corbieres. Rich and full flavored. Seems like pork belly is obligatory these days :)

              Dessert was a chocolate ganache with beetroot granita, fennel jelly and fennel curd paired with Croze Hermitage rouge. The chocolate and the beetroot granita were intense and pure of flavor. The wine was very, very good, however, IMO pairing dry wine, red or white, with chocolate is an exercise in futility.

              Service professional and just right for the setting. All in all the best restaurant meal of the trip and that includes lunch at Le Cinq.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jock

                This sounds like a wonderful meal, the menu almost sounds reminiscent of the clarity of flavours of L'Enclume in England, clearly with some French twists thrown in.

                Can I ask anyone who has been recently as they seem to now have a bar menu up as well? Has anyone tried it and can you reserve it?

                1. re: ManInTransit

                  I ate in th bar at Christmas. Its small (like the bar) and OK in a modern US style i.e. deep fried chicken nuggetts. We would not head back to eat at the bar but the restaurant sounds better and i may try it on the next visit. We then headed to Frenchies Wine Bar and thought the food was simpler and better.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Well there's another off the list for my post-Savoy supper! The perils of too few nights in Paris.

              2. We went to Verjus the last week of January for my husband's birthday. The restaurant is quite intimate and decorated in that haphazardly chic fashion, though like previous posters mentioned can get quite loud when full. Service was pretty good and the pacing of the meal started quite quickly but slowed down significantly as the evening progressed and the room became more packed.
                The two of us got one of each of the menus (4 courses at 55E, 6 courses at 70E + amuse bouche and a small cube of cake with the check). My husband also got the wine pairing with the full menu. The full menu was better value as the portion sizes were quite small and I was not completely full after my 4 courses. Flavors were quite international with both Eastern European and Asian flavors. The seared duck breast with onion and red cabbage ravioli was the best dish we had, the duck beautifully seared and paired with sweet, sourish dumplings. It was followed by the korean style pork belly. Unfortunately, some of the other dishes to us were not as successful, especially the desserts with too much going on. All in, I felt a bit underwhelmed given the high prices and my perhaps overly high expectations going in, being a birthday dinner and all.
                Pictures and more description on my blog: http://lafemmemange.wordpress.com/201...