I had a few friends plan a pretty amazing get together in Paris last week- 3 flew in from New York, 1 from Florence (Italy) and another that took the train from London. They stayed for 7 days, the equivalent of “21 meals!’ according to Huimin. We obviously managed to fit in about 35 meals in total, I believe- I wouldn’t have settled for anything less when I have foodie friends visiting.
One of the first places we hit up for dinner was Pierre Sang in Oberkampf. Trending in restaurants in Paris is the “no choice prix fixe menu”, where you literally do not get to choose anything other than your choice of wine for a meal. I actually really love this idea because everything you eat is a surprise, and most of the time, seasonal and fresh and just so goddamn tasty.
At Pierre Sang, they don’t even hand you a menu of any sort and only explain the dish to you after you have eaten it. Definitely an interesting way to have dinner- we spent most of the time deconstructing our dishes and guessing at ingredients.
Started off our meal with a sparkling vouvray (chenin blanc) that had no sugar or yeast added, as explained by our waiter. Still wondering if this was forced carbonation of some sort, how else do you get a wine to be sparkling without yeast? Still, a not too dry sparkling (relatively ‘sweet’ even without any additional sugar) wine to start our meal with!
The first dish we had was little pieces of razor clams (not whole) with peas, asparagus, carrot foam. I completely forgot to take down what that little white powder was, but it was almost like shaved cheese ice of some sort. Cheese snow, I want to call it 🙂
The next was artichoke braised in some sort of ginger infused reduction of octopus and artichoke, octopus (the word for octopus in french is PULPO, gotta love the french for that 🙂 ), beet root shoots, and rice cracker crumbles.
Tempura battered andouilletes, albacore tuna, bearnaise sauce. A really cool play in textures.
Braised lamb with confit potatoes, mandolin sliced radish, with a lamb (and garlic infused) reduction
The infamous mont d’or
Dessert: Opera cake, almond butter cake, avocado macaroon, white chocolate sauce.
My dinner dates for that night, and my foodie buddies for the entire week! We only paid 35 euros per person for our dinner, excluding wine, which I thought was really reasonable for the dishes we got. This is what is awesome about Paris and this new anti-fine-dining sentiment with all the young chefs here. People are tired of fussy expensive food- all we want is to eat a tasty, delicious, innovative and interesting dish and not burn a whole in our pockets while doing so. It might have been too much to ask about 5 years ago, but now thankfully, it’s becoming more the norm 🙂