Restaurants & Bars

Alain Passard - La Vegetable in Paris review

kate | Jun 2, 200511:01 PM

In my post above, I mentioned going here on a trip to Paris this week. It is a temporary restaurant installed in Printemps Haussman (metro havre-caumartin), a big department store, and it closes on June 4th. If you are there before then, I reccomend it highly. It is run by Alain Passard, and I read about it on Chocolate and Zucchini, and it was one of my main reasons for going to Paris at the moment. I reccomend you read the review on that site, as it includes pictures. I couldn't afford to go to a place like l'Arpege, and this much more casual setting with many dishes featured at that restaurant (but at a fraction of the price!) allowed me to enjoy Michelin food. I was not disappointed.

I reccomend that you go just before 12 when it opens, or after 2pm, when the line shrinks. It is a small space, so it really is set up for groups of two. My group of three waited an hour at rush hour for service. But that also meant we got to try three of every course, which is an undeniable advantage!

We had:
chaud froid d'oeuf fermier, sirop d'erable
Etuvee de petits pois au pamplemousse basilic
veloute potager a la moutarde d'orleans creme souflee

gratin d'oignons doux de Cevennes, poivre noir Sarawak
Ravioles maraicheres aux herbes fines, consomme vegetal
risotto printanier, primeur du jardin

Grand cru de chocolat noir, citronelle
fruits rouges a l'hibiscus, infusion vanillee

It was all wonderful. The egg entree was the most fascinating. Choc and zucchini translates erable as maple syrup, but there was also some kind of vinegar, along with minced chives, in the mixture. The yolk was lightly warmed, and the dish was served in the halved egg shells. It was superb, with lots of different textures and flavours. The potager was immensely smooth and flavourful. We could taste broccoli and possibly leek, but struggled with teh subtle other flavours. The peas were a good flavour match, but not particularly interesting.

The onions were finely sliced and very thinly layered on the plate. A light and perfectly dressed salad came on the side. The broth and raviole were fascinating. The broth was sweet (lemon grass?), and the raviole were filled with curried herbs and onions. The risotto was rich and creamy (mascarpone, perhaps?) with basil pesto around the edges, and a dressing of julienned crunchy vegetables.

The chocolat was three little scalloped molten chocolate cakes, with a creme anglais sauce. Like the Pierre Herme carrement chocolat, I found this good but nothing special. The fruits, in a cold syrupy soup, were lovely, with a god hibiscus fruity flavour, and tiny floating grains of vanilla pod.

I think Alain Passard did a wonderful job with the menu, because most of the dishes were all about simple ingredients, and expressed the essence of different vegetables. And that's more impressive to me than what a chef can do with highly complex and expensive ingredients.

Entrees were E8-E11, Plats E12-E17, desserts E11-E13

Link: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

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