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Report: Bistro Belhara and Hexagone

plafield | May 25, 201509:24 AM

Both simply fabulous.

Bistro Belhara:(23 Rue Duvivier, 7th): Everything about this meal and the experience was wonderful. Tiny packed place with maybe 16 tables. We were the only non-French speaking people in the place. Very well treated, excellent traditionally based prix fixe menu for 38E (with some supplements for certain choices) Would return in a heartbeat.

Entrees: pate de canard au foie gras en croute with a salad of fresh lettuces and herbs dressed with hazelnut oil (6E supplement), potage au broccoli w/smoked shrimp, ham, asparagus both completely delicious.
Plate: gigot d'agneau de lait des Pyrénées, pommes de terre grenaille, onion marmalade, basque ham for 2 (9E supplement) cooked perfectly dark pink, juicy and tender, carved off the bone and presented with the bone (oh how I wished I had a dog!) Too much for us to finish knowing dessert was coming but we did a pretty good job trying!

Dessert: Passion fruit soufflé: Light, flavorful, very fruity with very little sugar, a standout. And tart au citron the only disappointment of the meal, the crust was a tad too thick and hard and the lemon curd just a bit too sweet.

Hot out of the oven madelaines were divine.
With 2 glasses of excellent Bordeaux and bottle of water 125E

Hexagone: (85 Avenue Keibler, 16th)Lovely restaurant with an elegant feel, star quality but not taking themselves too seriously. We went fr the 4 course menu for $125E with 4-5 choices per course.
Amuses: asparagus mousse on crisp melba toast, tomato gazpacho w/ herbed crème fresh. Fantastic bread with Breton butter.

Entrees: tempura shrimp and sea bass ceviche.
Fish course: sole in croute w/ morels, asparagus, w/ sauce vin juane and lotte w/mushroom duxelle, white asparagus, lemon confit in shallot butter sauce.
Meat: Bressan pigeon with carrot confit, glace royal, smoked potato puree and veal sweetbreads w/tarragon emulsion, sauce diable. Desserts: pistachio financier and strawberry vacherin followed by lemon glazed madelaines.

Everything was spot on. Gorgeous to look at with totally balanced flavors and textures, subtle yet distinct use of seasonings, herbs and spices. Desserts were barely sweet in the best way, letting the flavors of the pistachios and the strawberries in each respective dessert really shine. Perfectly designed serving sizes for 4 courses so we felt totally satisfied but not stuffed at the end of the meal.

Service was exceptional, warm, professional, welcoming. We gave them a budget and asked for wine pairings for 3 of my husband’s courses (he’s not fond of wine with dessert and I don’t drink wine) and the sommelier made wonderful, generous choices. The bill for two 4 course menus, 3 glasses of superb wine and 1 bottle of water was 350E. Worth every penny and I’d definitely return.

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