Food escapades in modernist cuisine


28 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris, France
+33 1 42 96 28 18

On one of our last nights in Paris, we had dinner at L'Ardoise, a small restaurant located near the Tuileries Garden. I learned about this place through one of the travel guides - I think it was Frommer's or Fodor's. For the record, I don't usually get restaurant recommendations from guide books (hurting my street cred here!) but the restaurant got an endorsement from a hotel staff member who previously gave us some reliable recommendations, so we figured we'd give it a try.

When we got to the restaurant, the whole restaurant (admittedly not large) was filled with Americans except for maybe one or two tables. This typically again isn't a great sign but we sat down anyway. It was later in the evening by then and we didn't have reservations for anywhere else. Apparently all the other Americans traveling in Paris had read the travel guide too!

In any case, the food turned out to be great. It was a tremendous value too. My wife and I both went for the pre-set menu option that featured your choice of three courses, and it was around $30 euros a person. That's pretty good for Parisian standards.

My wife's first course was a crab croquette with an avocado mousse and simple salad. The croquettes were nicely fried and crisp with a delicate mixture of crab inside.

My first course was a poached tuna with an olive tapenade and red peppers. I don't generally like cooked tuna but it was cooked gently enough so that it retained some moisture. The mediterranean flavors were also nice.

For my second course, I chose the wild rabbit with mixed mushrooms. Since it was November at the time, alot of hunting was going on, and we saw rabbit available on alot of menus. The rabbit was cooked perfectly, and the mushrooms added earthiness to the dish. Alot of people don't like rabbit or get a bit squeamish whenever it's mentioned for reasons I cannot understand. Maybe because some people had it as a pet growing up? Who knows. It's like the best chicken you'll eat in your life.

My wife ordered the cod for her second course, which was served with a tomatoey sauce and potatoes. Again, really good flavors and the fish was cooked perfectly. No complaints here.

Finally came the desserts, which were the bomb - probably our favorite part of the meal. One was a chocolate dome served with passion fruit sorbet. The slight tartness from the passion fruit paired nicely with the really rich chocolate.

The other dessert was a white chocolate mousse with a raspberry sauce laced throughout it and a quenelle of raspberry sorbet served on top. The top layer of the mousse was also bruleed with a little sugar. Really delicious.

Who knows if L'Ardoise will still have the pre-fixe deal going on in the future, but if it does, I think it's a tremendous overall value and should certainly be considered for a night out in Paris. Despite all the signs of this being a bad spot to go, the food was fantastic. We paid alot more for other meals in Paris and did not get the same quality or quantity.


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