Food escapades in modernist cuisine


15 Rue Lamennais, 75008 Paris, France
+33 1 44 95 15 01

During our recent honeymoon in France, my wife and I spent the majority of our time in Paris. Throughout our stay, we enjoyed some wonderful food, ranging from simple picnics composed of charcuterie and cheese from local shops to exquisite multi-course tastings at some of the finest restaurants in the city. One of the best meals we enjoyed was at Taillevent, which currently holds two Michelin stars from the infamous dining guide.

Taillevent was founded in 1946 and after two years, it won its first star. In 1954, it won its second star and under the helm of owner Jean-Clause Vrinat, it had achieved the coveted status of three stars in 1973, an honor it held until 2007 when Vrinat passed and it subsequently lost a star. Taillevent has a been a mainstay in the world of haute cuisine, setting the standard by which other great Parisian restaurants are judged, so booking a reservation here was on the very top of my list when we finalized our travel plans to Paris.

On one of our first nights in Paris, we visited Taillevent and opted for the standard tasting menu priced at 198 euros per person. The meal started with this amuse bouche, which was a velvety smooth lentil soup with a crunchy crouton.

The first course of the meal that arrived was a decadent, chilled lobster soup served with lobster roe and caviar. The soup was incredibly rich from the cream but it had an incredibly deep, pronounced lobster flavor that was delicious.

The next course was a barley risotto served with sauteed frog legs. The frog legs were delicate and tender, which paired nicely against the risotto, which had some texture and chew from the barley.

Next up were some seared diver sea scallops served on top of a mound of smooth chestnut puree, accompanied by a brown butter sauce. Chestnuts were all over France during the beginning of November when we visited, so it was no surprise to see the use of this seasonal ingredient during the night.

After a brief rest between courses, this enormous slab of seared foie gras rolled up at the table, served along side a sweet red wine sauce, sauteed apples and grapes. This is quite possibly the largest serving of foie gras I've ever eaten in one sitting, and it was glorious.

This perfectly slow roasted piece of veal followed the foie gras dish. The veal was cooked flawlessly, a perfect medium rare that when bit into completely melted in your mouth. This again was served with a red wine sauce with a medley of roasted root vegetables. Of all the savory dishes, this was my favorite.

The French love to eat cheese following their meals, and I grew to really appreciate this custom (despite it being relatively foreign to me at the start). The wait staff brought this huge cheese board to the table - it actually took two waiters to carry it over. It contained a variety of cheeses, ranging in texture and intensity.

By this point, my wife was already incredibly full but I was still going strong. Next up came an assortment of desserts, including a chocolate pallet, pineapple sorbet with tapioca pearls, and a medley of petit fours.

To finish the meal, the wait staff brought over a full bottle of champagne cognac, compliments of the house.

This being our first Michelin-starred meal in France, we weren't sure what to expect going in. By the end of the night, we were thoroughly impressed and really enjoyed our meal. The food was spectacular, and the service was incredibly attentive. We actually enjoyed this meal more than our meal at the three Michelin-starred Paul Bocuse, which we visited later on our trip in Lyon. Overall, it was a great start to our food adventures in France.


Anonymous said...

I just had the same meal which included a Bourgogne wine recommended by the sommalier.
Whe waite staff moved around as in a ballet. The serving of the food was soft and gentle. Removal of plates and silver quick and again softly done. Each plate was elegantly presented, enough to experience the tast and texture but not to much to over whelm or over fill. Fantabulous food.
Noise level pleasant. From families celebrating anniversaries, and couples obviously enjoying each other and the food/wine.
No fine Roman, London, New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco restaurant of the "same caliber" ever had all of the components so beautifully presented and performed

If you care for wine and food this is a must on your bucket list.

Experience of a life time.

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