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Dec 27, 2013 11:45 AM

The Restaurant David Toutain (ex-Agape Substance) hits the spot.

Three of us ate today at David Toutain's new Resto in the 7th and agreed that it is innovative, consistent (as opposed to some of the bumps he created at Agape Substance) and has the nicest, warmest, informed chef and staff possible after 5 days of functioning. It is pricey - 174.66 E a couple, loud (85.7 dB), and has a forced-choice (but 14-15 course) menu which has a thematic thrust (protein and veggie bits with bouillons poured on top). Elaine Sciolino and the NYT curse will soon descend - so go now when it's only 17.87% English-speaking.

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    1. re: allende

      I was too entranced by my two lovely co-diners, one my darling of 52 years, the other our friend of 52 months, to go into the kitchen to see; in fact I never have. This ain't Starbucks.

      1. re: John Talbott

        No, but I bet the coffee is not as you've had in Italy. As someone else said here recently, the French know nothing about making coffee.

        What's with number 13? Why spoil the cauliflower?

        What's with number 14? Jerusalem artichokes and pineapple?

        1. re: allende

          Looks like a really interesting menu - would be nice to have a bit more detail on the flavours and how some of the contrasting ingredients worked together.

          I for one tend to reserve judgement for the food I taste at restaurants like this, if you have preconceived ideas that a combination won't work, then it probably won't.

          I have also had some pretty good coffee in France and some pretty dire coffee in Italy so why assume it's not going to be good?

          1. re: PhilD

            Have had some bad coffee in Italy, but not that often. In forty- five years, have never had a great cup of coffee in France; almost never, had even a good cup. But what can one expect, considering the types of machines that are mostly used to make coffee in France.

            If you always, or almost always, want to get a good cup in Italy, just order a ristretto.

            France far exceeds Italy in almost everything regarding food except... pasta, risotto, coffee (and, of course, white truffles).

            1. re: allende

              It is true that in Italy you have great coffee "almost" anywhere, whereas in France you have bad coffee "almost" everywhere...

              However, there is a recent trend of quality coffee shops opening in France, with amazing coffee (I even brought an Italian friend to Ten Belles, and although he hated to admit that an english speaking hipster place has great coffee... well he did).

              I've heard that a few restaurants got on the wagon too, so maybe David Toutain invested in good coffee equipment, and is buying well roasted, quality grains.

              I'll let you know, as I'm heading there next week !

          2. re: allende

            Agree that the coffee is rarely as good as in Italy which is one reason we go, no?
            As for your queries #13 and 14, I don't know how to answer; most of his combinations worked very well indeed, although some soups were not dazzling but all in all it was good.
            Now as I said, a lot of people who didn't like Agape Substance will not like DT; good friends/eating companions of mine deem stuff like he puts out too edgy. So be it.

      2. I had a similar egg and corn dish at Agape Substances during Toutain's stay there and it was one of my favorites, ever. I'm looking forward to this.

        1. David Toutain has only been open for a few minutes and Talbott le Vénérable is there already ! Many thanks for a great report. Can't wait to try it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Parnassien

            Like Satchel Paige I don't look back because something may be gaining on me.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. We've split off a discussion about coffee in France to a new thread, here: . Check it out.