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Le Paradou (longish review)


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Le Paradou (longish review)

Dakota Guy | Dec 4, 2005 07:22 AM

I have only seen one review of Le Paradou in the past year so I thought I'd describe my experience last night. In brief: perfect service, exceptional food.

One has a choice of 3, 4, 6, or 9 course prix fixe meals. The 3 and 4 course meals are selected from the menu by the diner. With the 6 course tasting menu, the chef selects (partially from the menu). It varies by evening and presents a logical progression of complementary courses. The 9 course meal is a chef's tasting menu in which Yannick Cam goes completely off menu and prepares dishes according to his whimsey. As tempting as the 9 course meal was, we chose the 6 course tasting menu. About half of our dishes were not on the menu. I might add that the restaurant has one of the largest wine selections I have seen. Just lifting the leather bound wine book (way too big to call simply a list) is an exercise. The sommelier was very knowledgeable and helpful.

On to the food. Although it is a six-course meal, one really receives 10 courses:

(1) Amuse Bouche 1: Lobster purse in carrot jus. Carrot jus? Who knew? Apparently Yannick Cam because it was very good.
(2) Amuse Bouche 2: Creme brulee with a brunoise of foie gras. Unusual and tasty.
(3) Amuse Bouche 3: A chicken egg shell filled with a cooked quail egg custard topped with scallops tartar and caviar. Over the top good.
(4) Course 1: Chestnut soup with lobster and white truffles. First day on the menu and a success.
(5) Course 2: Cervice of tuna with tomato confit and a quenelle of tomato sorbet. The tomato two ways made this dish special.
(6) Course 3: Dover sole with morels and asparagus tips. How could this not be good ?!
(7) Course 4: Seared foie gras with confit of plums and caramelized pomegranate jus. Wow. Best foie gras dish I have ever had. My girl friend prefers foie gras de torchon but even she conceded that this was exceptional.
(8) Course 5 (the "main" course): Quail with sage jus. Best quail I have ever had. This is a signature dish. The quail is deboned and served in two pieces with just the leg bone remaining. It literally melts in your mouth.
(9) Course 6 (dessert): At this point who needs dessert but fortunately not overwhelming. A very small chocolate tart with griotte cherries [I believe] accommpanied by a quenelle of ice cream. Tasty and light.
(10) A plate of 9 petite fours.

The bread and the coffee, both of which I normally eschew, were both delicious. I look forward to returning. My girl friend suggested tonight but I need to go run a few miles. Ok, many miles: this was not a Weight Watchers dinner! But it was sooo good. Based on this meal, Le Pardou just went to my personal top 5 restaurants in DC.

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