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GOUST -- Run, Don't Walk!!

  • j

This was like akin to our discovery of l’Astrance shortly after it opened. I predict that Goust will have a Michelin star next year and could easily have the two I think it deserves. With a couple of minor tweaks it could rate a third.

The room is quiet with tables well-spaced and set with quality fabrics, flatware and glasses. The room is elegant without being ostentatious. You could certainly get by without a jacket but you will be more comfortable if you have one.

Of the numerous two and three star meals I have had over the past thirty years I would place the food soundly in the center. A few were a bit better, many about the same and some a bit less good with a couple a lot less good (Ducasse).

They probably have more wine knowledge on the floor at any time than any restaurant in France, especially practical knowledge. If you really know wine the list is superb. If you know little or nothing and take their pairing suggestions you will be delighted and pleased when l‘addition arrives. Frankly, if you know a lot about wine you will be pleased with their pairings.

The only thing that might be improved was the service. If it is possible in France, it was a bit too attentive and a bit more intrusive than I would prefer. However, even that could be because we were inquisitive and interactive ourselves.

A two and one-half hour lunch:

Amuse bouche: one perfect oyster atop a vodka gelee with a hint of pineapple, topped with a yougurt crème and one perfect chizeau leaf. Delectable.

Next: Tuna tartare with capers and minced radishes. Topped with a faux egg with a yolk of mango coulis.

Next: Calamars on an onion/olive oil puree topped with perfect fried onion rings. The calamars was very large, divided for the two of us the portion was still large. Wonderfully tender, unlike most calamars. Both of the above with a dry, mineral-driven Spanish Albarino from Pazo de Senorans.

Next: A perfectly poached egg (likely sous vide) atop diced foie gras in a large bowl. An intense onion broth was ladled over. There was a bit of foam on top of the egg but it did not put me off like the ones that I find too cutsie and pretentious. Accompanied by a superb 2010 Meursault Limozin.

Next: Rose lamb loin wrapped with a thin layer of not-too-lamby fat. With baby eggplant and an eggplant puree. A rich, full-flavored St Emilion hit the sweet spot.

Next: Hazelnut millefeuille with yogurt meringue and one hard-caramel coated hazelnut. I wish I had a camera. The appearance of this dish was exquisite in its elegance and simplicity. By-the-way; very tasty too. A glass of Jurancon Doux – just right.

Last: Several migrandises including tiny hazelnuts coated with a very bitter chocolate to accompany our café.

The courses were complex without being complicated. I cannot, nor do I like to, keep track of 14 different ingredients. These dishes all kept the complexity going with just three or four.

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    1. re: John Talbott

      229E for 2 including a glass of Pierre Moncuit Champage and an extra glass of Jurancon Sec to start.

      1. re: jock

        Greetings Jock from Sherman Oaks, California (basically Los Angeles)! Thanks to what you've shared, now I too am booked at Goust for our final evening in Paris on Saturday, May 11th. I've gotten some wonderful tips on a previous post I started, and have had a great time getting to kind of hone in on the various personalities who post on the Paris Chow site. What a nice group of men and women you all are. We are booked dinner wise for 5 of our 6 nights, and now I'm only obsessing about Thursday the 9th., which we are still wanting to be a more formal classic French experience. Our first night will be Alycastre Bistro which I'm told is quite near our hotel, and then on Tuesday we are going to Septime. Chez Dummonet (sp?) on Wednesday. Thursday to be determined. Spring on Friday, and now Goust on Saturday.
        I'm so glad I stumbled upon your post.

        1. re: jock

          Hello again Jock,
          Do you perhaps have any knowledge of the dinner experience at Goust? I'm learning so much about the Parisian experience via Chow, regarding luxuriant lunches which are hours long and with many wonderful courses. We will not be experiencing this way of dining, as I guess we are set in our ways. We are dinner guys. I'd be interested in hearing if you know of the price point for a degustation meal at night, and if it is similar in the amount of courses that you partook in at lunch.
          Cheers and thanks,

          1. re: JeffW

            If you google you will see a lot of reviews, mostly in French.

            This may help.


            1. re: JeffW

              I was able to get a dinner reservation for next week through email. Very easy compared to Abri! I too would appreciate hearing about dinner - go with ala carte or a tasting menu. Yes I would have liked to save some centime with a lunch but my schedule is booked.

        2. That did it Jock, I just called and reserved for Tuesday.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Laidback

            I would remind folks that for those of us who pinch every centime til it cries, the lunch menu is 35 E.

              1. re: John Talbott

                I pinch pennies too. See my post about Bar Fleuri. 27E for two including 500 ml wine and ccoffee.

            1. Wow. sounds 2nd cousin to perfection. I hope they're not totally "trendy" by the fall....

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                Sorry, Chef... it's already a hot table.... rave reviews in all the French papers and blogs starting back in Feb... it took, oh, 37 minutes after its opening to achieve a "totally trendy" label

                1. re: Parnassien

                  Luckily, today's trend is tmrw's rotting fish.
                  Somebody should write a piece on staying ahead of the curve but then, we'd have to include the Lobster Bar, Helene Darroze and Martel.

              2. Although I'm usually very intrigued by modern or modernist cooking (and still plan on going to l'Astrance eventually), for some reason your review doesn't appeal to me...

                Oyster and pineapple ?
                Tuna tartare with mango ? (and a spherified coulis, which is getting old...)
                "not-too-lamby" fat ? (I'd like mine really lamby please).

                I will check some other menu reviews to see if some things tickle my mustache (although the Calamars+onion rings already do a little).

                By the way, Shiso leaf is Japanese, but I love how you wrote it Ye Olde French way !

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rio Yeti

                  Modernist, yes. Cutsie, no.

                  The pineapple was just barely a hint and the whole "bite" really worked. Perhaps my favorite bite of the whole meal.

                  The calamars was not at all rubbery and very tender.

                2. Thanks for the tip! Reserved for May 10th, dinner, easily by email.

                  1. Our second great find of this trip - Le Saotico.


                    1. Went tonight with two wine professionals, agree completely with Jock and Jeremy. This place really rocked. No noise issue as JT had and the food being a new menu was just wonderful.
                      Amuse was the same oyster as the others, OK. First course was carpaccio of Iberico pig neck with a bit of spicy pepper and a litchi sorbet. Next was a fab gazpacho with a special langouste from northern Spain. Next chopped pasta with lobster that was stand up and applaud as we all did. Then Charolais entrecote and dessert was a creamsicle tart. We did the wine pairing and it was stellar as well. Service was great fun and excellent. No complaints at all.
                      Price for the lesser priced menu, wine tasting, a few glasses of champagne and bubbly water was 325 euros for three.
                      Big recommendation, loved it.
                      Only problem is they change menus only every couple of months, thus tough to repeat frequently.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        "Only problem is they change menus only every couple of months, thus tough to repeat frequently"...

                        We made our return visit Wed. with probably the loveliest flower in the Chowhound garden and we found little fault. To enable us to taste different things we asked for the carte and ordered mostly different items. Our 1st visit a week earlier was with someone in training to be a sommelier and we were so pleased with the pairings that we requested them again and none were repeated. One thing that I did re-order was the "faux" asparagus pictured below which looked like a large green asparagus but was a foie gras mousse enclosed in a thin coating of green tinted cocoa butter. I also ordered a selection of cheeses and they were star-worthy; a slice of St. Nectaire, Bleu de Gex and a wonderful 36 month old Comté, which our guest, who leads cheese tasting tours, declared delicious.

                        The room we were in both trips was probably different than where JT took his decibel reading as there are sound absorbing carpets, heavy upholstery and acoustical panels on the ceiling so we were not disturbed by excess noise.

                        1. re: Laidback

                          I'm proud to be the outlier, dissenter, contrarian, Laidback.
                          It's only when you and i eat together that we agree.

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            That place looks really expensive. I was rather put off by the show-offy front door with the voiturier when I passed by sometime around the opening. There are so many excellent, fair-priced bistrots in that very neighborhood that I'm rather sorry Enrico Bernardo didn't pick a bling-er area like Champs-Elysées for this one. Sort of spoils the atmosphere.

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              Your unvarnished opinions are what make you a cut above!
                              And it seems in scanning your reviews that we agree at least 75% of the time; I have you to thank for so many pleasant finds through the years...ZKG, Spring 1st version, Clocher Pereire, the old Dinée at Balard, Neva, Pirouette, Table d'Eugene and on and on.

                              1. re: Laidback

                                Oh, I know I can't be thanked for this one. Honestly this is only a distant impression since I haven't eaten there yet (and won't be able for some time). I am ready to admit that the food is good, and indeed it looks so (I'm not sure about the faux asparagus which remind me too much of molecular shenanigans), and I'm perfectly sure Enrico Bernardo has picked a very able chef. That makes sense, since he had previously hired another chef I know, whom he had pulled out of Restaurant Antoine, to set up the food and entire menu. Then after the chef had the whole thing done, he was fired without notice and without pay. For that to happen the boss must surely have found a rare bird. So when I'll enter the place for the first time I may like the cooking, but I'm afraid there'll be a bitter taste.

                                As time goes by, I am more and more aware of what a restaurant says to you as a human person as you sit in it, what story it tells. And I feel I am distancing myself from overly polished formulas that have dollar signs in their eyes, and in these conditions it is not at all difficult to hire a good chef, even though it is also true that too much calculation often results in failed endeavors. But that is probably a terrific place, I only haven't experienced it for real yet.

                                1. re: Ptipois

                                  "Your unvarnished opinions are what make you a cut above! "
                                  Who were you thanking Laidback, not me? I'm crushed.
                                  But Pti, as I've said elsewhere about Goust "We were disappointed by the hype, the glowing reports, the instructions to "run, not walk?" I don't know, but compared to recent meals at JL Nomico, 110 Taillevent, Sergent Recruiteur, Petit Champerret and Premices it really paled."
                                  But also as I said - I'm in the minority as I proudly have been at Helene Darroze, L'astrance and Chateaubriand.

                                  1. re: John Talbott

                                    As sang Paul Simon, "You're the One".

                                    1. re: John Talbott

                                      I thought Laidback was replying to me, so we're both crushed.

                                      Not surprised that Nomicos, 110 Taillevent and Sergent Recruteur (haven't tried the others) should cause a cash register producing faux asparagus to pale.

                                    2. re: Ptipois

                                      "As time goes by, I am more and more aware of what a restaurant says to you as a human person as you sit in it, what story it tells. And I feel I am distancing myself from overly polished formulas....in these conditions it is not at all difficult to hire a good chef, even though it is also true that too much calculation often results in failed endeavors."

                                      Indeed! This has become an ongoing conversation in our home. I have come to call these places "grown up" restaurants, where there is a disconnect between kitchen and table, no soul, no passion coming across on the plate.

                                      We have also noticed a turnaround in several heretofore good spots that have recently become tourist mills, filled with diners who are well informed on where to go but not necessarily aware of why they're there.

                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        "I have come to call these places "grown up" restaurants, where there is a disconnect between kitchen and table, no soul, no passion coming across on the plate."

                                        "...filled with diners who are well informed on where to go but not necessarily aware of why they're there."

                                        Quite true and well put. This explains my recent disappointment with Spring, and a beautiful evening at Le Bistory les Papilles.