Le Chateaubriand and a wonderful trip to Paris
A palate cleanser of pickled rhubarb with candied aniseeds from Le Chateaubriand.
Long time no see! May has been a very busy month for me so far, but I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Paris with my mom 3 weeks ago. We had such a wonderful time. We just strolled around the city in our short sleeves and sandals and had amazing meals every night. I had booked three dinners from home by phone, and I was very happy I had, since they were all booked up in advance and we saw people being turned away in the door almost every night. I am sorry to say though that I only have pictures from the meal at Le Chateaubriand, so all the pictures in this post are from that one meal.
On the first night we dined at Café des Musées in Marais. It was a very laid-back place, with a waiter who had a very strange sense of humor. It kind of felt like he hated us, but I have a sense that it was just his style. For a starter I had the foie gras terrine with a fig compote and toast. It was wonderful, and I savoured every bit of it, especially because I have a rule of only eating foie gras when I am in France. For my main course I had a perfect entrecôte with amazing fries and spot-on bérnaise sauce. It was so simple and satisfying! It was a very big steak, though, and I was too full for dessert. My mom had smoked salmon as a starter, and a pot au feu with lamb shank and lots of veggies for her main course. Those were extremely delicious as well. It was a pretty cheap meal, and it could have been even cheaper if we had ordered the menu of the day for only 20 Euros.
49 Rue de Turenne
Tel. 01 42 72 96 17
A small course of fluffy little brioches at Le Chateaubriand.
On our second night we ate at La Régalade, and once again we were blown away. La Régalade has an offer of three courses from the carte for 32 Euros. Very cheap, and also very very good! Once we sat down, the lovely waitress placed some bread, a huge terrine of paté and a jug of gherkens on the table. They were on the house, and it was very hard to leave the paté alone and save room for the rest of the meal. For that I started with the best scallops I have ever tasted, followed by a perfectly cooked duck’s breast, with roasted potatoes and a green salad. My mom started with raw tuna on an eggplant purée and some beautiful greens. She had steamed cod on a bed of fresh spinach, and hard boiled eggs and tomatoes with a wonderful vinagrette as a maine course. For dessert we both had a rhubarb compote with a vanilla cream and fresh strawberries. I still dream of that dessert at night. I was in heaven! On top of all this great food, where all the dishes we had stood out as something out of the ordinary, the waitresses also did an amazing job of finding great wines by the glass for the various courses. And they were extremely nice, too! I completely fell in love with La Régalade, and I desperately wanted to eat there for our fourth dinner, but they were already fully booked for that night. Ooh, and another nice touch were the two warm and perfect madeleines they served us with our bill.
49 Avenue Jean-Moulin
Tel. 1 45 45 68 58
For our third dinner, we went to Le Chateaubriand. This was the meal I had been looking forward to most, and I was very happy when I managed to get a reservation. Le Chateaubriand is currently number 9 on The Worlds’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Yes, the one where noma is number one. Reservations are only taken two weeks before from 3-7pm, so I called at 3.05pm exactly 14 days before I wanted to eat there and got a table for two. The evening actually started rather badly, since they had overbooked the restaurant, and mine was the name they had missed. They did find my name on another list though, so they could see that I actually did have a reservation. We were some of the first people in the restaurant, and I was very disappointed when they seemed totally unwilling to give us a table. They wanted to seat us at the bar, but I had pretty bad back pains that day, and it was an extremely uncomfortable eating position. I kept complaining to them, since it was their mistake, and after a few times it worked and they gave us a real table.
There is only one menu at Le Chateaubriand with five courses plus three tiny appetizers at 50 Euros. On top of that I had the wine pairing menu, also 50 Euros. Again, this restaurant is very low-key. It looks like an old Parisian bistro, with a huge blackboard and a long wooden bar. It doesn’t seem the least bit fancy, and it had a very relaxed atmosphere. The clientelle was a mixture of locals and food-tourists like myself. I won’t go into detail with all the courses, and often I actually wasn’t sure of what I was eating, because of the noise and the mumbling waiters.
The menu was very good value. Not all the courses were perfect, but the food was interesting and inventive and most of the time, tasty. The wine menu had some very, very good wines (but I was never told what I was drinking, so I can’t tell you), but the servings were extremely small compared to wine pairing menus in other restaurants. The small glasses suited me well though, since I was not at all interested in getting drunk.
Salted cod with tons of different herbs at Le Chateaubriand.
Sorbet of blood orange with pickled endive and soil of olives at Le Chateaubriand
All in all I am very happy that we got to try Le Chateaubriand. My expectations were high and they were met, pretty much. For the price I could not have wanted any more, but for Le Chateaubriand to be on the same list as noma is crazy to me. Noma gave me an evening of food and drink and atmosphere that I am sure I will remember for the rest of my life. Le Chateaubriand offered me a meal that was great while I was eating it, but has faded with time, and would be hard for me to remember if I didn’t have photos of the various courses. Their concept is genius though; gourmet for the people. I hope more great chefs will follow their example.
129 Avenue Parmentier
Tel. 01 43 57 45 95