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Le Chateaubriand, Paris

Le Chateaubriand has become THE restaurant to talk about or refer to when talking to fellow foodies in France. If you’ve heard of it or been there, you’re probably assumed to be “in the circle”. Headed by Chef Inaki Aizpitarte, who is/was one of the pioneers of the whole casual fine dining bistro concepts, basically, good food at good prices in a non-pretentious atmosphere. One could always argue that the lack of decadent decorations and the mismatched silverware, the peeling wallpaints, server’s sneakers are in and of itself pretentious. But people seem to enjoy that, it fits in with the kind of atmosphere and concept he is trying to acheive. Works for me! Eve managed to snag a reservation for us during her visit here.

There are no menu choices. You have one prix fixe menu for the entire restaurant. I guess the only choice you would have here is your wine. Here’s the line up of the menu of the night:

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Gougere with poppy seeds

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Gazpacho shots

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Boudin noir with fried shrimp. Loved this dish, the deep fried shrimp really accentuated and complimented the earthiness of the rich and creamy boudin noir.

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My dinner date ­čÖé

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Squid, bouillabase, radicchio, almond powder

Personally, I was not a fan of this dish. Something about how the texture and taste of the squid really brought out the fishiness (in a bad way) of the entire dish. The radicchio was way too bitter for this dish, maybe it was supposed to cut the fishiness? But for me, it just made the dish even more fishy. :/

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Some sort of smoky bacon dashi broth (take on miso soup maybe?) with sliced radish and langoustine

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Pan seared scallops with an assortment of cereales, passion fruit, creme fraiche and dandelion greens. I absolutely loved this dish! From it’s beautiful presentation on that flat white ceramic plate, to the colors of the greens and the cereal tuilles, to how refreshing the creme fraiche was with the perfectly cooked scallops, to the bright hit of passionfruit!

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Lieu jaune (Pollack fish), pleurote mushrooms, poutargue (salt preserved roe of fish) that tasted like brown butter, pomelo.

Another pretty ingenious dish!

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Seared beef, thinly sliced celeriac “noodles”, shaved truffles, oysters. It was so strange how the texture of the oysters mirrored the texture of the rare beef, a pretty interesting dish. Did not go insane over this, but still, a prretty interesting play on textures.

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Quince, topinambour (jerusalum artichoke) and almonds. A dish that tasted so wierd in it’s individual parts, but kind of good altogether.

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Star of the night: Tocino de Cielo. Basically candied eggyolk on a meringue base (I think) with chocolate and peanut powder. Beautiful globe of awesomeness. You basically pop this entire bite-sized ball of glory into your mouth and ENJOY. I mistook it for caramel initially because of how sweet it was! Almost fell off my chair when the waiter said “candied egg yolk”. I was so blown away by this dish that I came home to google it and find out the secret to how it’s made. and it’s insanely simple. Almost frustrating because you wish you had thought of and made it first!! damn, how I wish I could steal this recipe for my future restaurant.

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Longans with fennel seeds.

I think I really enjoyed my experience at Le Chateaubriand. There’s always some hits and misses with prix fixe menus and I guess that’s part of the experience at a place like Le Chateaubriand. You don’t have a choice, you’re forced to try everything the chef puts in front of you. It did surprise in every way, there was always something about a dish that was new and exciting or interesting. I guess one of the best things about being at a place like Le Chataeubriand where the┬áeveryone┬áreceives the same dish is that you don’t have to share! ­čÖé

HAHA I kid. (but not really)

If you can manage to snag a reservation for the first seating at 7:30pm. it’s definitely worth the visit. Otherwise, you can always wait for the second seating at 9:30pm (no reservations taken). When Eve and I left around 9:45pm, there was quite a line out the door, and because you are┬á never told to leave your table by a certain time (which I completely agree with), one who is waiting for the second seating might end up eating only at 10:30pm.

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