L'Office, take two
Had my second meal at L'Office in the 9th this Monday -- as seems inevitable in a three-course meal, I had two hits and one relative clonker.
Clonker was the starter - an onion soup with deep-fried morsels of Gruyere. Just...meh. The broth was pleasant enough, but the cheese bits were simply chewy instead of molten, and I did NOT appreciate the "garnish" of half an onion, half-heartedly seared and wholly inedible, sitting in the middle of the bowl like a wart on an elephant's butt.
But things looked up with the main - beef cheeks, celery root puree, roasted grapes and julienned raw apple. No knife necessary - a spoon or a harsh word would have done. Lovely deep flavour, with the grapes and apple lending an unexpected and refreshing note.
Uncharacteristically, I decided on dessert: sable, lemon curd and rosemary ice cream. The ice cream was pleasant but far too timid - I wanted a real herbal hit and didn't get it. But the rest was AMAZING. Curd was creamy and bracingly tart, and the sable biscuit crust literally shattered when I poked at it. Delicious.
Total including one glass of Macon-Villages that wasn't nearly as oxidative as promised, one glass of Syrah from the second bottling of Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, whose name I'm forgetting and a coffee: 48 euros.
The place was packed (including two women from the NL edition of Marie-Claire, who embarrassed/delighted the server by insisting on taking his picture for an upcoming "36 hours in Paris" article). I sat at the bar as before -- but the experience just wasn't as nice, because owner Charles Compagnon wasn't in the house. Oh well.