Naming your establishment is hard sometimes. So you can go for the most obvious choice and name it for what it is. I guess the same thing crossed the mind of the owner of Le Restaurant in Paris, France. The restaurant itself is located in a hotel called L’Hotel. Not kidding, just click on the links. Anyway, despite the not so original names Le Restaurant is absolutely worth writing about. It was the number one rated restaurant on Tripadvisor for some time and a pain to reserve as my French became really bad over the years. However, luckily everything was okay with the reservation as I got to experience three of the best dishes I ever had in one single night.
I went there around Easter this year and had the surprise tasting menu. With high expectations I awaited the first course, which was a pate of foie gras with apple jelly, apple sauce and some salad in a slice of apple. A nice starter, but nothing yet to wow me.
Then came the next appetizer, thin slices of cauliflower and romanesco on cauliflower cream, which doesn’t sound very exiting to most people I guess. But OH MY GOD, this was so flavorful, so intense that I as a true cauliflower fan became really really impressed. The cauliflower and romanesco pieces were crisp and went so well with the cream, carrying loads of flavor. I was sad about the portion being so small since the dish was amazing.
Now tandoori fish on white asparagus with coconut shavings and grapefruit followed. The mix was very interesting, but couldn’t knock my socks off after the previous dish.
So was this it? One great dish that overpowered all others? Not yet as a lobster broth with lobster filled ravioli and vegetables followed. The scents were already indicating that this course had to be very good. But when I set the spoon of broth to my mouth I was catapulted into heaven. This was pure, concentrated lobster taste in all its glory, giving my taste buds a whole new level of experience. The best soup I ever had. And the ravioli filled with lobster meat was no less stunning, perfect texture and taste. This whole dish was sooo good, I’d die for another bowl of it.
Now it was hard to top this, and really, the next dish fell short of expectations. It was chicken breast with pea mash and flower petals, artfully decorated. Unfortunately the chicken was a bit dry and not what I would have expected from the number one in Paris. The sauce was good and made up a little for what was a slightly dry, slightly tough piece of chicken and some pea mash.
Oh well, but we were nearing the end of this meal. Next up was the cheese course that consisted of two interesting looking pieces of cheese. I think it was goat, not sure anymore.
The whole evening I was hoping for a dessert with lychee (love these fruits) as it’s one of the possible desserts to be served from the surprise menu. The server told me at the beginning that one cannot choose anything with the surprise menu, although I would have paid a premium for it. Anyway, my wishes were fulfilled and there it was: lychee sorbet with pieces of lychee, baiser, caramelized nuts, petals, rose syrup and gold leaf. Mind-boggling awesomeness, dessert paradise, to-die-for… yes I’m lost for words since this dessert was the best in my whole life. So now you know why I chose this picture for my very first post and as my Facebook page profile picture.
At the end there were also some Petit fours, which I can’t remember after the dessert…
Well, do I need to say more? The next time I’m in Paris I will try to get a reservation again. 3 phenomenal dishes are worth another visit, totally worth it. Heck I even go to Robuchon several times for potato mash! So my favorites of Le Restaurant are in the same league as the Robuchon potato mash. There is nothing above. An unforgettable experience.