I have now had two excellent meals at Le Paradou, Yannick Cam's latest venture. As it is only a block from my office, I had the $28 price fix lunch the first day they started serving lunch, and again the following week. Everything was superb.
What I was most pleased by was the subtle hand that allowed the natural flavors of the food to take center stage. The morrels and escargot appetizer looked like a forest floor, and the tastes were as earthy. (It is served with polenta, which gets top billing on the menu but not from me.) The pepper crusted tuna was not overwhelmed by the spice, and it well presented as an angled cylinder. The lobster claw salad was deceivingly simple: an avacado terrine, served in a pool of gazpacho, with a single pettite claw placed perfectly on top. The composition was an astounding combination of perfectly pure flavors.
The freshness of the ingredients was also evident. The menu seems to change somewhat daily, with market availability. The lunch seems a bargain for two courses, as the three course dinner climbs to $68. Chef's tasting menu for $100. Wine matching for $50. The wine list seems to emphasize white burgundies, which is rare to see -- a specialty that is hard to pierce otherwise, IMHO -- so the wine pairing's tilt that same way makes it seem like a worthy educational expense.
I also find the room beautiful. I felt that way when it was Maloney & Porcelli, but now there's a new addition of some Chiluli-looking glass in the lower dining room which I find an improved focal point. Service was excellent the first time I went, very good the second.
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