Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 1044 : Looks can be deceiving...

On a busy thoroughfare in the 11th arrondissement sits Le Chateaubriand. From the exterior this French bistro looks like the sort of place you would go for a glass of Bordeaux and a steak frites or a classic chèvre chaud salad but no this was not that sort of bistro. Inaki Aizpitarte and his talented team surely bring Le Chateaubriand to the forefront of French modernist dining. No a la carte here, set menus only, wine pairings available.

So what was the meal?

We started with homemade cheese gougeres with poppy seeds as an amuse bouche. 

Then came a flurry of petite plats - ceviche of red mullet and rose water. Sleek and flavorful, sensual and clean. This was paired with a wonderful sake. 

Next up mini crevettes served with passion fruit dust. Passion fruit and crevettes in a French restaurant? Well yes, this was a wonderful pairing - salty, briny, fruity, tangy and flavorful. Served with a glass of Georgian orange wine. 

Next up was an heirloom tomato, crab, soup with fresh figs, greens, and morsels of yellow and red tomatoes. An avant garde melange of flavors that just meshed in the most perfect of manners. Aromatic and seasonal, decadent yet light, this was all about the fresh bursts of the end of summer's bounty.

Next up was tuna served with girolles, ginkgo leaves, and cacao nibs. Yes, I did just list those ingredients one right after another -- a combination you would never think to combine but boy was it wonderful - the richness of the tuna melts in your mouth while the earthy, farmsteady notes of the girolles are complemented by the green vegetal notes of the ginkgo leaves and all is finished off with the slightly sweet but somewhat bitterness of the cacao nibs. 

Lastly was a milky coconut infused broth, red onion, cabbage, loup de mer dish. This was a dish for those of us who love aromatics. Fan of onion? This dish was for you! 

Next up, you had the choice between cheese and dessert -- what do you think I chose? 

Cheese of course!

A selection of classics -- Ossau Iraty, Morbier, Comte, Roquefort, and Crottin de Chavignol. But the best part about the cheese plate was how the Ossau Iraty was served -- in large thin ribbon like slices. The perfect way to taste the rustic nutty caramelly, butterscotchy flavors that this cheese is known for. By serving the cheese in ribbons, the cheese was elevated to a more elegant flavor profile, more delicate and refined. 

Overall a truly spectacular meal combining the most unique of flavor profiles. Le Chateaubriand is all about taking risks and those risks surely are huge successes. 

Le Chateaubriand
129, Avenue Parmentier
75011, Paris

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