{Eat} La Chateaubriand – Paris

So I was in Paris, just last week to be precise. While I am still travelling until the end of the month, it is hard not to miss Paris and its wonderful food culture… Much to be write about this beautiful city, which I will save for later.

During our trip to Europe, Mr. B and I made an effort to visit some of European best fine dining restaurants. The selection wasn’t easy due to time and budget constraints. And of course, the effort to make a booking to any famous restaurant should never be undermined.

La Chateaubriand was an unique experience. For a few years now, that little place has been in the World’s top 50 restaurants. When I was doing my research, reviews of the place varied. Some loved it, some did not. I for once absolutely love the quirky and bold statement of the food there!

La Chateaubriand was all about food. The place was unpretentious with minimum decoration and no-fuss service. The tables were small and close together, but we felt rather comfortable.

And the food! There was only one tasting menu on offered each night and all we needed to do was to savour the experience. I would not pretend to say everything we sampled was good. But the food we ate was of high quality and prepared with personality. At 60€, can I say it’s a bargain?

We started the menu with the famous gougères, which was wonderfully fluffy with some crunch from the poppy seeds.

The second amuse bouche was a shot of onion and lime flavour broth with a slice of tuna sashimi at the bottom. The onion broth was really bold, and I found the softness and meatiness of the tuna piece in the end help to round all the flavours together. Mr. B, who did not like onion much, wasn’t really a fan of this.
Fried school prawns with sprinkle of spices were simple and delicious.
The next course was a bit different and unusual, and I do mean it. Scallop sashimi on the bed of a creamy sauce and grated raw green cauliflower (Romanesco broccoli). The dish was certainly different, but we were not sure if all the flavours blended together well. Actually the raw cauliflower component bothered me, although the veggie was really sweet and fresh.

Cold tomato soup was the next offering, and the waiter stressed that it wasn’t “gazpacho”. It certainly tasted raw, with concentrated flavour of fresh tomatoes. We found it quite challenging to finish as it came across as raw tomato purée without the texture and creaminess of the classic gazpacho.

 

Now to the main “courses”. We were offered a lightly pan-fried fish with a purée of celery, topped with angelica leaves. Now this was a new combination for me, and I found it work quite well. The celery purée was aromatic, and beautifully matched the firm fish piece (which was perfectly cooked). It was a light and fresh dish with stunning green color.
Time for another brave experiment! Seared tuna, served with a mixture of mushrooms, tangy sauce and fresh grapes. We noticed the acidic tinge at first in the sauce, so the sweet grapes helped to balance it out a lot. If only the grapes were seedless! That would make eating a lot easier! The mushroom mixture was really fresh, although Mr. B would like his mushrooms cooked. I did not mind the raw mushrooms and found their texture interesting. The problem here was each component of the dish seemed not to work together again. Something was missing, and I couldn’t figure out what.
The next dish was a favourite of mine. Pigeon done two ways – seared pigeon breast and braised leg. They were cooked perfectly with beautiful and contrasting texture. We also got served the livers and hearts, which if you liked offals were a real treat. There was also charred crispy bok choy and dehydrated bok choy leaves. The dish was so warming, delicious. New flavours yet so familiar…
After a rich meat course, we were offered a bowl of buttermilk sorbet, sprinkled rather heavily with fresh herbs and few pieces of brown butter candied caramel. The sorbet has a tangy rich undertone, and paired beautifully with the fresh herbs (mint, parsley…). A combination I would steal for my hot summer desserts!

 Now, time for the dish of the day. It was Le Chateaubriand’s take on the Spanish classic tocino del cielo (flan/custard). Here the yolk was caramelized and placed on a meringue disk. We couldn’t quite figure out what the powder at the bottom was, but it had a deep caramel flavour. As  I put the spoon through the yolk, it oozed out covering the base. Brilliant idea and simple execution.
We ended our meal with some local in season raspberries, sprinkled with candied whole spices. Another moment of genius.
The meal ended a bit rushed as guests were arriving for a second seating (around 10pm). We left feeling satisfied though. It was certainly a different dining experience, one where you just had to be adventurous and went along with the chef, trying to understand the statements he put out on the plates. It was unique and different in a good way.
La Chateaubriand
129 Avenue Parmentier 75011 Paris, France

01 43 57 45 95

Booking via phone 2 weeks in advance.

14 Responses to {Eat} La Chateaubriand – Paris

  1. I can imagine my boyfriend complaining about the portion size during the first, second, and third course. (He’s a very big man.) But around the fourth, I think he’d settle into this meal and begin discussing all the fantastic flavors. It’s amazing how much more you can learn about a restaurant when you eat with someone else. I’m so glad you and Mr. B are exploring together.

    What a delight.

  2. Susan says:

    Crazy-beautiful, on-the-fly shots. So glad you are living it up. Happy Days, Anh and Mr. B. : }

  3. Rosa says:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing this dining experience with us…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Enjoy the rest of your holiday Anh. You definitely deserve it. I love Paris and it’s a shame I didn’t get to see it more in depth. Glad you got to x

  5. Iva says:

    wow! i so wish i was on a holiday now, europe to be precise :P

  6. Thanh says:

    Looks like a great meal. And for 60 Euros, that’s a bargain. I’d love to try this place if I go back to Paris.

  7. Was always curious about french food, thanks for sharing your travel foody tails!

  8. Love following your travels Anh. I know you absolutely loved France but so happy to get a glimpse of London too through your tweets. Sounds like you are having a stupendous time on this holiday!

  9. Soma says:

    WHoa! :) All the names and the food sounds like the kind I read only in books – so fanciful:) I bet it was a beautiful experience. Can’t wait to hear more of the travel esp. Turkey!

  10. Winston says:

    Okay that IS a bargain. But not just that, I think the prices for Aussie fine dining is getting waaaaayyyy out of hand. Anyway, what a fantastic meal, Anh!! Truly spectacular food and I am def looking forward to reading more about the rest of your travels. Awesome!

  11. JoJo says:

    I love Paris too. I have already been there three times but each time I go I fall in love with the city more and more, and of course their food! I have bookmarked this and next time I go, I will definitely try!

  12. Wizzy says:

    You got some pretty amazing photos there in what must have been some low light conditions.

  13. Tom Belte says:

    Great post, I do admire a restaurant which serves simplified food like the raspberries and spice. What a clever idea that makes perfect sense. Me and my gf have just come back from Paris, both of us are veggies but we had some amazing meals (with a lot of travel across the city due to how rare they are) in some simple rooms with tables like yours close to each other, they just have a nack of doing things simple and letting the food do the talking.

    http://backkitchenhappenings.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/first-post/ – here was my post on our trip, it influenced me starting my own blog up.

  14. Kankana says:

    I was in Paris too for a short 4 days and it was amazing! Love all this food you shared :) have you been to Laudre ( i forgot the spelling :)) ?

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