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Restaurants & Bars

Paris restaurants part III: Taillevent, Le Reminet, Le Scheffer

Pistou | Nov 6, 200610:42 PM    

Taillevent

I could write a lot about this meal. Rather than describe every dish, I will say that every single aspect of this meal was perfect. The service struck the right note all the way through a three hour lunch—friendly without being over-familiar, attentive without being obsequious, helpful without ever once being condescending. The three of us were clearly out of our element in this restaurant filled with older, very visibly wealthy couples, business lunchers, and one obvious rock star (ripped jeans, tattered leather jacket, sunglasses, carefully prepared bed head dining with an impeccably suited and groomed woman—agent?) And yet we felt welcome and comfortable as soon as we relaxed enough to realize that everyone in the restaurant, including us, were being treated with equal courtesy.

We all had the 7-course “menu degustation” and all the food was fantastic. The revelatory dish of menu was the “Crème brulee de foie de canard, feves de Tonka.” One of the very few dishes I’ve ever eaten that I wouldn’t know where to begin recreating, it was as advertised, foie set in custard, not sweet but silky, topped with a few grains of caramelized sugar and ground tonka beans that gave a vanilla and almond scent, all topped with a deep-fried leaf of lemon verbena.

We had two wonderful (and wonderfully paired) half bottles of wine, a white and a red (Meursault-Charmes Domaine Michelot, 1999, and Beune Les Teurons, Domaine Germain, 1999), which the sommelier chose for us (we didn’t know where to start with the biblical wine list). The sommelier overheard me comment on how much I liked the pinot compared to Oregon and California pinots, and (with only a hint of disdain for US wines) spent some time talking to us about the differences in how the wines are made.

I could go on and on. When, at the end of the meal and after paying our (somewhat staggering) bill, we expressed an interest in seeing a bottle of the house armagnac that had been left on the center staging area from another table, three glasses appeared and were generously filled, on the house. It was simply the single most perfect meal I’ve ever had in every respect.

Le Reminet

Went here on the recommendation of many chowhounds. This was very near our apartment, also a plus near the end of our trip when we were all walked out.
Everything was very good, though in the same price range I’d return to La Maison du Jardin first. Our experience differed from recent reports—the service was slow-ish, but not bad in any way, and all the food was delicious. Cauliflower soup was, I think, nothing but velvety puree of cauliflower, cream and salt, and lovely. Goat cheese fried in brick dough on tart greens was well-executed. Salt cod with warm potatoes, capers, roasted peppers and greens was good, though the cod could have used another change of water as it was verging on too salty. Onglet with jus, green peppercorns, and caramelized shallots with leek and potato tart; chicken stuffed with bleu cheese and walnuts served with a crispy shredded celery root pancake; and a veal faux filet with pan sauce and shredded potatoes folded into a triangle and fried—all were delicious if not earth-shattering.

Le Scheffer

Another chowhound rec. Straight-ahead, old school bistro food, as promised. I was disappointed in the frites that came with the steak frites—seemed like they came frozen out of a bag—and the steak was half gristle. Sad at a place such as this. Pork short ribs braised in honey and lime were exquisite. Service was somewhat abrupt, though we were happy that they were kind enough to squeeze us in without a reservation at 9 on a Tuesday night, since the place was hoppin’.

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