Monday, November 14, 2011

Paris Restaurants Fall, 2011, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier

Agape Substance***
This restaurant came recommended from a good number of my serious resto friends. Please see the comments below (***) that I wrote at the conclusion of this meal. We were advised that the menu below, was only "hints" of what may come.

Bread and butter one with anchovy the other a great salted  
butter, a mildly sweet, very mild but complex barnyard flavour. 
Berce, bread, jelly and foam and berce seed (oil with a sublime and rather delicate bitter flavour of skin of clementine or orange).
Green, powdered fozen basil, thickened very fresh tomato puree and a white liquid puree of common polypod (white licorice) All chilled. a  subtle blend of very pleasing, complementary flavours.
Tomato, the pulp of which is infused with basil flavour (via a "gastrovac"), topped with black olive "salt" (dehydrated black olives, I think). 
Verbena foam and butternut puree with a barely poached egg to perfection at 66 degrees for 44 minutes! The white has a remarkable texture.  Extraordinary combination. One of the greatest egg dishes I have ever enjoyed!
Avocado and oxalys (white sorrel) with a small dollop of malossol caviar.
King crab, pink grapefruit and  a subtly sweet consomme made from shrimps and carrots.

White salmon, red miso and green bean. The mildy sweet  miso binds all the flavours into a harmonious composition rich with umami.

Galanga with lemon grass puree( galanga adds a subtle ginger flavour) and carrot leaf foam with carrots poached in water and finished in butter.  The carrots had a soft texture with a rich sweet flavour.
Monkfish farro rissoto, crab and tonka bean sauce. The texture of the farro and the umami aspects of the tonka bean sauce and the browned scallion, were remarkable. The onion vanilla flavour and the taste of the fish provided an incredibly pleasurable combination of flavours.

Girolles, sauce made from a root with a clove and mushroom flavour, bluefoot mushroom,herb pistou. Roasted chopped  hazelnut.

Eggplant, black olive "salt" coating on veal accompanied by a     perfectly roasted shallot and black quinoa. Exceptionally tender   veal cooked medium rare. A great combination of flavours that   added contrast to the subtle taste of the veal.

Goat cheese from the Ardeche from "Mr Gaul".

Cold lavender wafer, crumbled spelt, rye ice cream and milk skin wafer. Rye and lavender! A sweet drip of caramel syrup.

Parsley puree, purple basil and blackberry ice cream, powdered frozen ginger, blackberry fruit
A variety of chocolate: textures and flavours. Hazelnut ice cream. 

Our neighbours (most of the patrons) eat at one long communal table with us but they received 2 dishes that we did not (and we received 2 that they did not).

****This restaurant experience could easily rank among the top 100 of the world and I am sure we will find it listed in a future San Pelligrino "best" list.
La Galzetta
This resto is a hot spot with a very young heralded chef, Peter Nilsson, a Swede who emigrated to Paris. The menu is strictly limited to what the chef is preparing that day. 

Cauliflower and "smoked" bread crumbs (I tasted no aspect of smoke in the bread) provided a very pleasant experience of textures.
Bellon oysters, wood sorrel and marinated girolles (a European species of chanterelle, but with a somewhat stronger flavour), served warm. The mild vinegar flavour of the girolles perfectly enhance the flavours of oysters.
Squid (from the cone section of the body) with dill and pear which enhance the sea flavour of the squid, is accompanied by brined cucumber and lardo di Colonnata.
Very slow cooked, sweet, soft mimolette onions accompanied bottarga that provided a wonderful contrasting flavour, with the tarragon and dried apricots.
Pigeon..salsify substituted for arichoke ...better for me accompanied by cherries. The pidgeon tasted wonderful and the skin was crisp.
Eggplant with rice cream and apple puree.
Thinly sliced mimolette cheese with raspberries and tarragon leaves and "sable d'algues".
Hazelnut sponge cake, chocolate sorbet, pumpkin puree and figs. This plate was accompanied by a small bowl of thinly sliced, dehydrated, crispy apple.

Ribouldingue (A "Triperie")

This restaurant is a hidden gem and not well known. But, it is such a wonderful place to come and enjoy offal and otherwise similar comfort food. 

Pig's head terrine dressed with with olive oil and vinegar and accompanied by black olive, dill pickle and a salad with crispy pig skin and crispy onion. 

Cepes a la bordelaise (a sauce composed of red wine reduction with bone marrow, butter, shallots and demi-glace). I could have made a meal of this delicious course.

Bone marrow with toasts and fleur de sel. There are few greater pleasures of cuisine that give one the gustatory pleasure of eating great quality bone marrow, perfectly cooked on a thin piece of baguette toast, with a pinch of fleur de sel!
Veal tongue with a vinaigrette dressing with arugula, roasted red pepper  and parsnip chips all topped with tartar sauce. If you like tongue, you will love this dish.
Beef cheek pot au feu topped with cilantro and dill with baby vegetables: turnip, green beans, carrot, girolles, kale and zucchini. Such a great combination of flavours.
Compote of green gage plum and damson plum sorbet with fresh cheese, chopped mint leaves, short bread cookies and sugared slivered almonds. A rich but refreshing finish to a wonderfully satisfying meal of comfort food.

Charbon Rouge

Sausages: gaucho, chorizo and morcilla (no photo). Roasted split Marrow bone(no photo).

From left to right, wagyu rib steak (beef boys rating out of 10 for taste, juiciness and texture) 7\9\8. 
Argentine rib steak (beef boys rating) 8\7\8.
U.S. prime rib steak (beef boys rating) 8\7\7.
I don't get the flavour of the wood fire in any dish, at all. These were good grilled steaks but not great. The frites accompanying the steaks were adequate.

Millefeuille with dulce de lece. Very good brioche french toast with caramelized sugar 
cinnamon crust.

Allard is one of the oldest existent restos in France. It's cuisine is almost timeless, with such offerings as cepes sautees, saucisson chaud Lynonnaise, foie gras de canard, jambon persille, terrine de lievre, frogs legs, sole meuniere, canard sauvage roti, pigeon roti, and what I came for, poulet de bresse roti aux pommes rissolees. And of course, boeuf bourguignon, rognon de veau grillle, ris de veau aux morilles, etc etc. This is the place to come for French comfort food. Unfortunately, I arrived just minutes too late for lunch. But this resto is worth the visit.

Le Comptoir
Yves Camdebord, at the moment, is perhaps one of the best known young chefs in Paris. Le Comptoir is located in the Relais St Germain. The lines to get into the resto extend well out of the doors, as there are no reservations available, except to hotel guests (he owns the hotel). The resto is well worth the wait. Great comfort food exceptionally well executed.

Gelee of herring caviar with mousseline of haddock. This was a sublime dish with slighly smoky flavours.

Herring, with onions, sliced carrots in oil had a slighly smokey flavour. This is one of my favourite old stand byes of French cuisine and this was a great rendition.
A simple salad of celery root and lettuce.
Lamb's cheek salad with cornichons, leeks, chopped scallions and carrots.
Fried eggs, girolles de sologne mushrooms, ham from 3 farms. if....only if one could enjoy this great hearty dish for breakfast......ah!!!
Beef cheek and carrot stew with chanterelles and short macaroni. A simply, hearty and satisfying dish.
Spiced prunes with red wine with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. A perfect interval dessert that is both refreshing and so satisfying.
The finale: a delicious apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

If you feel like a break from French food and want something light and flavourful, consider 
L'Olivier restaurant. The food is in the good hands of an accomplished chef.

Black Peloponese olives and their own very good nicely fruity olive oil (no photo).

White tarama (from Evros) mousse, with dill and citrus zest.

Bottarga from Messolonghi, fish stock cream, and anise flavoured salad, all on toasted thin crisps.
Cheese pie, fetta from Epirus, honey from Crete and sesame seeds.
A wheat salad with wonderful mild flavoured manouri cheese from Macedonia, balsamic vinegar, seasonal fruit (no photo).

Leg of lamb served perfectly medium rare, very tender, mounted on a slice eggplant in the chefs fashion, moussaka sweetened with miso accompanied by potatoes noisette infused with seaweed.
Fabulous, tart, intensely lemon sorbet with raki, all on a sweet crisp.
Couscous gateau semolina sweetened with syrup one type of (halva) with sesame and cinnamon ice creams made with sesame seed (halva). Exceptional ice creamy (no photo)! 

Baclava "our way" with saffron ice cream, cinnamon and cloves syrup, phyllo, crisp walnuts and almonds.
Yogurt, imported from Greece, slightly sweet perhaps, for me, the best ever, with small Greek fig and cherries
Grapes, nuts and syrup (no photo).
Orgion, V. Sklavos 2007 Mavrodaphne bio-dynamic aged in French oak. A wonderful Greek wine of terrific complexity, berry flavours and delightful fruit on the nose. Made on the island of Cephalonia.

No comments:

Post a Comment